Hamburg's parliament, senate and mayor all have their seats in the City Hall on Rathausmarkt. Convenient as that may seem, it took quite some time for this distinctive building to become the Hamburg icon it is today. After several relocations, fires and other turmoil, the current City Hall is the sixth edition in Hamburg's history.
Construction started in 1886 when 4,000 wooden poles were drilled into the muddy shores of the Alster Lake in order support the weight of the building, which would measure 133 metres wide, 70 metres deep and 112 metres tall. Special care was given to construct a passageway connecting the new building to both the Chamber of Commerce and the Hamburg Stock Exchange. The courtyard between these buildings resembles an Italian piazza and houses the Hygieia-fountain, named after the Greek goddess of health and built in remembrance of the cholera epidemic that swept through the city in 1892. After 11 years of labour, the City Hall with its 647 rooms was opened in 1897.
Luckily, you don't have to be a German politician to get a peek inside this eclectic, neo-renaissance building. Hamburg's City Hall is open to the public, and visitors may join a guided tour or visit exhibitions housed inside.
The 'Michel' is Hamburg's largest church and one of the city's must-see sights. Its bell tower offers a stunning view over the city.
The spot where St. Michael's Church now stands has seen its share of trouble. A lightning strike and then a catastrophic fire centuries later destroyed the first and second churches that were built on this site. But the city's Protestants persevered, and in 1912 the construction of the church that we see today was finished. Although heavily damaged during WWII, it has been fully repaired, and today you'll find a baroque gem that is regularly listed among Northern Germany's most beautiful churches and important landmarks.
Between the inner-city and the piers of Landungsbrücken, the distinctive copper roof and the 132-metre-tall tower supporting Germany's largest clock bell are visible from afar. At 106 metres, the observation deck offers a fantastic panorama view of the city and harbour.
With around 1.5 million square metres, Stadtpark (lit. city park) in Winterhude is the third largest park in Hamburg. For the centennial anniversary in 2014, around 1.6 million euros were invested in flower beds, paths, playgrounds and the renovation of the Planetarium.
Especially in summer, life is easy around the luscious green meadows. Hundreds of locals and visitors alike come to Winterhude, where the park serves them as a popular meeting point and recreational site. However, the park is not only the right place for meeting people and sunbathing. In summer, music enthusiasts will also get their money’s worth. Thousands head to the open-air stage to experience performances in a unique setting. Art lovers will find more than 20 different sculptures and installations.
The landmark of the City of the 7 Spires! Beside the Brandenburg Gate, Cologne Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady in Munich, the Holsten Gate is the most famous German building in the world.
The Holsten Gate became the proud symbol of Lübeck as a free imperial city. But it's not just the exterior that's a popular subject for photos. The "Holsten Gate Museum" is housed within the famous monument displaying the history of the Hanseatic League, trade, power and wealth. Ultimately, this is what formed the basis of the Lübeck merchants' success, which, in turn, influenced the importance of the medieval city. Visitors can discover the exhibition «The Power of Trade» together with historic ship models, suits of armour, weapons, legal instruments and articles of merchandise inside the building.
Visit the third-largest church in Germany in the City of the 7 Spires and discover what the devil, a mouse and St. Mary's church have in common in Lübeck's Old Town.
St. Mary's is the church of the Council of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck. The brick basilica serves as a model for the Gothic brick style of churches in the Baltic region. For the first time, the Gothic cathedral style of France was adapted to the local brick.
Numerous works of arts are to be found in St. Mary's interior: The Cross of Triumph by Gerhard Marcks in the high choir above the Swarte Altar from 1495 is as much at home here as the largest mechanical organ in the world. The well-known church musician and composer Dietrich Buxtehude was St. Mary's organist and workmaster from 1667 to 1707.
The commemorative chapel in the south tower with its church bells possesses a unique expressive power. The bells plunged to the stone floor during the 1942 air raids. The Gothic brick basilica has a medieval painting, the largest peel of bells in Schleswig-Holstein and a carillon with 36 bells from St. Catherine's Church in Danzig.
In the Buddenbrookhaus there is more to see than a still fascinating family or an unprecedented literary oeuvre. Even though Lübeck had a hard time with the poetry dynasty. In the 1920s, for example, the house sold by the Mann family in 1891 was initially a "Buddenbrook bookstore" and in the era of National Socialism the name of the novel had to give way.
