5 urban monuments in Hamburg

1) Goldhaus / Golden House

Artist Boran Burchhardt has applied a few thousand strips of gold leaf to a brick façade of more than 300 square metres. The artwork will apparently last for a quarter of a century. With this project, the artist created a controversial symbol in Hamburg’s urban development policy. The district is home to a lot of migrants and is not particularly wealthy. Gentrification by gilding?

a Goldhaus / Golden House in the city of Hamburg

Veddeler Brückenstrasse 152

2) Rote Flora

The Rote Flora is seen today as a ‘popular political trouble-maker’ in the heart of the Sternschanze district, where spiralling prices are squeezing people out. When the city and an investor wanted to replace the 1000 Töpfe department store (Rote Flora) with a musical theatre in 1987, the locals considered it a step too far. Protests were held and the Rote Flora was occupied.

exterior of Rote Flora building in Hamburg

Schulterblatt 71

http://roteflora.de

3) Davidwache Police Station

Though the police district is the smallest in Europe, at just under one square kilometre in size and with around 14.000 residents, according to the annual police statistics it is nevertheless still the scene of the most crimes. The cult Davidwache has been on the corner of Reeperbahn and Davidstrasse since 1914, making Hamburg’s Kiez secure.

street sign and building of the Davidwache Police Station Hamburg

4) U-434

A number of Hamburg’s museum ships lie at moorings between Elbstrand and HafenCity: the Rickmer Rickmers, the Cap San Diego and the Feuerschiff are shooting stars. But one marine vessel lies low: the Russian navy Tango-class 434 submarine. The world’s largest nonatomic submarine can be viewed along the side of the Fischmarkt any Sunday.

U-434 boat in Hamburg

St. Pauli Fischmarkt 10

+49 (0)40 3200 4934

http://u-434.de

5) Alter Schwede

Many Hamburg residents had never heard of the ‘Findling’ boulder of Elbgrund until January 2019. In a cloakand- dagger operation, unknown artists sprayed it all over with gold paint. The huge, 217-ton nugget on the Elbstrand swiftly became a popular photo motif. In the end, the Hamburg Port Authority had it cleaned again.

a golden rock called 'Alter Schwede' on the beach in Hamburg

Elbstrand

Buy the book

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Hamburg reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Hamburg's best-kept secrets.

Go to bookshop

Join the community

Sign up for free to gain unlimited access to the website. Plus, you'll receive a 10% discount in our online bookshop.

Sign up