Hamburg originated (early 9th cent.) in the Carolingian castle of Hammaburg, probably built by Charlemagne as a defense against the Slavs. It became (834) an archepiscopal see (united in 847 with the archdiocese of Bremen) and a missionary center for northern Europe. The city quickly grew to commercial importance and in 1241 formed an alliance with Lübeck, which later became the basis of the Hanseatic League. Hamburg accepted the Reformation in 1529. In 1558 the first German stock exchange was founded there; with the arrival of Dutch Protestants, Portuguese Jews, and English cloth merchants (expelled from Antwerp), and with the expansion of commercial ties with the United States after 1783, Hamburg continued to prosper.
The city was occupied by the French in 1806 and in 1815 joined the German Confederation. In 1842 a fire destroyed much of the city. After World War I Hamburg was briefly (1918-19) a socialist republic. In 1937 the city ceded Cuxhaven, its outlying port, to Prussia, but incorporated the neighboring towns of Altona, Harburg, and Wandsbek. During World War II (especially in 1943) Hamburg was severely damaged by aerial bombardment, and some 55,000 persons were killed. After the end of the cold war, the city became a transit port for trade with Central Europe and experienced a surge in shipping.
Hamburg today is an elegant, modern city and a cultural center, widely known for its opera, theaters, magazine and book-publishing houses, radio and television broadcasting centers, and film studios. At its center are two lakes, the Binnenalster (Inner Alster) and the Aussenalster (Outer Alster). The St. Pauli district, with its well-known street, the Reeperbahn, includes numerous places of entertainment. Hamburg is the seat of a university (founded 1919), several museums, and medical and technical institutes. There are extensive zoological and botanical gardens. Noteworthy buildings include the baroque St. Michael's Church (1750-62), rebuilt (1907-12) after a fire; the Church of St. Jacobi (begun in the 14th cent.); and the Renaissance-style city hall (1886-97). Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms were born in the city.
City (pop., 2002 est.: city, 1,726,363; metro. area, 2,515,468), constituting a state, northern Germany. Covering 292 sq mi (755 sq km), it is located on the Elbe River and is Germany's largest port. It grew around the 9th-century castle of Hammaburg. Treaties with Lübeck in the mid-13th century led to the formation of the Hanseatic League, of which it was a leader. Incorporated into the French Empire (1810–14), it became a member of the German Confederation as a free city in 1815. In World War II Allied firebombing killed some 55,000 people and devastated the city. It was rapidly rebuilt after the war. The birthplace of Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms and home to the Hamburg Opera, it enjoys a distinguished musical history. It is Germany's foremost industrial city and northern Germany's chief economic centre.
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Hamburg (English: , German: , local pronunciation [ˈhambʊɪç] Low German/Low Saxon: Hamborg [ˈhaˑmbɔːχ]) is the second-largest city in Germany (after Berlin), and, along with its central port, also the second-largest port in Europe (after Rotterdam), ninth-largest port in the world, and the most populous city in the European Union that is not a national capital. The city is home to approximately 1.8 million inhabitants.
Hamburg's proper name is the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (German: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg). It makes reference to Hamburg's history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and as a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, also to the fact that Hamburg is a city-state and one of the sixteen Federal States of Germany.
Hamburg is a major transportation hub in northern Germany and became a media and industrial center with factories such as Blohm + Voss and Norddeutsche Affinerie. The radio and television broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk and publishers such as Gruner + Jahr represent the important media industry in Hamburg. In total there are more than 120,000 enterprises. The city is a major tourist destination both for domestic and overseas visitors, with about 7.4 million overnight stays in 2007.
The city takes its name from the first permanent building on the site, a castle ordered to be built by Emperor Charlemagne in 808 AD. The castle was built on rocky ground in a marsh between the Alster and the Elbe as a defence against Slavic incursion. The castle was named Hammaburg, where burg means castle. The Hamma element remains uncertain, also the location of this castle.
In 834, Hamburg was designated the seat of a Roman Catholic bishopric, whose first bishop, Ansgar, became known as the Apostle of the North. Two years later, Hamburg was united with Bremen as the bishopric of Hamburg-Bremen. In 1529, the city embraced Lutheranism, and Hamburg subsequently received Protestant refugees from the Netherlands and France, and, in the 17th century, sephardi Jews from Portugal.
