Hamburger Rathaus / The town hall of Hamburg is certainly worth a visit - it has an interesting fassade and it looks really elegant ! The townhall has several ornate halls that could be visited, BUT ONLY at those few days when its assembling-rooms are NOT needed for official use.
It might be the best to check at the information-desk at the entrance-hall, when the next tours will be held. I arrived on a wednesday and had to learn that the next guided tour would be saturday ( too late for me !). Even when you are not able to attend one of these guided tours, you may still take a look inside the big entrance-hall with many lovely details AND don't miss to see Rathaus-keller, a great and beautiful restaurant in the basement of Rathaus - see my restaurant-tips !
When the townhall is NOT used for official receptions / festivities
there will be guided tours in German every half hour
Monday till Thursday 10.00a.m.-03.00p.m.
and Friday till Sunday 10.00a.m.-01.00p.m.
english and french tours will start once every hour at a quater past.
entrance-fee is 2 euros (HamburgCard 1 Euro)
The old Town Hall of Hamburg has been destroyed in the big fire of 1842. After many years a new town hall has been build and was completed in 1897. This New Town Hall shows the wealth of Hamburgian merchants.
It is 111m long, 70m wide. It has 647 rooms. The tower is 112m high. The rooms are dark with a lot of wood and gold. They show the bombastic style of the end of the 19th century. I really do not like it and get depressed by the dark furniture. The rooms are made to impress people, who visit, and make them feel small and poor.
Hamburg's city hall is a big German "neo-Renaissance" building, built to display the superior quality og Hamburg's parliament. Here works the Hansestadt government, but when the city's parliament isn't in session you can take a guided tour of the building.
In front of the Rathaus there's the Rathausmarkt, usually full of tourists and then the Binnenaltster lake.
The exterior is a magnificent sight! The Latin inscription written in gold letters on the Rathaus says: "Libertatem quam peperere - maiores digne studeat - servare posteritas." which means something like "The heirs should endeavour to preserve the freedom their fathers have won."
Inside things are no less impressive! It's really worth participating in a guided tour.
Guided tours every half-hour (except during Senate meetings orstate visits): Mon-Thurs 10am-3pm, Fri-Sun 10am-1pm; admission is 2 euro.
Hamburg's town hall dates from the 1890s, when there was a general revival of urban pride across northern Europe. The Rathaus may be a stylistic pastiche of "Gothic" and Renaissance features - but it undeniably works as a building, and it's come to be a real symbol of its city. (It reminds me a bit of "Chateau style" buildings in Canada, such as the Parliament buildings in Ottawa or the Canadian Pacific Railway hotels in Banff or Victoria.)
The Rathaus was my favourite building in Hamburg. The exterior is very well decorated, adorned with the statues of the many former leaders of Hamburg. The Rathaus is the seat of Hamburg's government and there are daily guided tours of the interior available.
No matter where we were wandering in the Altstadt we always seemed to be drawn back to Rathausmarkt, the large open square in front of the Rathaus. I imagine this place is very nice in summer, especially underneath the arches across from the Rathaus, a lovely spot to sit out for a beer in warm weather.
Hamburg's most impressive building is, in my opinion, its grand city hall (Rathaus). When I visited, on a Friday in June, there was a large market in the area in front of the city hall, with stalls selling quintessentially German foods such as Rostbratwurst and Spaetzle. The town hall is situated opposite a war memorial remembering those young men of Hamburg who died during World War One.
The town hall of Hamburg is a very pretty building, which is well worth a visit. If you walk to the sides of the building, you can enter the inner courtyard, which has a nice fountain. It is also possible to enter the building, but to be honest I never tried...
Troughout the year there are a lot of festivals and events going on in front of the town hall. Check the homepage of the city to see what's on while you're there. (http://international.hamburg.de/?ok=18338 in english)
I especially like the location of the town hall. It is in the middle of the two most popular shopping streets in the city center: the Mönckebergstrasse and the Jungfernstieg.
The Hamburg City Hall was built from 1886 to 1897, replacing an earlier City Hall that had burned down half a century earlier, in the great fire of 1842.
It is very centrally located near the Binnenalster, the Jungfernstieg and the central station. Guided tours of the city hall are conducted in German, English and French on days when there are no state visits or major events in progress.
Additional photos: Cycling near the City Hall.
Next review: St. Michaelis at night
The Alsterarkaden (Alster Arcades) are located on the side of the Jungfernstieg that faces the Rathausmarkt (Townhall Square). Here you can find restaurants, very exclusive shops and nice cafés. It is fantastic to sit under the arches, look at the Alsterfleet and the town hall and have - what I would think the most expensive - cup of coffee there!
There are four of the original buildings still standing, with their old street lamps, iron balustrades, gold-plated fish and tridents between the round arches.
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