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The "Free and Hanseatic City" of Hamburg is
Germany's second-largest metropolis with one of Europe's biggest
ports. Since the Middle Ages Hamburg has been an important
centre of commerce, part of an inter-city-network called Hanse.
Special privileges regarding commerce, taxes and politics guaranteed
its wealth and independence.
Even today Hamburg boasts high living standards, a cosmopolitan lifestyle and magnificent architecture.
One of the major sights of Hamburg is its harbour. On a round trip one can see the old areas as well as a thriving modern port. The medieval 'Speicherstadt' offers insights into ancient trading routines.
The history of St. Pauli was shaped by maritime trade. Once a no man's land between the cities of Hamburg and Altona, hordes of sailors looking for excitement changed the face of the district. The famous Reeperbahn offered all sorts of amusements - women and gambling mainly. Today, modernisation and automation have reduced the number of sailors but not the number of establishments offering seedy amusements. Tourists, local residents and students from the city's renowned university alike populate the Reeperbahn.
Other famous attractions are the baroque church St. Michaelis dubbed 'Michel', the city hall, the old botanic garden and Deichstraße, one of the few streets featuring the traditional half timbered houses.
Since 1968 Hamburg's TV tower bears witness to them nation's progress within telecommunications and offers an amazing view over all of Hamburg into the bargain.
Obviously, shopping is always an excellent alternative in this city renowned for trading. If you are interested in culinary highlights the lively Fish market is well worth a visit.
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