Take a visit to the Museum Harbour in Lübeck's Old Town and discover the Lisa of Lübeck and other historical traditional sailings vessels, it is also possible to sail with them, too.
Centuries are tied up here.
Behind the 100-year-old swing bridge, lies the home port with more than 20 seaworthy, traditional sailing ships. The old sailing ships were acquired and restored by lovers of traditional seafaring and are now berthed at the Untertrave against the picturesque backdrop of Lübeck's Old Town.
The historical ships come to life when out on the Baltic Sea - why not take a trip!
Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of merchants during the Middle Ages and experience the rise and fall of the erstwhile trading power. European history is brought to life in the Hansemuseum which provides the perfect setting for the phenomenon of the Hanseatic League.
Nobody can deny that the Hanseatic League played a key role in German and European history and is still present in many people's minds today. Half a millennium passed from its rise as a trading power until its fall.
The European Hansemuseum provides answers to many questions, such as how the Hanseatic League was able to survive over such a long period. Submerge yourself in the world and life during the era of the Hanseatic League and be a witness to oaths, diplomatic negotiations, piracy, trade boycotts, wars and the suffering during the great plague epidemic.
Animal park visitors can not only drive environmentally friendly with SWN buses ( line 16 from the central bus station directly to the zoo) but also save money by purchasing a combined ticket when entering Tierpark Neumünster.
D as 521 hectares of moorland is the largest contiguous raised mire rest of Schleswig-Holstein hills. Together with the neighboring Einfelder See, the canned moor, as nine square kilometers of Lake Dosensee, was formed by the last ice age in a hollow between Sander and Jungmoräne and later turned from a flat moor to a raised bog.
The Einfelder See is located in the north of Neumünster between the district Einfeld and the village Mühbrook. It was formed during the Vistula Ice Age as a subglacial outflow valley. Since there are no noteworthy tributaries to the lake, it is fed by the groundwater, as well as by the precipitation.
Visitors of Arche Warder will not find lions or elephants, but rare breeds like the White Parc cattle and saddleback pigs, many of them are as rare as the Siberian tiger! Diving Turopolje pigs, the Poitou- giant donkey are some examples of the nearly 86 different breeds of livestock in Europe’s largest center for rare and endangered domestic animals.
The Landscape Museum Fishing - Unewatt is the Folklore Museum in Schleswig-Holstein, in which past and present can be experienced simultaneously. In the beautifully situated village Unewatt this museum takes place.
The Kreiskantorat Bremerhaven is one of the great cultural institutions of our city with a significant national broadcast. The three representative groups of the church district, which "Evangelical Stadtkantorei Bremerhaven", the "Bremerhaven Chamber Choir" and "Bremerhaven Chamber Orchestra", offer - often supported by renowned guest orchestra and vocal soloists from all over Germany - in the Christ Church concerts on a high professional level Chamber performances and thematically linked series of concerts.
The Bremerhaven Initiative for Culture (BIK) presents North German artists in the rooms of the Gallery 149.
Annually the association presents seven to eight exhibitions with a wide range of works of art in the areas of photography, painting, graphics and sculpture.
The Seaside City is opening up a new chapter in its history. The “Havenwelten Bremerhaven” (Harbor Worlds Bremerhaven) are being built in the city at the River Weser dyke. At present it is still the largest municipal construction project on the North Sea coast, but it will soon be a maritime tourism resort with unique attractions: Climate House® Bremerhaven 8° East, Atlantic Hotel Sail City with the look-out-platform, Mediterraneo, Lloyd Marina and living at the dyke.
Paintings, sculptures, prints and media art from the past 600 years – Bremen's Kunsthalle is home to many styles of art.The Kunsthalle art gallery re-opened in summer 2011 after two years of renovation and the addition of two new wings.
Bremen´s 'drawing room' is the Marktplatz, and its greatest attraction is the Town Hall. Guided tours of the historic building provide an insight into its fascinating 600-year history. The tour includes the impressive Upper Town Hall and a look into the splendid Golden Chamber. Since 2004, the Town Hall and the Roland have been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
This Gothic church was built by Franciscan monks in around 1350 in what is known today as the Schnoor quarter. As a sign of the poverty and modesty of the order it has, in place of the usual tower, a ridge turret with small bells.