Hamburg was destroyed and occupied several times. In 845, a fleet of 600 Viking ships came up the River Elbe and destroyed Hamburg, at that time a town of around 500 inhabitants. In 1030, the city was burned down by King Mieszko II Lambert of Poland. Valdemar II of Denmark raided and occupied Hamburg in 1201 and in 1214. Hamburg had several great fires, the most notable ones in 1284 and 1842. In 1842, about a quarter of the inner city was destroyed in the "Great Fire". This fire started on the night of the 4 May 1842 and was extinguished on May 8. It destroyed three churches, the town hall, and many other buildings, killed 51 people, and left an estimated 20,000 homeless. Reconstruction took more than 40 years. Hamburg was briefly annexed by Napoleon I (1810–14). Russian forces under General Bennigsen finally freed the city in 1814. During World War II Hamburg suffered a series of air raids, which killed 42,000 civilians. On February 16, 1962 a severe storm caused the Elbe to rise to an all-time high, inundating one-fifth of Hamburg and killing more than 300 people.
The charter in 1189 by Frederick I "Barbarossa" granted Hamburg the status of an Imperial Free City and tax-free access up the Lower Elbe into the North Sea. In 1265, a putative forged letter was presented to or by the Rath of Hamburg. This charter, along with Hamburg's proximity to the main trade routes of the North Sea and Baltic Sea, quickly made it a major port in Northern Europe. Its trade alliance with Lübeck in 1241 marks the origin and core of the powerful Hanseatic League of trading cities. On November 8, 1266 a contract between Henry III and Hamburg's traders allowed them to establish a hanse in London. This was the first time in history the word hanse was mentioned for the trading guild Hanseatic League. The first description of civil, criminal and procedural law for a city in Germany in German language, the Ordeelbook (Ordeel: sentence) was written by the solicitor of the senate Jordan von Boitzenburg in 1270. On August 10, 1410 civil commotion caused a compromise (German:Rezeß, literally meaning: withdrawal). It is the considered as the first constitution of Hamburg. In 1860, the state of Hamburg established a republican constituion. Hamburg was an independent state of the German Confederation (1815–66), the North German Confederation (1866–71), the German Empire (1871–1918) and during the period of the Weimar Republic (1919–33). In Nazi Germany Hamburg was a Gau from 1934 until 1945. After the Second World War Hamburg was in the British Zone of Occupation and became the a state in the western part of Germany in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1949.
During the first half of the 19th century, a patron goddess with Hamburg's Latin name Hammonia emerged, mostly in romantic and poetic references, and although she has no mythology to call her own, Hammonia became the symbol of the city's spirit during this time. Hamburg experienced its fastest growth during the second half of the 19th century, when its population more than quadrupled to 800,000 as the growth of the city's Atlantic trade helped make it Europe's third-largest port. With Albert Ballin as its director, the Hamburg-America Line became the world's largest transatlantic shipping company at the turn of the century, and Hamburg was also home to shipping companies to South America, Africa, India and East Asia. Hamburg was the port for most Germans and Eastern Europeans to leave for the New World and became home to trading communities from all over the world.
The Iron Curtain — only east of Hamburg — separated the city from most of its hinterland and further reduced Hamburg's global trade. After German reunification in 1990, and the accession of some Eastern European and Baltic States into the EU in 2004, Hamburg Harbour and Hamburg have ambitions for regaining their positions as the region's largest deep-sea port for container shipping and its major commercial and trading centre.
The Altes Land region (old land) is the biggest contiguous fruit orchard in Central Europe. It extends over . 76.8% of the trees are apples, 12.7% are cherries. It includes the quarters of Neuenfelde, Cranz, Francop and Finkenwerder and parts of the state of Lower Saxony. In the quarter Neugraben-Fischbek is the highest rise of Hamburg, the Hasselbrack is AMSL.
Hamburg has architecturally significant buildings in a wide range of styles. There are only a few skyscrapers. Churches like St. Nikolai's church, the world tallest building in the 19th century, are important landmarks. The skyline of Hamburg features the high spires of the principal churches (Hauptkirchen) Saint Michael's Church (nicknamed “Michel"), Saint Peter's Church, Saint Jacob's Church and Saint Catherine's Church covered with green copper plates.
