Hamburger Rathaus

( Hamburg City Hall )

Hamburg City Hall (German: Hamburger Rathaus, pronounced [ˈhambʊʁɡɐ ˈʁaːthaʊs]) is the seat of local government of Hamburg, Germany. It is the seat of the government of Hamburg and as such, the seat of one of Germany's 16 state parliaments. The Rathaus is located in the Altstadt quarter in the city center, at the Rathausmarkt square, and near the lake Binnenalster and the central station. Constructed from 1886 to 1897, the city hall still houses its original governmental functions with the office of the First Mayor of Hamburg and the meeting rooms for the Parliament and the Senate (the city's executive branch).

 Floor of the parliament in 1897.

After the old city hall was destroyed in the great fire of 1842, it took almost 44 years to build a new one. The present building was designed by a group of seven architects, led by Martin Haller. Construction started in 1886 and the new city hall was inaugurated in 1897. Its cost was 11 million German gold marks, about €80 million.[1] On 26 October 1897 at the official opening ceremony the First Mayor Johannes Versmann received the key of the city hall.[2]

In the postwar period, various heads of state visited Hamburg and its City Hall — among them Emperor Haile Selassie I, the Shahanshah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in 1955, and in 1965 Queen Elizabeth II. An emotionally moving service of remembrance was held on the market-square for the victims of the North Sea flood of 1962. Happier moments were the celebrations of Hamburger SV as German football champions, the last time though in 1983.[3]

In 1971 a room in the tower was only discovered accidentally during a search for a document fallen behind a filing cabinet. So there is a probability that there are even more rooms than the currently counted 647 rooms.[4]

^ Kleiner Rathausführer (in German), Hamburg: State Chancellery, 2006 ^ Demizlaff, p. 35 ^ Domizlaff, p. 36 ^ Domzilaff, p. 28
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