- Hamburg's harbor, often referred to as the 'gateway to the world', has expanded a great deal since its founding, prior to the 12th century. If the Alster is the soul of the city, then the harbor, pulsating the energy that drives the city, is its heart. Hamburg is one of the world's largest sea ports - approximately 12,000 ships dock here annually and with the volume of traffic reaching over 71 million tonnes, it is clearly one of the largest industrial areas in Europe. The harbor covers about 75 square kilometers and takes up almost one tenth of the city's total area. 400 kilometers of railway track connect it to trade routes and it has access to several million square meters of warehouse and open-air storage. The industrialization of transportation by sea introduced the use of containers (the container terminal is one of the largest complexes in the harbor). However; traces of the old practices still remain in some of the buildings in the Speicherstadt district. The Landungsbrücken, the Old Elbe Tunnel and one of the city's major landmarks, the Köhlbrandt bridge are all eye-catching symbols of the old harbor. The early 1990s saw the conversion of the formerly derelict Kehrwiederspitze area, which lies in the center into a modern residential and business district. Several tours of the harbor take place in many areas of the port daily, departing from the Landungsbrücken.
- © wcities.com 2013