Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hamburg - Rathausmarkt (The Square), Lake Alster & Shopping District

Date: 13th October 2015

I made a decision for a quick stop (1 night) in Hamburg after I saw below photo from the internet while planning for the 4th leg. What I have in mind was to go for boating in the evening to view the whole Hamburg City from a magnificent Lake Alster. However, things did not go according to the plan. Instead, we took early morning stroll by to reach Lake Alster right before our train from Hamburg to Copenhagen was scheduled to depart. It was rather a hurried task but at least, I witnessed with my own 2 eyes of the famous Lake Alster in Hamburg city.

Photo downloaded from website
Hamburg is a beauty of the north and an ever-growing tourism metropolis in Germany. On a comparative basis, the growth in overnight stays in Hamburg is more dynamic and more continuous than in any other European metropolis. In 2013, Hamburg’s tourism trade achieved a record high of 11 million overnight stays. These results place Hamburg in the top 10 European city destinations, before Amsterdam and Stockholm. In future years, Hamburg also aims to replace Munich as the second most important tourist destination in Germany.

Building that you can see at the Rathausmark

When in Hamburg, it is a must do activity to at least visited the city's Rathausmark, i.e. the central nearly rectangular square shape in front of the City Hall. That's what we did since we only have a very short afternoon in the city. As soon as we have done with the late lunch, we headed out to explore the city by foot. We crossed inside Hamburg Hauptbahnhof to the other side where the shopping street is located. Anne stopped to buy coffee whilst I spotted WMF Outlet  and St Peters cathedral seated across the street from where I stand out to wait for her and thereafter figured it out which places to visit first.

Starbucks Coffee cafe occupied a grandeur ancient building in between Shopping district to Rathausmark

The precinct is located in people's meeting place where large events usually takes place. It is where the Town Hall market in the old town forms a center of Hamburg city center from the start. The southwestern side is occupied almost entirely by the Rathaus @ City Hall building itself. It is here that the former Reichsbank building with the Bucerius Kunst Forum and the old wall is originally located. The lock bridge to the underlying Rathaus lock for Alsterfleet, continues into the New Town to the Old Post Office.

Rows of shoplifts at the Shopping district, adjacent to the Hamburg Central Station

The northwestern side is occupied  with commercial buildings, accessible vide an opening out roads Reesendamm, Hermannstrabe and the shopping street Monckebergstrabe which converge on the town hall. The square used to be a meeting place of the night buses but it has been shifted elsewhere leaving the area to be a major commercial and famous tourist area. The Rathausmarkt was greatly affected by Great Fire in year 1842 similarly to its surrounding building including the Old Town hall at the Trostbrucke and the houses in the area of today's square, except for the new Hamburg Stock Exchange. What we saw today is what has been reconstructed and redevelop under close supervision of the municipal city hall.

Shopping mall adjacent to the Rathausmark

The historian has recorded that shortly before the city fire, i.e. during the medieval period the square was where the densely built-up area of the monastery and church of St. John. The St. John's Church, since the Hamburg Frenchman time was located on the southern end of the square. Their choir room was by a forward to the nave gable extending eastward limits (formerly street behind the broad pediment). At the church north then, there was the running around the burial ground covered walkway, and other monasteries and farm buildings, which reached up to the present location and the middle Hermann and Monkebergstrasse. These were the last after Johanneums was demolished.

Toward the end of the Rathausmark, we came across with the above street after we have done with an hour visit inside the Town Hall before it close for a day. The pavements were still wet from the downpour earlier on but we, the 2 stranger foreign lady felt safe to walk in the city where people hardly speaks English. We can't help it but take a moment to appreciate a beautiful arts (ceiling and display paintings) at below shop nearby. It was so so beautiful and soothing to my eye, hence, 2 photos to share with you guys so that you would agree with my opinion.

The next morning, after we have done with packing our luggage neatly, without wasting time, we straightaway headed out towards the Lake Alster following the same route that we've been a night before. It was rather a very cold morning but our brisk walks has helped to warm our body. We've managed to see very little part of the beautiful lake (see below photo) but suffice to record our visit by just admiring a beautiful view. For information, Lake Alster is one of the famous attraction in Hamburg for water spots recreation. You may just found out from more images from Google to see the overview of Lake Alster's attraction.

On the way back to the hotel, I snapped below 3 photos of Hamburg Hauptbahnhof using Anne's camera. I snapped them with so much contentment reflecting my passionate interest in train traveling. Hamburg central train station is indeed being a lively place with trains coming and going from many directions. It was a meaningful photos to conclude what reaching and leaving a city via trains so important to me. Till then, or rather before moving on with Copenhagen travelogue, I have wasted so much time to end the last entry in Hamburg. Thank you beautiful city!

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