The many canals in Hamburg are crossed by over 2300 bridges, more than those of Amsterdam and Venice combined. Hamburg has more bridges inside its city limits than any other city or town on Earth. The Köhlbrandbrücke, Freihafen Elbbrücken, and Lombardsbrücke and Kennedybrücke dividing Binnenalster from Aussenalster are important traffic buildings.
The townhall is a richly decorated Neo-Renaissance building finished in 1896. With its tower of it is Europe's highest townhall. Its facade depicts the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, since Hamburg was, as a Free Imperial City, only under the sovereignty of the emperor. The brick stone office building Chilehaus from 1922 spectacularly is shaped like an ocean liner, designed by architect Fritz Höger.
To be completed around 2015, Europe's largest inner city development as of 2008, the quarter HafenCity, will house about 10,000 inhabitants and 15,000 workers. Its ambitious planning and architecture (among other designs by Rem Kolhaas and Renzo Piano will be realised) are slowly coming into shape. By the end of 2010, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall (Elbphilharmonie) is scheduled to house its first concerts in a spectacular building designed by the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron on top of an old warehouse.
The many parks of Hamburg are distributed over the whole city, which makes Hamburg a very green city. The biggest parks are the Stadtpark, the Ohlsdorf Cemetery and Planten un Blomen. The Stadtpark, Hamburg's "Central Park", has a great lawn and a huge watertower, which houses one of Europe's biggest Planetariums. The park and its buildings were also designed by Fritz Schumacher in the 1910s.
Each borough is governed by a Borough Council (German: Bezirksamt), administrated by the Municipal Councillor (German: Bezirksamtsleiter). The boroughs of Hamburg are not independent municipalities. The power of borough governments is limited and subordinate to the Senate of Hamburg. The municipal councillors is elected by the Diet of the Borough and thereafter his admission needs to get appointed by Hamburgs's senate. The quarters have no government bodies of their own.
In 2008 the boroughs of Hamburg were Altona, Bergedorf, Eimsbüttel, Hamburg-Mitte, Hamburg-Nord, Harburg and Wandsbek.
Altona is the westernmost urban borough on the right bank of the Elbe river. From 1640 to 1864 Altona was under the administration of the Danish monarchy. Altona was a independent city until 1937. Politically, the following quarters are subject to the Altona borough: Altona-Altstadt, Altona-Nord, Bahrenfeld, Ottensen, Othmarschen, Groß Flottbek, Osdorf, Lurup, Nienstedten, Blankenese, Iserbrook, Sülldorf, Rissen, Sternschanze. In 2006 the population was 243,972.
In 2006 Bergedorf was the largest of the seven boroughs and a quarter within this borough. As of 2006 the population was 118,942. The borough Bergedorf consists of the quarters Allermöhe, Altengamme, Bergedorf, Billwerder, Curslack, Kirchwerder, Lohbrügge, Moorfleet, Neuengamme, Ochsenwerder, Reitbrook, Spadenland and Tatenberg.
In 2006 the population of Eimsbüttel was 246,087. The borough Eimsbüttel is split into nine quarters: Eidelstedt, Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude, Hoheluft-West, Lokstedt, Niendorf, Rotherbaum, Schnelsen and Stellingen. Located within this borough is former Jewish neighbourhood Grindel.
Hamburg-Mitte (Rough translation: Hamburg center) covers mostly the urban center of the city of Hamburg. In 2006 the population was 233,144. It consits of the quarters Billbrook, Billstedt, Borgfelde, Finkenwerder, HafenCity, Hamm-Nord, Hamm-Mitte, Hamm-Süd, Hammerbrook, Horn, Kleiner Grasbrook, Neuwerk, Rothenburgsort, St. Georg, St. Pauli, Steinwerder, Veddel, Waltershof and Wilhelmsburg. The quarters Hamburg-Alstadt (Rough translation: Hamburg old city) and Neustadt (Rough translation: new city) are the historical origin of Hamburg.
