Time to explore some of the Altstadt quarter in Hamburg… Because Generator Hostel Hamburg is located in the city centre, it only takes a couple of minutes walk to visit some wonderful historical sites. Our walk today brings us first to the Binnenalster or Inner Alster Lake, an artificial lake created by the river Alster and Außenalster. It used to be the lake that was within the old city walls of Hamburg that’s why it’s called ‘inner alster’. In the middle you will see the Alster fountain. A beautiful spot to just sit down and enjoy the view for a while or get on a boat for one of the many tours to explore Hamburg from the water.
We decided to explore a bit more of the area on foot. Across the bridge we went and while we took a stroll through a lovely archway, the Alster Arcades, we spotted the Hamburg Rathaus.
There we stood at the Rathausmarkt and in front of us the immense Rathaus itself. It has 647 rooms, six rooms more than Buckingham Palace. The tower itself is 112 metres high, an amazing sight…. Completed in 1897 after the old city hall was destroyed in a great fire in 1842. Designed by a group of seven architects and it took almost 44 years to complete. On the outside it has a neo-renaissance style and there’s so many details on the building that you really don’t know where to start to look and admire…
Above the main balcony there’s a mosaic of Hamburg’s patron goddess Hammonia (which is the Latin word for Hamburg). She watches over Hamburg and wears a crown that looks like a city wall. Hammonia is said to represent the values of Hamburg: freedom, peace, tolerance, prosperity, harmony, welfare and free trade. Above the mosaic is the Latin motto of the city meaning: ‘May posterity strive to preserve the freedom won by our elders’.
The sandstone exterior is decorated with 20 bronze statues of German Emperors, as well as other sculptures and artworks. Every detail is worth to take a close look at and holds so much history. I wish we could have stayed a bit longer because there’s so much more to see in this area. But it was time to pack our bags and hop on the train. Next stop? Berlin 🙂