Speicherstadt and Hafencity – tradition meets innovation

Nowhere else in the city do the opposites of old and new meet in such a spectacular way: The old, red-brick buildings of Speicherstadt and the modern architecture of Hafencity.


The Speicherstadt

Hamburg’s Speicherstadt is the world’s biggest historical warehouse district. In 2015 it was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites, along with Chile House and the Kontorhaus district. Originally intended to store coffee, tea and spices, these neo-gothic depots stand on more than 3,5 million oak poles. Due to a huge increase in container traffic, the Speicherstadt has largely lost its initial function as intermediate storage. Today it holds, amongst other things, the Zollmuseum (Customs Museum) and the Spices Museum, as well as the world’s largest model railway.

At the end of the Holländische Brook, on a peninsula between two city canals, you can find one of the most popular key visuals of the Speicherstadt: The Wasserschloss (Water Castle). Over one hundred years ago it served as accommodation for dockworkers. Today, tea office and gastronomy merge into a culinary experience.

The Hafencity

On April 9th 2001, right next to Speicherstadt, a ground-breaking ceremony for the largest inner-city urban development process in Europe took place: The Hafencity of Hamburg. The centre of the new district is of course the Elbphilharmonie – the Hanseatic city’s newest landmark.

Even though “Elphi” is the main attraction, Hafencity has many more highlights to offer. Modern and futuristic-looking architecture in particular defines how the district appears, as well as a large range of big and small gastronomic gems.

For those who would like to relax after taking in all these new impressions, the Marco Polo terraces with their hilly lawns, between Baakenhafen and the Enricushafen, will entice you to linger. Completion of the Hafencity is estimated for 2025. At which point, more than 45,000 people will work here, 14,000 will live here and over 5000 students will be enrolled at Hafencity University.


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