A walk through Hamburg harbor

The old warehouse district of the Hamburg harbor was built from 1883, and the first part was finished in1888. (On one of my photos you can see the number 1888 in dark bricks in an old warehouse)
The goods were brought from the ships with barges to the warehouses and there hoisted by rope winches which are still working up to today. In the warehouses jute sacks containing coffee, teas, cocoa, spices, caoutchouc etc. and carpets were piled. And still today you can find all these goods there.
Since 1991 the old warehouse district of the Hamburg harbor is an UNESCO world cultural heritage site. (Fortunately, they didn’t tear it down as planned some years ago)
On one photo you can see our main church, St. Michael, which has a baroque style and was started to be built in 1647. The other church which is called St. Catharine was mentioned first in 1256 and was constructed in a gothic style.
The modern building you see on another photo is our new philharmonic hall which will be opened in exactly one year. It was erected above the corpus of a former cocoa warehouse. The very modern and innovative glass construction rises up to 110 m. This concert hall of world class will cost us 790 million Euros!!
Up to 2003 our harbor was a duty free port with customs controls.
I have a very close relation to this part of Hamburg. My father was a ship chandler and had an office in one of these old buildings. He supplied all goods needed to the ships of A. Onassis and I have been in the harbor and on the ships quite often.
I have written a little poem about the feelings I had when I went there on 25th of December 2015

The last rays of the winter-sun are turning the windows into brilliant gold
The river is glittering in yellow, a cornucopia of diamonds scattered on the surface
A little purple cloud looking like a forlorn angel is silently drifting away
The cold wind makes a clattering sound in the rigging of an old sailing-ship
Little colorful pennants are fluttering merrily in the air
Veteran ropes are creaking with the rhythm of the little waves
Seagulls cawing harshly are floating above the ship like on strings in the last sunset-colored clouds
Slowly the sun disappears; everything looks like a paper silhouette in front of a salmon dream
The river is getting darker, nearly black, sparkling eerily with moon-silver and stardust
From far away the typhon of a ghost ship ready to leave
A sunset is a goodbye from a day – I leave this place of beauty with contentment in my heart


41 thoughts on “A walk through Hamburg harbor

      • Gary looked over my shoulder at your photos. He says to tell you “very nice”! ;-> We saw two movies (Pillars of the Earth and World Without End) that were about the building of cathedrals back in the 1000 – 1400 time period, but they were set in England. The movies were based on books by Ken Follett. Maybe you have seen or read them. It was really amazing what they could do back then with rudimentary knowledge and tools.

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      • Thanks a lot to Gary, Judi. It was a real challenge to build such wonderful high churches in these early times, I guess. They didn’t have all these possibilities that we have now, that’s true. I have unfortunately never read books by Ken Follet. I just read a fantastic book by Arthur Miller, by the way. But normally prefer Russian literature. πŸ™‚


    • Thanks a lot, Mary, I’m happy you liked my “poem” and the photos. Somehow I’m very much in love with Hamburg. And you can see that it has a good reason, it’s really beautiful and interesting to live here. Hope you are feeling good, have a nice day. Probably warmer where you live. We have -7 degrees C and I’m freezing so much on my bike. Kind regards Mitza

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  1. Wow Mitza, I don’t know which one is more beautiful the photos or your poem. I think they go perfectly together, you totally conveyed the old district character, the mood which sets upon this historical site during the sunset. Absolutely magical, you made me feel a part of the old district of Hamburg with your words and images. Beautiful, heartfelt, sensitive post with a hint of nostalgia as well.
    Must be most interesting to be a part of such a community, it appears you spent a lot of time around ships, on ships and it is unbelievable that you met Onassis which of course makes sense to me. Must be fascinating and magical I suppose to experience a harbor (a famous one) as a child, you must have stories to tell! What a treat, thank you for sharing history on a personal level with us! This is one of my favorite posts! Hugs ~Eva

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    • Dear Eva, when I decided to post photos from our harbor I instantly had some sort of “poem” in my head which I refined a little in the last days. This was a wonderful sunny winter day with a beautiful sunset and I can forget everything around me when I see such a beauty, I even rediscover my hometown again and it gives me a lot of contentment. As I’m highly sensitive the impressions I get are very strong. I guess I had some stories to tell. I thank you a lot for your warmhearted words and your approval to my post. Have a wonderful day, hugs Mitza

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  2. sensational! the poem with the word imagery, the photographs and the info on the city harbor area….. wonderful. makes a person want to know more. GREAT job Mitza!! 1256 church, wow, its amazing. look forward to more of sharing of the history, life, photos etc. Thank You! debi

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    • Thanks a lot, Debi for your wonderful words, which make me very happy. It took quite some days to find all these informations, to translate it into English, to refine my “poem”. I’m really a little astonished that this post was so well received by all my nice followers. I will definitely return again to the harbor for some more photos. It’s really nice to rediscover Hamburg by making walks to my past. Thanks again, have a wonderful day. You are lucky to have summer now. I’m freezing with -7 degrees C on my bike, brrrrr, cheers Mitza

      Liked by 1 person

      • your post deserved much recognition! well organized and researched, and filled with glimpses of your life!! glad you’ll do some other types similiar to it. we would both be blessed to have some nice balance of temperatures – No Extremes. not -7 and not 35+

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      • I offer 16 for 15, hehe. Yesterday and today we had -7 C and I bicycled outside. I felt like an onion with 13 peels. I even borrowed a long underpants from my son, could hardly move on the bike. I didn’t really freeze too much, only in my face. :))

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      • what doesn’t destroy me, makes me stronger, hehe. I don’t care how stupid I look with my woollen cap pulled down to the eyes, because this cold air at the forehead makes me afraid my thoughts would freeze. Do you remember this vampyr film from Roman Polanski with all the frozen dead people? Very funny. Hope it doesn’t happen to me, hehe


  3. So is this where you live? Beautiful photos. I understand the beauty and reasons for spending $790 Million Euros on a concert hall and I love music. At the same time it seems sad to me when so many people are homeless, without decent shelter or food to eat.

    Thanks for sharing your sweet poem and wonderful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yes, that’s true, spending 790 million Euros is so much. When they planned it, it was said to cost 77 million Euros! What could you do with all this money! We have taken up 63.000 refugees from Syria etc. here in 2015 and homeless people have several places to go for shelter and help. It could be worse. Thanks for your comment, have a nice day, regards Mitza

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