In 2006, the population of Hamburg-Nord (Rough translation: Hamburg north) was 280,229 in an area of . Hamburg-Nord consists of the quarters Alsterdorf, Barmbek-Nord, Barmbek-Süd, Dulsberg, Eppendorf, Fuhlsbüttel, Groß Borstel, Hoheluft-Ost, Hohenfelde, Langenhorn, Ohlsdorf, Uhlenhorst and Winterhude.
Harburg is a borough of the city and a quarter in this borough. The borough Harburg lies on the southern shores of the river Elbe and covers parts of the port of Hamburg, residential and rural areas and some research institutes. In 2006 the population of the borough was 201,119, including the quarter with 21,193. In the borough Harburg are the quarters Altenwerder, Cranz, Eißendorf, Francop, Gut Moor, Harburg, Hausbruch, Heimfeld, Langenbek, Marmstorf, Moorburg, Neuenfelde, Neugraben-Fischbek, Neuland, Rönneburg, Sinstorf and Wilstorf.
In 2006, Wandsbek was the second-largest of seven boroughs that make up the city of Hamburg. The quarter Wandsbek, which was the former independent city, is urban and, with the quarters Eilbek and Marienthal, part of the city's economic and cultural core. Like the other boroughs of Hamburg, Wandsbek is divided into quarters. They are Bergstedt, Bramfeld, Duvenstedt, Eilbek, Farmsen-Berne, Hummelsbüttel, Jenfeld, Lemsahl-Mellingstedt, Marienthal, Poppenbüttel, Rahlstedt, Sasel, Steilshoop, Tonndorf, Volksdorf, Wandsbek, Wellingsbüttel and Wohldorf-Ohlstedt. In 2006 the population was 409,771.
The state-owned Hamburger Schauspielhaus, the Thalia Theater, and the Kampnagel are well-known theatres in Germany and abroad. The Hamburg State Opera is one of the leading German opera houses. Its orchestra is the Philharmoniker Hamburg. Hamburg's other orchestra is the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra. The main concert venue is the Laeiszhalle Musikhalle Hamburg, pending the completion of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. The Laeiszhalle is the home of the Hamburger Symphoniker. Hamburg was one city to take part in the Complaints Choir project.
Since the German premiere of Cats in 1985 there are always a number of musicals being played in the city. Among them have been Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King or Dirty Dancing (before there was Dance of the Vampires). This density, which is the highest in Germany, is partly due to Germany's major musical production company Stage Entertainment being located in Hamburg. One of the musical theatres is a large tent in the harbour, guests either arrive by boat or through the historic Old Elbe Tunnel.
Hamburg and vicinity is a popular place of residence for famous contemporary classical composers. Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923–2006) also known for his music in films by Stanley Kubrick lived in Hamburg for 30 years and taught at the local music academy. He was succeeded at the academy by the Russian-German composer Alfred Schnittke (1934–1998) who died in Hamburg.
It is home to German hip hop acts, such as Fünf Sterne deluxe, Samy Deluxe, Beginner and Fettes Brot. There is also a quite big alternative and punk scene, which gathers around the Rote Flora, an squatted former theatre located in the quarter Sternschanze. Hamburg is also famous for an original kind of German alternative music called Hamburger Schule ("Hamburg School"), a term used for bands like Tocotronic, Blumfeld, and Tomte.
Hamburg was one of the major centres of the heavy metal music world in the 1980s. Many bands such as Helloween, Running Wild and Grave Digger started their careers in Hamburg. The influences of these bands and other bands from the area were critical to establishing the subgenre of Power metal.
Hamburg is also one of the most important global centres for psychedelic trance music. It is home to record labels such as Spirit Zone, Mushroom Magazine, the world's best known and longest running psy-trance magazine, as well as parties and club nights.
Tourists play a significant role in the city's economy. In 2007, Hamburg attracted more than 3,985,105 visitors (+3.7% to 2006) with 7,402,423 overnight accommodations (+3.1%). More than 700,000 people from abroad were visiting for an average duration of stay of 2.1 days. More than 175,000 full-time employees and a revenue of €9.3 billion make the tourism industry a major economic factor in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. Hamburg has one of the fastest-growing tourism industries in Germany. From 2001 to 2007, the overnight stays in the city grew about 55.2% (Berlin +52.7%, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania +33%).
