“In Hamburg, there are three major orchestras, an opera house, and one of the great concert-hall acoustics in Europe at the Laeiszhalle, in a town a fifth the size of London. And that's not unusual. In Germany, there are dozens of towns with two or three orchestras. The connection with music goes very, very deep.” - Jeffrey Tate
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Hamburg, officially Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg), is the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in the European Union. It is the second smallest German state by area. Its population is over 1.7 million people, and the wider Hamburg Metropolitan Region covers more than 5.1 million inhabitants. The city is situated on the river Elbe. The official long name reflects its history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, as a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, a city-state, and one of the 16 states of Germany. Before the 1871 Unification of Germany, it was a fully sovereign state. Prior to the constitutional changes in 1919, the civic republic was ruled by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten.
Though repeatedly destroyed by great fires, floods and military conflicts including WW2 bombing raids, the city managed to recover and emerge wealthier after each catastrophe. Hamburg is a transport hub, being the 2nd largest port in Europe by TEU's and the 3rd largest by cargo, and is an affluent city in Europe. It is a global service, media, logistics and industrial hub, with headquarters and facilities of Airbus, Blohm + Voss, Aurubis, Beiersdorf, Unilever and a range of innovative startups. The radio and television broadcaster NDR, Europe's largest printing and publishing firm Gruner + Jahr and the Spiegel company are pillars of the media industry in Hamburg.
Hamburg is an important financial centre for centuries, and is the seat of Germany's oldest stock exchange and the world's second oldest bank, Berenberg Bank. With the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the EU-LAC Foundation, the UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning, many consular and diplomatic missions and various international conferences like Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe and the 2017 G20 Hamburg summit, the city is also a factor in world politics and international law.
The city is a fast-expanding tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors. It ranked 16th in the world for liveability in 2015. The ensemble Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in July 2015. Hamburg is a major European science, research and education hub with several universities and institutes.
It is also a centre of creative industries and major cultural venues, including the renowned Elbphilharmonie and Laeisz concert halls, various art venues, music producers and artists. It is regarded as a haven for newcomer artists, gave birth to movements like Hamburger Schule and paved the way for many music bands including The Beatles. Hamburg is also known for several theatres (incl. The English Theatre) and especially its variety of musical shows, with world premieres like Rocky. St. Pauli's Reeperbahn is among the best-known European entertainment districts.
This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,