Timeline - Don't miss out on what the city has to offer!

ESL - Timeline
2012 Jogging posts are installed around the Alster Lake so you can measure your times.

2003 HafenCity becomes of the world's largest urban regeneration projects. On the site of the old free port, shops, bars, restaurants and stylish public spaces start opening up. Der Spiegel magazine moves into the district in September 2011.

1983 Hamburger SV win the European Cup in football for the first time, beating Juventus in the final.

1977 FC St. Pauli promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time. 

1962 A severe storm causes the Elbe to rise to an all-time high, flooding one fifth of Hamburg and killing more than 300 people.

1960 An unknown band from Liverpool called The Beatles arrive in Hamburg to play 8-hour sets at the strip clubs around the Reeperbahn.

1952 Bild newspaper begins publication in Hamburg, inspired by the success of British tabloids.

1939-45 More than 250,000 homes are destroyed as the city is relentlessly bombed by the British Royal Air Force. At one point, a tornado of fire 200m high tears through the city. After the Second World War, Hamburg is in the British Zone of Occupation.

1913 Hamburg reaches a million inhabitants. As the world’s third largest port, after London and New York, Hamburg was where most Germans and Eastern Europeans started their journeys to the New World. Legend has it, they brought the recipe of the hamburger with them.

1872 The first ship-to-rail transfer takes place in Hamburg, laying the foundation for Hamburg’s emergence as the largest rail port in Europe.

1871 Germany becomes a thing and Hamburg, population 240,251, becomes part of that thing.

1842 Great fire of Hamburg starts at a cigar factory. Reconstruction takes more than 40 years.

1835 Coat of arms of Hamburg redesigned. The towers, walls and closed gate symbolise the determination of the town to defend itself.

1815 Hamburg becomes a member state of the German Confederation after being liberated from the French in 1814.

1806 Napoleon's army annexe the city, which becomes capital of the department Bouches-de-l'Elbe.

1783 The good ship Elise Katharina crosses the Atlantic, making for Charleston and Philadelphia, kick-starting sea trade between Hamburg and the newly United States of America. By 1799, there are 280 ships flying the Hamburg flag.

1712 Plague. Never good.

1705 Premiere of Handel's first opera Almira. Handel had come to the city in the summer of 1703 and played as a violinist in the theatre at the Gänsemarkt.

1590 Sephardi Jews arrive and build a Portuguese Jewish community in Hamburg.

1529 Lutheranism comes to town. The senate of Hamburg asks Martin Luther to send his friend Johannes Bugenhagen to create a new church where the services are held in Low German and the parishes elect their own pastors.

1510 Hamburg becomes an imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire.

1401 Notorious pirate Klaus Störtebeker is beheaded on Grasbrook on 20 October. Legend has it, he could drink a four-litre bottle of beer (or possibly wine) in a single swig.

1321 Hamburg joins the Hanseatic League, bringing commerce and industry to northern Germany.

1264 Hamburg's senate enacts a law to protect the swans of the city. Serious punishments were handed out if a swan was beaten to death, insulted, shot or eaten. According to local lore, Hamburg will be free and Hanseatic as long as swans are living on the river Alster.

1189 Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa grants the Hamburgians the privilege of sailing duty free along the Lower Elbe as far as the North Sea. 

9th Century A little port with a wooden landing stage about 120 metres long first appears in drawings. In 845 Vikings from Denmark destroy the Hammaburg.
Interested in this city?
Why choose ESL?
  • Voted best agency

    Voted best agency

    ESL is a Lifetime Award winner after being voted Best Agency in Europe 5 times at the ST Star Awards.

  • Best price guarantee

    Best price guarantee

    Get the price difference refunded if you find a better deal for the same programme with another agency.

  • Free service

    Free service

    Enjoy our free and personalised services – 97% of our clients would recommend us to their friends and relatives.