Celle is one of the most important residence cities in the state of Lower Saxony. For almost three centuries it was the permanent residence of the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg and therefore the seat of government in the most significant Guelphs principality.
One of the most important examples of Renaissance art in northern Germany.
The chapel was founded in the 15th century, and soon after the Reformation – some time between 1565 and 1576 – it was entirely refurbished by Duke William the Younger.
Once, Berggarten was a mulberry tree plantation for the Elector's silkworm farms. Today it is a treasure house of botanic diversity.
Here, taking a close look at details pays rich rewards, whether enjoying the beauties of nature or following the botanist’s researches into the intricacies of the plant world. Over the centuries, plants from the four corners of the earth have found their way to Berggarten and some of them, like the African Violet or the Flamingo Flower (Anthurium), were the first of their kind to be seen in Europe. Berggarten is well worth a visit at any season, and over the years its appearance is constantly changing and astonishing visitors with new worlds of colour and atmosphere.
Tropical underwater worlds – unique in Hannover: Take a trip beneath the waves in the Tropical Sea Life Aquarium.
Fascinating underwater worlds: Sea Life in Hannover offers 3,500 square metres of habitats spanning the local Leine River to the Caribbean up to the Amazon. Whether it’s mussels, freshwater stingrays or piranhas, Germany’s first tropical Sea Life is home to over 3,500 underwater creatures in 37 pools.
The Ocean Pool’s eight-metre-long glass tunnel separates visitors by just a few centimetres from sharks and turtles. In the rain forest in the tropical plant dome, a breath-taking ramble takes you over the unique glass bridge – and Cuban crocodiles lurk in the water below.
The Great Garden is one of the most important baroque gardens in Europe, captivating tourists from all over the world. The main attraction here is the recently rebuilt Herrenhausen Palace, home to the new Herrenhausen Palace Museum. The Garden itself presents a dazzling array of romantic fountains, exotic plants and striking sculptures. Events such as the international fireworks competition and the Small Festival in the Great Garden regularly attract large numbers of visitors.
The Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen are Hannover's most famous attraction, a reflection of aristocratic savoir-vivre for more than 300 years. The centrepiece is the 17th-century Great Garden, one of the best-preserved baroque gardens in Europe. Be sure to visit Herrenhausen Palace there. Rebuilt to its original splendour and boasting cutting-edge, multimedia facilities, the palace now hosts more than 160 events every year as a scientific venue and innovation hotspot for the whole of Lower Saxony – very much in the tradition of a famous former resident: the universal scholar Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.
The Great Garden is a place to lose oneself in, to marvel at the magnificent Great Fountain, which is 82m high (the largest of its type in Europe) and the Grand Cascade, to be enchanted by artist Niki de Saint Phalle's magically decorated grotto. And during the annual international firework competition, to watch transfixed as world-class pyrotechnics transform the sky above into a dazzling sea of trailing sparks.
Visit Hanover Adventure Zoo! Rose-pink flamingos by the roaring waterfall, rare Rothschild giraffes towering above you, Barbary lions following every move of antelopes on white desert sand. Look closely at the eyes of lions, tigers and polar bears, and experience apes almost up close. In the adventure zoo you are in the realm of the animals! Large glass panes allow close-to-the-line contact, which touches despite separation. Enjoy visiting your favorite animal - personally, up close. Or you can say goodbye to pelicans, Bennett kangaroos, goats and sheep in their walk-in facilities. And get to know zoo animals better during the daily shows and feedings.
Small but nice and definitely worth a visit is the Shell Museum Hooksiel in the "Old Town Hall" of Hooksiel in the pedestrian zone in the Long Street. The collection of large and small shells and snails exhibited there is truly unique.
The Museum August Kestner is named after August Kestner (1777-1853), who collected a considerable number of Egyptian and Greco-Roman cabaret as well as other works of art during his time as Hanoverian ambassador in Rome.
The Museum August Kestner as the oldest municipal museum in the state capital of Hanover is enclosed by a listed glass-concrete façade (1961). Inside are still parts of the staircase and the side wings and almost the entire entrance facade of the original first museum building.
