Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Port of Hamburg.

The Port of Hamburg:

It was the 7th of may 1189, when the harbor opened in Hamburg. Every year in Hamburg a major party is held for the birthday of their port. It is called "Hafengeburtstag" The Harbor and the city of hamburg are 110 kilometers (68 miles) inland from the north sea where the river Elba meets the ocean. It is nicknamed "The Gateway to the World" and is the 1st largest and busiest port in Germany (hamburg is the second largest city), 3rd busiest port in Europe and 15th in the world.

The port is almost as old as Hamburg itself. It was founded by Frederick I of the Holy Roman Empire for its strategic location in central Europe. It has always been central Europe's main port for centuries. Hamburg American Line in its hayday was the largest shipping company in the world and from 1870s on was the main port for passengers in and out of central Europe.

Around 50 million People in the United States of America Claim Germany ancestry. Making Germans the largest ethnic group in North America. Many White German-Americans came from Germany through this port and many were people from Hamburg itself or from the surrounding areas. (Yes this is why we have many German influenced food such as Hamburgers and Sausages)

In the picture below are counties colored by their populations ethnicity, light blue represent people who claim German ancestry. Purple is African American. Salmon is Mexican. Dark blue is Italian. Green is Dutch. Light green is Finnish. Sky Blue is French. Very light purple is English. Lime Green is Norwegian. Darker purple is Irish. Beige is people who just claim to be "American".

Before the 1943 Allied Bombing of the city (which in the last week created one of the largest firestorms in WW2and killing about 43,000 people,injuring 36,000 and causing around 1 million people to flee the city) Many of the mariners for the port lived in Hammerbrook. The Bombing completely destroyed the city, and Hammerbrook (which was then rebuilt into residential and commercial areas). The hills in the parks by these commercial areas are the ruins of old buildings and homes which the earth has swallowed. especially in  Öjendorfer Park.

Below is a 40 year old paining of the harbor that is painted in my current room. and below that is a picture I took of the harbor on the last day of Hafengeburtstag celebrations.

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