Dominating the Rathausmarkt square in the Altstadt quarter of the city is the sumptuous neo-Renaissance Hamburg Rathaus (City Hall). It was completed in 1897 and serves as the seat of the Hamburg government, with offices for the First Mayor of Hamburg and meeting spaces among its 647 rooms. Guided tours of this Hamburg landmark enable you to see the government in action and many rooms are opened during the annual Long Night of Museums event that takes place each April.
The Hamburg Rathaus was designed by a group of seven architects led by Martin Haller and replaced the old city hall that was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1842. It was built during a period of wealth and prosperity, with its architecture designed to reflect this and the independence of the State of Hamburg.
Its balcony is topped by a mosaic of Hamburg’s patron goddess, Hammonia, as well as an inscription that translates as “The freedom won by our elders, may posterity strive to preserve it in dignity”. In its courtyard is a fountain featuring the Greek goddess of health and hygiene, Hygieia, which was built in remembrance of the cholera epidemic that swept through the city in 1892.
The Rathaus Hamburg lies adjacent to the Hamburg Stock Exchange and is connected to the Hauptbahnhof along the famous shopping street of Mönckebergstraße. This leads past the 14th-century St. Peter’s Church, which is topped by a 133-meter-high tower and the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, which stands as the largest theater in Germany.