As the only building in Hanover and far away, the Museum August Kestner shows 6000 years of applied art in four collection areas: Ancient and Egyptian cultures, applied art from the Middle Ages to modern design and one of the largest collections of coins and medals in northern Germany. Several special exhibitions per year also inform about special topics and place objects of the collection areas in a special context.
Many visitors are quite astonished to hear that the magnificent building they are standing in front of is, actually, the "new" town hall. Its size and grand architectural style make it look more "historical", like a relict from more majestic times, when Hannover used to be a kingdom. The town hall itself was, however, ceremonially opened on 20 June 1913, after twelve years building time. "And it is all paid in cash, your Majesty", as the then Mayor of Hannover, Heinrich Tramm , proudly announced to the emperor Wilhelm II, present at the opening ceremony. The proud figure of ten million Mark was the amount the municipality was willing to pay for its new splendid building, erected upon 6026 beech-tree piles. It was designed by the architects Eggert and Halmhuber.
The top of the dome of the New Town Hall reaches 97,73 m (320 ft.). The diagonal lift in the town hall's dome is unique in the world. At a 17-degree angle it covers the 43 metres up to the gallery at the top of the dome. From this vantage point one can enjoy a marvellous view of the whole city, even as far as the Harz Mountains when visibility is good.
The Sprengel Museum Hannover, which focuses on German Expressionism and French Modernist painting, is one of the most important museums of 20th and 21st-century art. It was founded after the collection of Dr. Bernhard und Margrit Sprengel was donated to the City of Hanover in 1969. The new building was opened in 1979. Works by Max Ernst, Paul Klee, Emil Nolde, Pablo Picasso and Kurt Schwitters, as well as by groups of artists such as Die Brücke and the Blauer Reiter set the scene. Art after 1945 is represented in an impressive fashion by works by artists ranging from Gerhard Richter to Bruce Nauman. A special attraction are the rooms designed by artists, including the reconstruction of Kurt Schwitters’ legendary ‘Merzbau’, El Lissitzky’s ‘Abstract Cabinet’ and James Turrell’s light spaces. Particular emphasis in the collection is placed on photography. The Sprengel Museum Hannover unites the collections of modern art in what was formerly known as the Städtische Galerie and the Landesgalerie.
Maschsee is a maritime paradise right in the city centre! 190 acres of recreational area! Relaxation, walks, restaurants, jogging, parties – the Maschsee Lake means going on holiday right next door. Many people enjoy pursuing a variety of water sports here on sunny days. The favourite meeting place is by the Torchbearer on the North Shore.
The Maschsee Lake offers the people of Hannover a recreational area in the heart of the city, both on the water and all around it: for yachting, canoeing and pedal-boating, for joggers, skaters and strollers. On the banks of the lake you will find the celebrated Sprengel Museum Hannover.
Right opposite, you can stroll through the idyllic Maschpark to reach the magnificent New Town Hall. Travelling up to the 97-metre high Town Hall dome in the unique curving lift is an experience in itself: from the top, you can see as far as the Deister Hills. And every visitor who is not already convinced of the fact can clearly see from here that Hannover is Germany’s greenest city!
The Museumsberg Flensburg with its two houses is one of the largest museums in Schleswig-Holstein. Since its founding in 1876, the Museum of Art and Cultural History of the former Duchy of Schleswig, whose northern half since 1920 belongs to Denmark.
Flensburg is a historic seaport and trading post. The Flensburg maritime museum explains the maritime history of the city with all of its stories about the port and merchant courtyards, the ships and shipowners, and the machinists and captains as well as their typical day on board. These are stories from far-off lands as well as from the coast of the homeland. Stories from the Danish West Indies about sugar, rum and slavery. Stories from the firth about butter transporters and women who spoke the Petuh dialect. Stories from the shipyard about engineers, riveters and welders.
The museum offers a rich experience for all of the senses. It features interactive, hands-on stations that require you to participate, watch, listen and marvel, making a visit to the museum a journey of discovery for sailors of all ages. Special exhibits, promotional days, holiday programmes, tours of the museum and the city, knot-tying courses, rum tastings, concerts, readings and presentations create a rich variety. Feel free to browse the museum gift shop and pass time in the Café.