When you are in Altstadt, or Old City of Hamburg sightseeing is one of the main things to do in the city’s oldest and most popular district. The most famous landmarks within this quarter are the Office Buildings and Chile House. The Mohlenhof, Spinkenhof and Messberghof are also frequently visited attractions. In certain areas of the Altstadt, it is as though time has stood still; at Cremon Street, for example, homes and businesses are still right beside each other. Goods are taken in on the canal end of buildings, while customers enter from the street end. On Dyke Street, a traditional street for traders, there are shops, homes and many pubs and restaurants. Here, one is welcome to sample the local delicacies and brews.
The St. Michaelis Church, dating from the mid 18th century, has two superlatives to its name. It is north Germany’s most significant Baroque church and it has Germany’s biggest clock face, at a circumference of just under 79 feet. From the viewing platform of the 433 feet Michel Tower, you can look out over the splendour of Hamburg and its harbour. A twice daily ritual takes place here at 10am and 9pm, whereby a piece of classical music is played on a trumpet. This melody carries for several kilometres.
The Stock Exchange / Chamber of Commerce Hamburg, Germany’s oldest financial building, can be found behind the Town Hall. Visitors are welcome to come and have a look around. Krameramtswohnungen is a very old district in Hamburg, dating from the 1600s. There are many very fine old buildings here, as well as offices, apartments and shops. Here, one can really feel the unique old world charm of Hamburg. In the Hamburg History Museum, you can see the inside of one of the preserved merchant’s apartments, with furniture that dates from the mid-late 19th century.
The 918 feet Television Tower, in Lagerstrasse, is the highest building in Hamburg. It took three years to build, finally reaching completion in 1968. In January 2001 the 420 feet viewing platform was closed to the public, due its state of disrepair. Unfortunately repairs would be very costly, so it will be many years before they are carried out, if they happen at all.
The early 17th century Jewish Cemetery, spread across one hectare in Altona, is thought to be amongst the world’s most significant Jewish cemeteries. This is due to its layout and the large number of quite unique plots and headstones that are situated here. It is split into an Ashkenazic section and a Sephardic section. Guided tours are available each Sunday at midday, and cost five Euro for adults (access for children is free). The public can only access the cemetery between October and March from 2-5pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. From April to September, it is open to public access from 3-6pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and 2-5pm on Sunday. No public access is allowed on Jewish and Bank Holidays. However, if you head to Eduard-Duckesz-House, you will be afforded great views of the cemetery without needing to enter the grounds.