The History Of Hamburg, Germany Essay

947 words - 4 pages

Hamburg was originally a separate cluster of villages. Hamburg owes its origin to a castle that was first built in the 9th century. The castle was called Hammaburg. This castle was located in present day St. Peter's Church in the inner city of Hamburg. The settlement was Germanic speaking.Unable to stop marauders of Slavic and Danish speaking people the castle was destroyed and a settlement was put in its place. Hamburg became a mission center to the pagan tribes in the area. The mission church eventually became an Archbishopric cathedral. The church brought a lot of commerce to the area and the population grew.The during the time that the castle was built and became prosperous there was another settlement along the Alster river that became big and almost the size of the settlement around the castle at Hammaburg. The Alster village near by remained the residence of small agriculturists and fishermen who were part time Artisans.By the eleventh century, both of these settlements had a total population of one thousand. The cathedral in the twelfth century became the central marketplace that attracted traveling merchants and artisans. The two settlements combined. The big settlement, that eventually became a town, of the church and the agriculturalists from the Alster river town, attracted many merchants in the area. Soon merchants from the Netherlands, Venice and other Italian cities were making yearly visits to Hamburg.In the thirteenth century Hamburg had erected a fortress at the mouth of the Elbe River to protect its maritime interests. The fortification remained in the possession of Hamburg until 1937 when it was given to Lower Saxony. Within a few years the city's naval forces defeated and then executed the pirates who lived along the coast between the Elbe and the Weser rivers. In the fifteenth century the merchants in Hamburg bought the islands in the Elbe to thwart the building of fortifications against them.In the fourteenth century when Hamburg had a total population of 7,000 people the city merchants applied for the Hansa League. The Hansa League was the most important economic organization in the middle ages. Entering the league laid down the foundation for Hamburg to be a great port city and city of commerce. The Hansa League was then a collective organization of more then 30 cities and 100 smaller trading and Artisanal towns which included Brugge in Belgium, Bergen in Norway and Novgorod in Russia.In 1768 by paying off all it's debs to the Danish king, Hamburg was given the right to occupy all the islands in the Elbe river. These sites became the main sites for shipbuilding , warehousing, drydocking, and port facilities of the city of Hamburg. These islands were key to the prosperity and the economic value of the city. The...

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