The City of Hamburg in Germany – formally known as Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg) – is a major shipping cluster and port city extraordinaire.
The city was established by the Emperor Charlemagne as a castle which he ordered constructed in 808 AD for the defenses of the northern borders of the empire. That original castle was also crucial for providing strategic access through the Elbe River to the North Sea on the west and the Baltic Sea on the north-east. Nowadays the city itself is at the confluence of the rivers Alster and Bille; several buildings have their foundations on pylons and the city claims 2,300 bridges, more than any city in the world. Having a tradition of free spiritedness and self governance as independent city-state from its days as a free imperial city under the Holy Roman Empire (reporting to the Emperor rather than to a local prince) and access to the sea, Hamburg is a unique city in open mildness and culture.
The Port of Hamburg is about 110 kilometers from the mouth of River Elbe in the North Sea; based on latest statistics, it’s the third biggest port in Europe and the fifteenth worldwide in throughput with approximately 130 million tons of cargo moved in 2011. Several hundred shipowners are based in Hamburg, the most notables in the recent days the so-called KG owners (Kommanditgesellschaft (abbreviated “KG”) for a limited partnership business entity.) Several of the world’s biggest shipping banks and vessel managers and also complimentary industries are based in Hamburg.
During a recent trip to Hamburg we managed to find the time for some sightseeing and picture taking:
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