ERIKA’S WALKING TOUR OF HAMBURG

The city of Hamburg was established in 810 as a mission station for a Bishop. In 1189 the harbour was built. In 1201 the city came under Danish control, but in 1474 it was returned to Germany. In the 17th century businessmen came from far and wide to establish Drapery businesses. In 1842 was The Great Fire when one-third of the city was destroyed.
In 1892 there was a Cholera epidemic.
In 1943 bombing destroyed most of the Old Town.
Hamburg has two Rivers, the Elbe and the Alster and 2,300 bridges, more than Amsterdam and Venice combined.
Erika arrived in Hamburg armed with a guide to the city (in German) and today we set out early to walk the streets of the city.

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THE HISTORY OF ST. NIKOLAI
In 1195, St . Nikolai was first erected as a small chapel near the harbour dedicated to St. Nikolai, the patron of sailors and travellers. In the 13th and 14th centuries it was developed into a hall church with a steeple. The Great fire of hamburg destroyed the church in 1842. A new church was built from 1846-1874. Its 483 feet steeple was the highest in the world. During the area bombings in the Second World War, the steeple served as a point of orientation for the Allied bomber pilots. The Church burned down in the Operation Gomorrah firestorm in July 1943.
Today, the remains of St. Nikolai serve as a memorial for the victims of war and tyranny from 1933 to 1945. We visited the Museum in the crypt.

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The Carillon
Citizens of Hamburg sponsored the construction of a carillon in the steeple of the memorial in 1993. It is located where the church organ used to be before its destruction. With 51 bells, it is one of the biggest in Germany.

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The Observation Tower
In 2005 a panorama lift was installed in the steeple of St. Nikolai. We went to a platform 250 feet above the ground and had a stunning, though misty, view of the city from Hamburg’s highest church steeple.

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A further report on Erika’s Tour another day.

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