Hamburg / Germany
The free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg is as city-state, a state of the Federal Republic of Germany and the second largest in Germany with around 1,740,000 inhabitants and the sixth largest in the European Union. The oldest solid dwellings date back to the 4th century BC.
In 810 Charles the Great had a baptistery built here to proselytize the pagan north. For safety the "Hammaburg" is built. Decisively through the 1189 port rights conferred in 1189 the city developed in the Middle Ages into a flourishing commercial center and was with around 600 breweries as "brewery of the Hanse". In 1619 Hamburg was the largest city in Germany. But even after the decline of the Hanseatic League, the city remained the most important economic center of northern Germany. Even today Hamburg is largely autonomous as city-state and offers good the trade with its free port good conditions. The port of Hamburg ( "Hamburg Gateway to the World") is the largest seaport in Germany and, as measured by the container handling in 2004, the second largest in Europe and ninth largest worldwide. For some special goods, such as raw coffee or carpets, it is the largest transshipment port in the world.
Among the most important buildings of Hamburg are St. Michaelis (its 132-m-high tower is one of the highest church towers in the world), also known as "Michel", the symbol of the city, and the other main churches of St Peter, St Nicholas, St . Catherine and St. Jacobi. Also worth seeing are the town hall, the 276-m-high television station Heinrich-Hertz-Turm and the Hamburg Fish Market. Also the Reeperbahn is of course of worldwide reputation. In the miniature wonderland in the warehouse district you can take a look at one of the largest model railway systems in the world. Hamburg is home to other more than 50 museums, including the Altona Museum (Northern German National Museum), the Hamburger Art Gallery (originally an art collection launched by citizens. Paintings, drawings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the present day) and the U-Boat Museum U434, a museum ship in the HafenCity (Baakenhafen).