Hamburg has more than 40 theatres, 60 museums and 100 music venues and clubs. In 2005, more than 18 million people visited concerts, exhibitions, theatres, cinemas, museums, and cultural events. More than 8,552 taxable companies (average size 3.16 employees) were engaged in the culture sector, which includes music, performing arts and literature. There are five companies in the creative sector per thousand residents (Berlin three, London 37).
Hamburg has entered the European Green Capital Award scheme, and was awarded the title of European Green Capital for 2011.
The English Theatre of Hamburg near U3 Mundsburg station was established in 1976 and is the oldest professional English-speaking theatre in Germany, and has exclusively English native-speaking actors in its company.
Hamburg has several large museums and galleries showing classical and contemporary art, for example the Kunsthalle Hamburg with its contemporary art gallery (Galerie der Gegenwart), the Museum for Art and Industry (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe) and the Deichtorhallen/House of Photography. The Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg opened in the HafenCity quarter in 2008. There are various specialised museums in Hamburg, such as the Archaeological Museum Hamburg (Archäologisches Museum Hamburg) in Hamburg-Harburg, the Museum of Labour (Museum der Arbeit), and several museums of local history, for example the Kiekeberg Open Air Museum (Freilichtmuseum am Kiekeberg). Two museum ships near Landungsbrücken bear witness to the freight ship (Cap San Diego) and cargo sailing ship era (Rickmer Rickmers). The world's largest model railway museum Miniatur Wunderland with total railway length is also situated near Landungsbrücken in a former warehouse.
BallinStadt Emigration City is dedicated to the millions of Europeans who emigrated to North and South America between 1850 and 1939. Visitors descending from those overseas emigrants may search for their ancestors at computer terminals.
Hamburg State Opera is a leading opera company. Its orchestra is the Philharmoniker Hamburg. The city's other well-known orchestra is the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra. The main concert venue is the Laeiszhalle, Musikhalle Hamburg, pending completion of the new Elbe Philharmonic Hall. The Laeiszhalle also houses a third orchestra, the Hamburger Symphoniker. György Ligeti and Alfred Schnittke taught at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg.
Since the German premiere of Cats in 1985, there have always been musicals running, including The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Dirty Dancing, and Dance of the Vampires. This density, the highest in Germany, is partly due to the major musical production company Stage Entertainment being based in the city.
Hamburg is the birthplace of Johannes Brahms, who spent his formative early years in the city, and the birthplace and home of the famous waltz composer Oscar Fetrás, who wrote the well-known "Mondnacht auf der Alster" waltz.
Prior to the group's initial recording and widespread fame, Hamburg provided residency and performing venues for The Beatles from 1960 to 1962. Hamburg has produced a number of pop musicians. Identical twins Bill Kaulitz and Tom Kaulitz from the rock band Tokio Hotel live and maintain a recording studio in Hamburg, where they recorded their second and third albums, Zimmer 483 and Humanoid. Singer Nena also lives in Hamburg. There are German hip hop acts, such as Fünf Sterne deluxe, Samy Deluxe, Beginner and Fettes Brot. There is a substantial alternative and punk scene, which gathers around the Rote Flora, a squatted former theatre located in the Sternschanze. Hamburg is famous for an original kind of German alternative music called Hamburger Schule ("Hamburg School"), a term used for bands like Tocotronic, Blumfeld, Tomte or Kante.
The city was a major centre for heavy metal music in the 1980s. Helloween, Gamma Ray, Running Wild and Grave Digger started in Hamburg. The industrial rock band KMFDM was also formed in Hamburg, initially as a performance art project. The influences of these and other bands from the area helped establish the subgenre of power metal.
Hamburg has a vibrant psychedelic trance community, with record labels such as Spirit Zone.
