Monday, April 23, 2012

A Visit to Hamburg - First Impressions

The first thing I saw on my way to our hotel where I was supposed to meet up with C was the Michaelis Bridge which I had to cross on the way from the subway station  to the hotel in Neustadt.

Michaelis Bridge is famous for its love padlocks. Whether this custom originated in Italy or Serbia is not quite known; in any case there is a growing number of love locks with the name of the sweethearts on them. Today you can buy a lock at a locksmith who will engrave the names, dates, hearts etc. onto the lock, the lock is then affixed to the bridge and the key thrown into the river as a symbol for everlasting love.  

Otherwise the people of Hamburg, residents and tourists alike, enjoy sitting near the river-side for a cup of coffee or a nice meal.

Since I had some time left till C would arrive, I went to see the city hall which was rebuilt in the 19th century after the last one was destroyed by a fire. Dominant is the 112 m high tower:

Along the Renaissance-like façade 20 German kings and emperors, from Charlemagne to Franz II, are standing in niches. This is supposed to be Frederick I Barbarossa:

Justice is sitting on the side where the Senate of Hamburg is located. Obviously she is a bit biased, since she is not blindfolded which ought to symbolise the lack of prejudice demanded by justice (I'm not quite serious here, Justitia or Justice were depicted very differently through times, and I actually don't know the reason why they decided to depict her seeing).

In the market square in front of the city hall is a nice bronze model of the inner city:

When I caught up with C we decided to visit at least the most famous church in Hamburg: the Protestant church of St. Michaelis, affectionately called 'Michel' in German.

Although I didn't like the overall topic of this church, I thought a bit of ancestor worship can't hurt:

 It is at least a bit atmospheric:

The church was obsessed with depictions of the archangel Michel defeating God's adversary (which is not overly surprising since the church is devoted to St. Michael). You can see this scene on an offertory box, ...

at the main door, ...

and outside the church:

And the poor devil never even got a proper trial. To brighten up things I'll show you one of C's brilliant night photos, even though I haven't been at the harbour at night time:

Next time we have a vegan breakfast, getting political and explore the harbour.


  1. I love Hamburg but have only been once many years ago. Your photos bring it all back and you have captured the essence of the place well. Thank you for sharing. x

    1. Thanks Minerva! It was the first time for me in Hamburg, just wish it had been less cold (or I had packed more warm clothes *haha* stupid me).