A typical Hamburg visit includes a tour of the city hall and the grand church St. Michaelis (called the Michel), and visiting the old warehouse district (Speicherstadt) and the harbour promenade (Landungsbrücken). Sightseeing buses connect these points of interest. Of course, a visit in one of the world's largest harbours would be incomplete without having taken one of the harbour and/or canal boat tours (Große Hafenrundfahrt, Fleetfahrt) which start from the Landungsbrücken. Major destinations also include museums such as the Art Gallery and Gallery of Contemporary Arts. In 2008 the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg opened in the HafenCity quarter.
Many visitors take a walk in the evening around the area of Reeperbahn in the quarter St. Pauli, considered Europe's largest red light district and home of strip clubs, bars and nightclubs. The singer and actor Hans Albers is strongly associated with St. Pauli, providing in the 1940s the neighbourhood's unofficial anthem, "Auf der Reeperbahn Nachts um Halb Eins." The song explains in a polite way how a sailor enjoys his last day with a trollop before going aboard. It was in the Reeperbahn that The Beatles began their career with a 48-night residency at the Indra Club, and then another 58 nights at the Kaiserkeller, in 1960, the Top Ten Club (1961), and the Star-Club (1962). Others prefer the laidback neighbourhood Schanze with its street cafés or a barbecue on one of the beaches along the river Elbe. Hamburg's famous zoo, the Tierpark Hagenbeck, was founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenbeck as the first zoo with moated, barless enclosures.
People may visit Hamburg because of a specific interest, notably one of the musicals, a sports event, a congress or fair. In 2005 the average visitor spent two nights in Hamburg. The majority of visitors come from Germany (80%); most foreigners are European, especially from the United Kingdom and Switzerland, and the largest group from outside Europe comes from the United States.
Original Hamburg dishes are Bohnen, Birnen und Speck (Low Saxon Bohn, Peern un Speck, green runner beans cooked with pears and bacon), Aalsuppe (Low Saxon Oolsupp, often mistaken to be German for “eel soup“ (Aal/Ool translated ‘eel’), however the name probably comes from the Low Saxon allns [ʔaˑlns], meaning “all”, “everything and the kitchen sink”, not necessarily eel. Today eel is often included to meet the expectations of unsuspecting diners.), Bratkartoffeln (Low Saxon Brootkartüffeln, pan-fried potato slices), Finkenwerder Scholle (Low Saxon Finkwarder Scholl, pan-fried plaice), Pannfisch (pan-fried fish), Rote Grütze (Low Saxon Rode Grütt, related to Danish rødgrød, a type of summer pudding made mostly from berries and usually served with cream, like Danish rødgrød med fløde) and Labskaus (a mixture of corned beef, mashed potatoes and beetroot, a cousin of the Norwegian lapskaus and Liverpool's lobscouse, all offshoots off an old-time one-pot meal that used to be the main component of the common sailor's humdrum diet on the high seas).
Munich is the birthplace of Radler, which is called Alsterwasser in Hamburg (a reference to the city's river Alster with two lake-like bodies in the city centre thanks to damming), both a type of shandy, a concoction of equal parts of beer and carbonated lemonade (Zitronenlimonade), the lemonade being added to the beer. Hamburg is also home to a curious regional dessert pastry called Franzbrötchen. Looking rather like a flattened croissant, the Franzbrötchen is somewhat similar in preparation but includes a cinnamon and sugar filling, often with raisins or brown sugar streusel. The name may also reflect to the roll's croissant-like appearance -- franz appears to be a shortening of französisch, meaning "French", which would make a Franzbrötchen a “French roll.” Being a Hamburg regional food, the Franzbrötchen becomes quite scarce outside the borders of the city; as near as Lunenburg (Lüneburg) it can only be found as a Hamburger and is not to be had in Bremen at all.