Hamburg is noted for several festivals and regular events. Some of them are street festivals, such as the gay pride Christopher Street Day festival or the Alster fair, held at the Binnenalster. The Hamburger DOM is northern Germany's biggest fun fair, held three times a year. Hafengeburtstag is a funfair to honour the birthday of the port of Hamburg with a party and a ship parade. The biker's service in Saint Michael's Church attracts tens of thousands of bikers. Christmas markets in December are held at the Hamburg Rathaus square, among other places. The long night of museums offers one entrance fee for about 40 museums until midnight. The sixth Festival of Cultures was held in September 2008, celebrating multi-cultural life. The Filmfest Hamburg — a film festival originating from the 1950s Film Days (German: Film Tage) — presents a wide range of films. The Hamburg Messe and Congress offers a venue for trade shows, such hanseboot, an international boat show, or Du und deine Welt, a large consumer products show. Regular sports events—some open to pro and amateur participants—are the cycling competition Vattenfall Cyclassics, the Hamburg Marathon, the biggest marathon in Germany after Berlin, the tennis tournament Hamburg Masters and equestrian events like the Deutsches Derby. Since 2007, Hamburg has the Dockville music and art festival. It takes place every year in summer in Wilhelmsburg.
Original Hamburg dishes are Birnen, Bohnen und Speck (Low Saxon Birn, Bohn un Speck, green beans cooked with pears and bacon), Aalsuppe (Low Saxon Oolsupp) is often mistaken to be German for “eel soup“ (Aal/Ool translated ‘eel’), but the name probably comes from the Low Saxon allns, meaning “all”, “everything and the kitchen sink”, not necessarily eel. Today eel is often included to meet the expectations of unsuspecting diners. There is Bratkartoffeln (Low Saxon Brootkartüffeln, pan-fried potato slices), Finkenwerder Scholle (Low Saxon Finkwarder Scholl, pan-fried plaice), Pannfisch (pan-fried fish), Rote Grütze (Low Saxon Rode Grütt, related to Danish rødgrød, a type of summer pudding made mostly from berries and usually served with cream, like Danish rødgrød med fløde) and Labskaus (a mixture of corned beef, mashed potatoes and beetroot, a cousin of the Norwegian lapskaus and Liverpool's lobscouse, all offshoots off an old-time one-pot meal that used to be the main component of the common sailor's humdrum diet on the high seas).
Alsterwasser (in reference to the city's river, the Alster) is the local name for a type of shandy, a concoction of equal parts of beer and carbonated lemonade (Zitronenlimonade), the lemonade being added to the beer.
There is the curious regional dessert pastry called Franzbrötchen. Looking rather like a flattened croissant, it is similar in preparation but includes a cinnamon and sugar filling, often with raisins or brown sugar streusel. The name may also reflect to the roll's croissant-like appearance – franz appears to be a shortening of französisch, meaning "French", which would make a Franzbrötchen a “French roll.”
Ordinary bread rolls tend to be oval-shaped and of the French bread variety. The local name is Schrippe (scored lengthways) for the oval kind and, for the round kind, Rundstück (“round piece” rather than mainstream German Brötchen, diminutive form of Brot “bread”), a relative of Denmark's rundstykke. In fact, while by no means identical, the cuisines of Hamburg and Denmark, especially of Copenhagen, have a lot in common. This also includes a predilection for open-faced sandwiches of all sorts, especially topped with cold-smoked or pickled fish. The American hamburger seems to have developed from Hamburg's Frikadelle: a pan-fried patty (usually larger and thicker than its American counterpart) made from a mixture of ground beef, soaked stale bread, egg, chopped onion, salt and pepper, usually served with potatoes and vegetables like any other piece of meat, not usually on a bun. The Oxford Dictionary defined a Hamburger steak in 1802: a sometimes-smoked and -salted piece of meat, that, according to some sources, came from Hamburg to America. There are different restaurants in all parts of the city, which offer most of these famous dishes, especially in the Hafencity, which started to be built in 2008 with 155ha and 13 quarters. This new district increases the city centre by about 40%, with new restaurants and apartments.
