Saturday, 16 May 2015


After 4 days in London, I flew to Hamburg, Germany.  My paternal family is from there, so I wanted to see where they came from, and also do a bit of research at the archive.  And yes.  I did score a few goodies in the archive.  Yay!

The Dearly Beloved joined me 2 days later, and we had a few days of sightseeing.  We stayed in a nice apartment in Wandsbek. We were on the first floor above the red car.

Until the Second Schleswig War in 1864, Wandsbek was a part of the Duchy of Holstein and under the rule of the King of Denmark.  It then became part of the Prussian province Schleswig-Holstein until 1937, when the city of Wandsbek joined the city of Hamburg.  It is about 6 or 7 km out of the Hamburg CBD.

The weather was much colder than in England, and I was very glad to have my woollies.  Although the sun shone sometimes, there were many clouds, and it was always cold.  This was from our window - sunshine overhead and darkest, blackest clouds just meters away.

Wandsbek has a weekly Farmers Market which operates 6 (??) days a week.  LOL. 
A wonderful array of plants, fruit and vegetables, and meat and and just look at that display of cheeses. I would love to shop like that on a regular basis.

There is a pretty little stream running through the town, a tributary of the Wandse River.

Hamburg is an old city.  A castle was built there in 808AD by the Emperor Charlemagne.  However a major fire in 1842 destroyed most of the city and the bombing of World War II finishing off what survived the fire, which means that there are few buildings of any age.

Our first stop was the Rathaus, or Town Hall if you don't speak German. 

The city is built on a bazillion canals, some of which have locks. 

We watched this boat come through one of the locks, close by the Rathaus

There are quite a few Lutheran pastors in my ancestry.  Most of which were pastors at the St Nikolai Church, originally built in 1135.  It was destroyed by the fire in 1842, and rebuilt with the spire completed in 1874.  This is a photo taken at the time of its completion.

Sadly, this (and the spire) is all that remains after the bombings of WWII.

The spire was bombed too, and is a ruin surrounded by scaffolding.  We went up it, but with the bad weather and the scaffolding, there was virtually nothing to see.
This is the other church which features largely in my ancestors' lives; St Petri (St Peters).  This church was also destroyed by the fire of 1842, and rebuilt 1844-49 on the same site.

These two imposing statues were on either side of the Trostbruecke Bridge over one of the canals.
St Angsar, Hamburg's archbishop (801 – 865AD) on the left and Adolf III of Holstein (1160 – 1225) on the right.
In the warehouse district the buildings are right on the canals.
I always wonder if buildings like this are damp.  And look at these interesting turrets and towers and carvings.

We were puzzled by these padlocks on the Wilhelminen Bruecke (Bridge) down in the warehouse district of Hamburg.  Having taken this photograph, I realised that many of the bridges in Hamburg were festooned with these padlocks. 

A search on the Net when we got home revealed that these are love locks or love padlocks which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love.  Typically the sweethearts' names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable love.

Hamburg is the major entry point for hand woven carpets into Europe.  The other interesting thing about this bridge is the thousands of pieces of coloured stone reproducing the design of a Persian carpet.  Can you see it in the photo?

Here are some interesting modern buildings I spied in my rambles.

On the left is the circular Cosco building; in the middle is a Docklands Office Building; and on the right are the Dancing Towers, on the Reeperbahn. 

Now I have to crow.  I had no idea what two of these were, and I found out be Googling the image.  You upload the image and search.  Hey presto!  Some suggestions are returned.  Totally blown away by this.

I have one more travel post to do.  Hope you aren't all bored to tears by these posts. 


  1. thanks for the virtual tour. so many neat things to see

  2. I love armchair travel, and your pictures are very interesting. Now, when you say "cold", what do you mean? It looks quite lovely, but apparently looks deceive!

  3. Love seeing your travel pics, makes me feel like I'm actually there. Bet your are looking forward to getting back home to your sewing.

  4. Not bored AT ALL! Thanks for posting so many pics of buildings -- I love buildings, and I love travel, so I'm happy with these posts :) I loved hearing about your family history with those churches too. Happy traveling!


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