Ordinary bread rolls tend to be oval-shaped and of the French bread variety. The local name is Rundstück (“round piece” rather than mainstream German Brötchen, diminutive form of Brot “bread”), a relative of Denmark's rundstykke. In fact, while by no means identical, the cuisines of Hamburg and Denmark, especially of Copenhagen have a lot in common. This also includes a predilection for open-faced sandwiches of all sorts, especially topped with cold-smoked or pickled fish. The American hamburger seems to have developed from Hamburg's Frikadelle (or Frikandelle): a pan-fried patty (usually larger and thicker than the American counterpart) made from a mixture of ground beef, soaked stale bread, egg, chopped onion, salt and pepper, usually served with potatoes and vegetables like any other piece of meat, not usually on a bun. Many Hamburgers consider their Frikadelle and the American hamburger different, virtually unrelated. The Oxford Dictionary defined a Hamburger steak in 1802: a sometimes-smoked and -salted piece of meat, that, according to some sources, came from Hamburg to America.
Hamburg is considered Germany's capital of sport since no other city is home to more first league teams and international sports events.
Hamburger SV, one of the most successful teams in Germany, is a football team in the Bundesliga. HSV is a six-time German champion, a three-time German cup winner and triumphed in the European cup in 1977 and 1983, and has played in the group stages of the Champions League twice: in 2000/2001 and in 2006/2007. They play at the HSH Nordbank Arena (average attendance in the 06/07 season was 56 100). In addition, FC St. Pauli is a second division football club. They play at the Millerntor-Stadion.
The Hamburg Freezers represent Hamburg in the DEL, the highest ice hockey league in Germany. The HSV Handball represents Hamburg in the German handball league. In 2007, HSV Handball won the European Cupwinners Cup. Both teams play in the ultra-modern Color Line Arena.
Hamburg is the nation's field hockey capital and dominates the men's as well as the women's Bundesliga. There are also several minority sports clubs; Hamburg has four cricket clubs and also the lacrosse team Hamburg Warriors at the Harvestehuder Tennis- und Hockey-Club e.V. (HTHC). Hamburg is also home to the Hamburg Dockers, an Australian rules football club. The FC St.Pauli dominates women's Rugby in Germany. Other first league teams include NA Hamburg (Volleyball), Hamburger Polo Club, Blue Devils (American Football).
The Centre Court of the Tennis Am Rothenbaum venue with a capacity of 13,200 people is the largest in Germany. In 2008 the German Tennis Federation and the ATP were divided about the status of the Hamburg Masters tournament as event of the ATP Masters Series.
Hamburg also hosts equestrian events at Reitstadion Klein Flottbek (Deutsches Derby in jumping and dressage) and Horner Rennbahn (Deutsches Derby flat racing). The Hamburg Marathon is the biggest marathon in Germany after Berlin. In 2008 23,230 participants were registered. Worldcups in cycling, the UCI ProTour competition Vattenfall Cyclassics, and the triathlon ITU worldcup Hamburg City Man are also held in Hamburg.
In addition, immigration brought dialects from all over the German-speaking world used to Hamburg, also a large number of foreign language communities. Hamburg has a sizeable population of Sinti and Roma (“Gypsy”) people, some of them sedentary (mostly Sinti) and some of them nomadic or semi-nomadic (mostly Roma), camp grounds being set aside by the state and municipal governments. Hamburg is thus one of the few locations in the world in which both Sinti and Romany are spoken, and it is also one of the major headquarters of international Roma organisations.
The city of Hamburg is one of 16 German states, therefore the First Mayor of Hamburg's office corresponds more to the role of a minister-president than to the one of a city mayor. In Hamburg, the government as a German state government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions and public safety, but also as a municipality for libraries, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply and welfare services.
Since 1897 seat of the government is the Hamburg Rathaus with the office for the First Mayor, the meeting room for the senate and the floor for the Hamburg Parliament. As of 2008 the First Mayor of Hamburg was Ole von Beust, who governed in Germany's first state-wide "black-green" coalition, consisting of the conservative CDU and the alternative Green Party.
The most significant economic unit for Hamburg is the Port of Hamburg, which ranks 2nd only to Rotterdam in Europe and 9th worldwide with transshipments of of cargo and 134 million tons of goods in 2007. After German reunification, Hamburg recovered the eastern portion of its hinterland, becoming by far the fastest-growing port in Europe. International trade is also the reason for the large number of consulates in the city. Although situated up the Elbe, it is considered a sea port due to its ability to handle large ocean-going vessels.