Like elsewhere in Germany, Standard German is spoken in Hamburg, but as typical for northern Germany, the original language of Hamburg is Low German, usually referred to as Hamborger Platt (German Hamburger Platt) or Hamborgsch. Since large-scale Germanization beginning in earnest within the 18th century, various Low German-colored dialects have developed (contact-varieties of German on Low Saxon substrates). Originally, there was a range of such Missingsch varieties, the best-known being the low-prestige ones of the working classes and the somewhat more bourgeois Hanseatendeutsch (Hanseatic German), although the term is used in appreciation. All of these are now moribund due to the influences of Standard German used by education and media. However, the former importance of Low German is indicated by several songs, such as the famous sea shanty Hamborger Veermaster, written in the 19th century when Low German was used more frequently. Many toponyms and street names reflect Low Saxon vocabulary, partially even in Low Saxon spelling, which is not standardised, and to some part in forms adapted to Standard German.
Tourists play a significant role in the city's economy. In 2007, Hamburg attracted more than 3,985,105 visitors with 7,402,423 overnight stays. The tourism sector employs more than 175,000 people full-time and brings in revenue of €9.3 billion, making the tourism industry a major economic force in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. Hamburg has one of the fastest-growing tourism industries in Germany. From 2001 to 2007, the overnight stays in the city increased by 55.2% (Berlin +52.7%, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania +33%).
A typical Hamburg visit includes a tour of the city hall and the grand church St. Michaelis (called the Michel), and visiting the old warehouse district (Speicherstadt) and the harbour promenade (Landungsbrücken). Sightseeing buses connect these points of interest. As Hamburg is one of the world's largest harbours many visitors take one of the harbour and/or canal boat tours (Große Hafenrundfahrt, Fleetfahrt) which start from the Landungsbrücken. Major destinations also include museums.
The area of Reeperbahn in the quarter St. Pauli is Europe's largest red light district and home of strip clubs, brothels, bars and nightclubs. The singer and actor Hans Albers is strongly associated with St. Pauli, and wrote the neighbourhood's unofficial anthem, "Auf der Reeperbahn Nachts um Halb Eins" ("On the Reeperbahn Half Past Midnight") in the 1940s. The Beatles had stints on the Reeperbahn early in their careers. Others prefer the laid-back neighbourhood Schanze with its street cafés, or a barbecue on one of the beaches along the river Elbe. Hamburg's famous zoo, the Tierpark Hagenbeck, was founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenbeck as the first zoo with moated, barless enclosures.
In 2005, the average visitor spent two nights in Hamburg. The majority of visitors come from Germany. Most foreigners are European, especially from the United Kingdom (171,000 overnight stays), Switzerland (about 143,000 overnight stays), Austria (about 137,000 overnight stays) and the Netherlands (about 80,000 overnight stays)) The largest group from outside Europe comes from the United States (129,000 overnight stays).
The Queen Mary 2 has docked regularly since 2004, and there were six departures planned from 2010 onwards.
There are several English-speaking communities, such as Caledonian Society of Hamburg, British Club Hamburg, British and Commonwealth Luncheon Club, Professional Women's Forum. American and international English-speaking organisations are The American Club of Hamburg e.V., the American Women's Club, the English Speaking Union, and the German-American Women's Club. There is also a thriving 400 year old Anglican church community worshiping at St Thomas Becket Church.
A memorial for successful English engineer William Lindley, who reorganized, beginning in 1842, the drinking water and sewage system and thus helped to fight against cholera, is near Baumwall train station in Vorsetzen street.
In 2009, more than 2,500 "stumbling blocks" (Stolpersteine) were laid, engraved with the names of deported and murdered citizens. Inserted into the pavement in front of their former houses, the blocks draw attention to the victims of Nazi persecution.
Alter Wandrahm 4
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