Hamburg and kunst

Venue: Hamburg, Germany

Lens: Nikkor 50 mm f/1.4

Music: The Beatles – I want to hold your hand / Komm gib mir deine Hand (

I was recently on a long-weekend trip to Hamburg visiting some friends of mine, and as always brought my camera with me to capture and remember better my impressions. Hamburg is such an artsy city (not even including here the art museums I visited and which I’ll show in my next post) that I realized most of my photos are somehow art-related. Hence the title of the post is including the German word for art – kunst! The kunst in Hamburg is in so many forms – from amazing modern architecture (which turned the former docks into some of the most expensive real estate in the world) to small hipstery shops and cafes in anarchist neighborhoods. But in the end nature itself trumps all artificial art with some amazing river views during sunset, so here it comes.

The “Eiffel tower of Hamburg” – the concert hall “Elbphilharmonie” that opened just a few weeks ago after a decade-long construction works. It’s by far the biggest and most impressive building in Hamburg that can be seen from anywhere along the river Elbe. It is so massive that the frame of the camera could not capture it from so close, but I put the photo as it also includes a small piece of the Berlin wall, brought to this place as a symbol of the German unification I suppose.
A postcard of the Elbphilharmonie during its construction – it is designed to look as a ship from far away.
The view to the building from a boat on the other side of the river. The boat tour was part of the usual public transport in Hamburg and offered some amazing views as the sun was about to set.
Further down the river with the concert hall still visible on the background. This cute seagull was intently observing the crowds of people moving from boat to boat.
Some more seagulls along the piers, with the view towards the industrial parts of the river where cargo ships are being serviced.
The port of Hamburg located along the Elbe river is the biggest sea terminal of Germany and the second biggest in Europe after Rotterdam.
One of my friends looking thoughtfully at the sunset as the boat moved us westward along the river.
Close to the Altona cruise terminal where we stepped off the boat – the sun was really low above the horizon and the clouds were slowly turning pink and violet.
Our boat going along the purple Elbe.
Instead we went up the stairs of the cruise terminal to enjoy the next 10 minutes of sunset from above.
Unfortunately I was not carrying my tripod, but there were plenty of other photographers that were better prepared and surely made some spectacular photos that evening.
Next morning at the Rathaus – the Hamburg city hall seating the local parliament (the city of Hamburg is a separate federal state of its own according to German laws).
Yet another view towards the concert hall, here from the Speicherstadt – the former dock lands that used to be a free zone for transporting goods.
One of the bridges in the Speicherstadt and the church of St. Kathrine on the other side.
In the heart of the Speicherstadt with its industrial beauty and the usual grey clouds over the city.
This is the building of the fish market, one of the iconic places in Hamburg which offers fish and sandwiches from 5 am on Sundays to the people that partied all night at the nearby Reeperbahn – Sankt Pauli district.
That day however the fish market was full of art and people enjoying it.
Some of the paintings offered on sale seen from above.
And back on the streets – the Schanze district, which is the hipstery part of the city, full of small artsy shops, pubs and cafes.
One of the backyards in Schanze where kids could play around, undisturbed by all the graffiti and street art around them.
At the Beatles-platz in the Reeperbahn party district where you can see the silhouettes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Hamburg was the place where the Beatles started their career playing live in many of the bars in the party district for two years.
The outside of one of the bars around with some more street art.
And now jumping to a more refined environment – the inside of one of the big shopping malls in the centre of the city. I brought my new friend, Guinny the penguin, and took some photos of him while waiting for my friends.
I even managed to teach Guinny a few basic words in German, such as “Seifen” meaning soaps.
At the end Guinny met a new German/Swedish friend and I let them play together for a while.
This is the “inside” of the St. Nicolai church which was partially saved during the bombings in the second World War while most of the other city was completely destroyed. Now you see some modern statues on what used to be the inside of the church.
Another monument in St. Nicolai – a memorial made with original bricks from one of the Nazi concentration camps in Sandbostel.
One of the “love locks” that are locked to so many of the bridges in the city.
A bike ramp in one of the small parks with a view towards the biggest working church – St. Michaelis.
I also let Guinny take a look at the church for a short while before it was time to leave the park and fly out of Hamburg. You’ll get to see more of Guinny on some of my next trips, I promise!

56 thoughts on “Hamburg and kunst

  1. Hi Kiril!
    Thank you for sharing such lovely images of my hometown!
    I hope you, your friends and your new friend Guinny enjoyed the stay.
    Great to see the pictures of St. Nikolai, too. I must admit that I have not yet been there after they remodeled the site.
    You wrote:
    “But in the end nature itself trumps all artificial art…”
    This is something I, too, love about Hamburg: The combination of nature and city life! Not only because of the three rivers (Elbe, Alster and Bille) but also because of the many nature and landscape conservation areas within as well as around the city.
    Much love and greetings from Hamburg,

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My family left to come to the USA from Hamburg, so this was interesting for me. Of course, it wouldn’t look the way it does now back in 1844, but I still got the scope of how big the port is. I also found of great interest and further questions of how those building along the river remain dry. ~Ginene

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ginene, I guess you’ll have to ask an architect about the buildings along the river, but it seems pretty standard as I have seen such buildings all over Europe and they seem to be dry enough πŸ™‚


  3. This was a wonderful tour of a city I just assumed was a stereotypical old port city – gritty, rundown. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

    There was so much to like in here, but my favourite was the photo taken from the canal with the bridge in the distance and industrial buildings on both sides. This is one of those I-feel-like-I’m-in-the-middle-of-it photos. I can just imagine being on a boat cruising between those buildings.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. SO many gorgeous pictures here. That sky at sunset..!! Stunning!

    If I had to chose a favourite from this post, it would be all the photos with Guinny, especially the one with his new bearded friend.

    Also, I had no idea Hamburg was so beautiful. I’d always heard it was an industrial city, so I made unfair assumptions about it. Clearly I was wrong. Your photos have really opened my eyes!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Guinny is adorable on his own already, as a prop he slowly becomes irreplacecable.
    Nice to see so many nice shots of my former home town, and particularly places I’ve never been to as a local and that were built after we left for the sunny shores of South Africa.


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