Hamburg, along with Seattle and Toulouse, is an important location of the civil aerospace industry. Airbus, which has an assembly plant in Hamburg, employs over 13,000 people in the Finkenwerder quarter.
Heavy industry includes the making of steel, aluminium, copper and a number of shipyards such as Blohm + Voss.Media Other important industries are media businesses with over 70,000 employees. The section Norddeutscher Rundfunk of the television and radio network ARD with its television programme NDR Fernsehen is based in Hamburg. Most of the commercial German television networks have offices for their local programmes. There are some regional radio station such as Radio Hamburg. Some of Germany's largest publishing companies, Axel Springer AG, Gruner + Jahr, Heinrich Bauer Verlag are located in the city. Many national newspapers and magazines such as Der Spiegel and Die Zeit are produced in Hamburg, as well as some special-interest newspapers such as Financial Times Deutschland. The Hamburger Abendblatt is a daily regional newspaper with having a large circulation. There is also a number of music companies (the largest being Warner Bros. Records Germany) and Internet businesses (e.g., AOL, Adobe Systems and Google Germany, and also Web 2.0 companies like Qype).
Hamburg was one of the locations for the film Tomorrow Never Dies of the James Bond series. Filming the the final leap of the car chase, and the exterior of Bond's hotel, the Atlantic Hotel Kempinski at the Binnenalster. The Reeperbahn street was location for many sets, among other the 1994 Beatles film Backbeat.
On December 31, 2006 there were 1,754,182 registered people living in Hamburg (up from 1,652,363 in 1990) in an area of . The population density was . The metropolitan area of the Hamburg region (Hamburg Metropolitan Region) is home to about 4.3 million in an area of .
There were 856,132 males and 898,050 females in Hamburg. For every 1,000 males there were 1,049 females. In 2006 there were 16,089 births in Hamburg, of which 33.1% were given by unmarried women, 6,921 marriages and 4,583 divorces. In the city, the population was spread out with 15.7% under the age of 18, and 18.8% were 65 years of age or older. 257,060 resident aliens were living in Hamburg (14.8% of the population). The largest group are Turkic people with 58,154 (22.6% of the resident aliens), followed by 20,743 Poles. 4,046 people were from the United Kingdom and 4,369 were from the United States.
In 1999, there were 910,304 households, out of which 18.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, and 47.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 1.9.
Bridges and tunnels are connecting the northern and southern parts of the city, such as the old Elbe Tunnel (Alter Elbtunnel) now a major tourist sight, and the Elbe Tunnel (Elbtunnel) the crossing of a motorway.
Hamburg Airport is the oldest airport in Germany still in operation. There is also the smaller Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport, used only as a company airport for Airbus. Some airlines market Lübeck Airport in Lübeck as serving Hamburg.
Hamburg's licence plate prefix is HH (Hansestadt Hamburg, English: Hanseatic city of Hamburg), rather than just the single-letter normally used for large cities such as B for Berlin or M for Munich. The prefix "H" is used in Hanover instead.
Electricity for Hamburg and Northern Germany is provided by Vattenfall Europe, former state-owned Hamburgische Electricitäts-Werke. Vattenfall Europe owns nuclear power plants near Hamburg, Brokdorf Nuclear Power Plant, Brunsbüttel Nuclear Power Plant and Krümmel Nuclear Power Plant. All scheduled to be taken out of service. The Stade Nuclear Power Plant was the first nuclear plant shut down after Germany's nuclear phase out legislation and as of 2008 undergoing the decommissioning process. There are also the coal-fired Wedel Power Station and Moorburg Power Station and the fuel cell power plant in the HafenCity quarter. VERA Klärschlammverbrennung uses the biosolids of the Hamburg wastewater treatment plant, the Pumpspeicherwerk Geesthacht is a pump storage power plant and a biomass power station is Müllverwertung Borsigstraße.
17 universities are located in Hamburg. There are about 70,000 university students, including 9,000 resident aliens. Six universities are public, like the largest, the University of Hamburg with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, the University of Music and Theatre, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and the Hamburg University of Technology. Seven universities are private, like the Bucerius Law School. The city has also smaller private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions, such as the Helmut Schmidt University (Former: University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg).