About 8 percent of Hamburg’s surface is covered by water, the element that makes the city an international gateway. Hamburg is also known as a Hanseatic city, a term dating from the Middle Ages, when it was a member of the Hanseatic League of trading cities. Hamburg’s harbor is Germany’s biggest seaport and is back on its accustomed growth path after a difficult business year in 2009.
That’s why the port’s “birthday” was celebrated with gusto by 1 million people over three days in May 2010 just like it is every year. Hamburg’s citizens love their port. It’s thanks to the harbour that the city has attractions such as the Reeperbahn, which developed as a sailors’ amusement area, or the famous Fish Market or the historic Speicherstadt, which is the world’s largest warehouse complex, or the Hagenbecks Tierpark, Germany’s most successful private zoo.