What A Beautiful Rathaus, I Mean The Town Hall in Hamburg

I love a beautiful Rathaus, don’t you? Full of splendour and design, inspirational architecture and a fabulous history. Such thoughts come to mind when visiting Hamburg. I must say the Hamburg Rathaus truly is fabulous.

The Hamburg Town Hall tower is 112 metres high and has 436 steps

The Hamburg Town Hall tower is 112 metres high and has 436 steps

 

The German harbour city is a real delight to visit. Such a beautiful central district with great shopping experiences, a delight of restaurants and beautiful buildings. It is true that I love my visits to this city. Sadly tourism can often only highlight the Reeperbahn as a main attraction.

Instead of focusing on all the attractions that Hamburg has to offer I believe that the Rathaus and Hamburg Rathausmarkt deserve a post all to themselves.

For any of you who might be a little confused and wondering why I’m talking about a house for rats, don’t worry I’m not. “Rathaus” is the German word for Town Hall or City Hall. So instead of being a house for rats, the Hamburg Town Hall plays host to politicians (okay rats v politicians I see what you are thinking).

Lion Statue outside the Hamburg Town Hall

Lion Statue outside the Hamburg Town Hall

The building is so striking in the heart of the city it is a must not (and to some extent cannot) miss attraction. It is so large that I struggled to find a good position to fit it all into one picture with my medium priced compact camera.

The Town Hall of Hamburg is so large I struggled to fit it all into one picture with my camera

The Town Hall of Hamburg is so large I struggled to fit it all into one picture with my camera

On the latest count the building has at least 647 rooms, more than Buckingham Palace. I say at least because the Town Hall of Hamburg could have more. The most recent room was discovered by chance in 1971.

Street sign for the Hamburg Rathausmarkt

Street sign for the Hamburg Rathausmarkt

The Rathaus Hamburg is not only striking but is beside the Hamburg Rathausmarkt, a large market square. I’ve seen this square used for wine festivals and an annual Christmas Market in Hamburg so it is well utilised.

The Hamburg Rathausmarkt or Town Hall Market Square

The Hamburg Rathausmarkt or Town Hall Market Square

The city hall is the sixth in Hamburg’s history. The current model was a replacement for a Hamburg Rathaus destroyed in a great fire of 1842. With lots of indecision on design and political wrangling the Town Hall was finally built between 1886-1897. I find it hard to believe that it is just over 100 years old when it has so many historical design features and gargoyles.

Arches on Town Hall Hamburg

Arches on Town Hall Hamburg

In fact the Hamburg Town Hall building was badly damaged during the Second World War since Hamburg was heavily bombed. Reconstruction completed in 1957 yet more restoration work was performed in the 1990s.

This chequered history leaves me more in awe of a beautiful Rathaus. Wandering around the Hamburg Market Square I kept looking up at this modern day reflection of the past decorated with 20 emperor statues.

Such detail means it is easy to understand why it cost 11m German marks to build the Rathaus Hamburg in the 1800s

Such detail means it is easy to understand why it cost 11m German marks to build the Rathaus Hamburg in the 1800s

There are Hamburg Town Hall Tours available and the building is open daily from 8am to 6 pm. However I was visiting for work so could only appreciate the place after hours.

I was able to circle the Rathaus and there are two entry ways to a central courtyard. In the middle of the Town Hall courtyard can be found a fountain of Hygieia (the Goddess of Health in Greek mythology). This fountain was created in remembrance of the cholera epidemic in 1892.

The Hygieia fountain at the Town Hall of Hamburg

The Hygieia fountain at the Town Hall of Hamburg

 

Both inside the courtyard and out on the Market Square (Rathausmarkt) the site of the Hamburg Town Hall sums up the beauty of the city of Hamburg. Every time I look at Hamburg Rathaus I do think “What a beautiful Rathaus”.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

Comments

    • says

      Hi Mariella,

      Yes the weather wasn’t great when I went and it was May! Either way it is a lovely city come rain or shine. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for reading.

  1. says

    Just an amazing building. I love the architecture. Terrific pictures you took. There is just something magical about how Europe keeps it’s historic buildings intact.

    • says

      Hi Phil, I’m glad you liked it. I love going to Hamburg and walking around the Town Hall and other buildings in the city.

      Like you say, Europe has some very impressive buildings, whether it be old churches or historic landmarks. It is so rich and diverse no matter where you go in Europe.

  2. says

    Great architecture. Never knew Hamburg had such beautiful buildings too.
    Also, love the large size photographs in your posts.

  3. says

    Nice post The Guy! I have also been here would you believe – it’s a great building. I also went up some ruined Cathedral that was bombed heavily in the war. It was back in 2007 while I was backpacking in Germany. I was based in Hannover and did Hamburg on a day trip on the trains. Loved it! Safe travels. Jonny

    • says

      Hi Jonny. Nice to see you again.

      It is great to hear that readers/bloggers have been to Hamburg too and love it as much as I do. I’ve never been to Hannover. What were the highlights there for you?

      Any plans to return to Germany soon?

      • says

        The Guy, Hannover was all about drinking by the river/lake at night with my German mates. It was amazing. The city itself is cool but not a great deal in the way of sightseeing once youve stroked off the churches, museums and football stadium. In the end I called it “Hangovers in Hannover” which sums the city up. Great place. No plans to do Germany again at the moment. Middle East and Africa next. Safe travels. Jonny

        • says

          Hangovers in Hannover, I love it! The Germans certainly make and like good beer.

          It sounds like you have some interesting trips planned. I look forward to reading about them on your great travel blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current day month ye@r *