This majestic building is the home of politics in Hamburg. It has 647 rooms with ornate fountains, mosaics and allusions to Greek gods.
The Hamburg Rathaus acts as the German city’s town hall. The impressive sandstone structure was built toward the end of the 19th century. It is home to the senate and the parliament. The building has 647 rooms, which is more than London’s Buckingham Palace, and covers 182,986 square feet (17,000 square meters). There is a courtyard with a fountain, multiple grandiose rooms where political meetings and concerts are held and a restaurant in the basement.
Marvel at the town hall’s baroque façade, ornate with statues of emperors. It is of neo-renaissance design. Visit the fountain that represents the Greek goddess of health, Hygieia, in the courtyard. It was built to remember the cholera epidemic of the late 19th century. Inscribed above the main entrance in Latin is, ‘The descendants shall seek worthily to maintain the freedom achieved by their forebears’.
Pass through an iron gate to the entrance hall. It holds classical portraits, sandstone pillars and a marble staircase, which add to its elegant ambience. Marvel at the grand ceiling painting in the Kaisersaal (Imperial Hall). Wonder at the balcony above the main entry. It is decorated with colorful flowers and an elegant mosaic and statue.
Parliament convenes in the debating room every Tuesday afternoon. There are concerts open to the public held in the grand lobby. Dine at the reasonably-priced restaurant in the basement of the Rathaus.
After the former town hall burned down in 1842, construction of the current building commenced in 1886 and took 11 years to complete. In 1971, a hidden room was discovered by accident, which suggests other rooms may exist in the depths of the huge building.
The Hamburg Rathaus is based in the Altstadt quarter right in the center of the city. It is sandwiched between the Aussenalster Lake to the north and the Norderelbe part of the Unterelbe River to the south. The Rathaus subway stop and many bus stops serve the town hall. Nearby attractions include the St. Nikolai Memorial.