Top Historic Sights in Hamburg, Germany

Explore the historic highlights of Hamburg

Hamburg Town Hall

Hamburg Town Hall was built from 1886 to 1897 and with its impressive architecture dominates the centre of the city. The magnificent sandstone building houses the city's senate and parliament. On the outside the architectural style is neo-renaissance, which is abandoned inside for several historical elements. It is one of the few completely preserved buildings of historicism in Hamburg. Built in a period of wealth and pr ...
Founded: 1886-1897 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

St. Michael's Church

St. Michael's Church is a landmark of Hamburg and considered to be one of the finest Hanseatic Protestant baroque churches. The church was purposely built Protestant unlike many other Hamburg churches which were originally built by Roman Catholics and were converted to Protestantism during the Reformation. It is dedicated to the Archangel Michael. A large bronze statue, standing above the portal of the church shows the ar ...
Founded: 1786 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

St. James' Church

St. James" Church is one of the five principal churches of Hamburg. The history of the church goes back to 1255 when St. James" was a small chapel located outside the Hamburg city walls. After these were extended in 1260, it became part of the Hamburg city territory. Between 1350 and 1400, the chapel was replaced by a hall church with three naves, similar to St. Peter"s. Around one hundred years later, a f ...
Founded: 1255 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

St. Nicholas' Church

The Gothic Revival Church of St. Nicholas was formerly one of the five Lutheran Hauptkirchen (main churches) in the city of Hamburg. The church lies now in ruins, with only its tower remaining, serving as a memorial and an important architectural landmark. The church was the tallest building in the world from 1874 to 1876 and is still the second-tallest structure in Hamburg. With the founding of the Nikolai settlement an ...
Founded: 1846-1863 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Internationales Maritimes Museum

The Internationales Maritimes Museum houses Peter Tamm"s collection of model ships, construction plans, uniforms, and maritime art, amounting to over 40,000 items and more than one million photographs. It opened in a former warehouse in 2008.
Founded: 2008 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church in Hamburg stands on the site of many former cathedrals. It was probably built originally in 1189 and first documented in 1195. In about 1310, the cathedral was rebuilt in a Gothic style and was completed in approximately 1418. The bronze lion-head door handles, the oldest work of art of Hamburg, date from the foundation of the tower in 1342. A second tower, built in 1516, towered above even the Hambur ...
Founded: 1189 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Kunsthalle Hamburg

The Hamburg Kunsthalle is one of the largest art museums in the Germany. The Kunsthalle has its origins in 1849. The collection grew quickly, and it soon became necessary to provide a building. The original red brick Kunsthalle was built from 1863 to 1869, designed by architects Georg Theodor Schirrmacher and Hermann von der Hude, and financed largely through private donations. The first director became the art historian ...
Founded: 1849 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Chilehaus

The Chilehaus is a ten-story office building in Hamburg. It is an exceptional example of the 1920s Brick Expressionism style of architecture. The Chilehaus was designed by the architect Fritz Höger and built between 1922 and 1924. It was commissioned by the shipping magnate Henry B. Sloman, who made his fortune trading saltpeter from Chile, hence the name Chile House. The cost of construction is difficult to determin ...
Founded: 1922-1924 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

St. Catherine's Church

St. Catherine's Church is one of the five principal Lutheran churches of Hamburg. The base of its spire, dating from the 13th century, is the second oldest building preserved in the city, after the lighthouse on Neuwerk island. It is situated on an island near what was formerly the southern boundary of the medieval city, opposite the historic harbour area on the Elbe river. It traditionally served as the church of the sea ...
Founded: 1256 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg Cathedral

St. Mary"s Cathedral stands in Danziger Straße and was built between 1890 and 1893 to the designs of Arnold Güldenpfennig. The church was erected in Romanesque revival style at the instigation of Bishop Bernhard Höting of Osnabrück, then simultaneously officiating as Vicar Apostolic of the Vicariate Apostolic of the Nordic Missions of Germany, then competent for Hamburg"s Catholics. It was t ...
Founded: 1890-1893 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Jenisch House

Jenisch House (Jenisch-Haus) is a country house in Hamburg built in the 19th century and an example of Hanseatic lifestyle and neoclassical architecture. As of 2008, Jenisch House is the home of the Museum für Kunst und Kultur an der Elbe. Jenisch House is located in Jenisch Park, Hamburg"s oldest landscaped park. The park was landscaped by Caspar Voght as a model farm and arboretum about 1800. It is located in ...
Founded: 1831 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Ohlsdorf Cemetery

Ohlsdorf Cemetery is the fourth-largest cemetery in the world. Most of the people buried at the cemetery are civilians, but there is also a large number of victims of war from various nations. It was established in 1877 as a non-denominational and multi-regional burial site outside of Hamburg. The cemetery has an area of 391 hectares (966 acres) with 12 chapels, over 1.5 million burials in more than 280,000 burial sites a ...
Founded: 1877 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Wellingsbüttel Manor

Wellingsbüttel Manor is baroque manor house in Hamburg, which once enjoyed imperial immediacy (Reichsfreiheit). Wellingsbüttel was documented for the first time in 1296. In the early 19th century it was the residence and place of death of Friedrich Karl Ludwig, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck, the penultimate duke, who was an ancestor of the present-day British royal family. Wellingsbüttel Manor was elevate ...
Founded: 1750 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Neuengamme Concentration Camp

The Neuengamme concentration camp was established in 1938 by the SS organisation. It was operated by the Nazis from 1938 to 1945. Over that period an estimated 106,000 prisoners were held at Neuegamme and at its subcamps. The camp served the needs of the German war machine and also carried out exterminations through labour. The inmates were spread over approximately 80 subcamps across northern Germany. At least 50,000 suc ...
Founded: 1938 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.