A walk of a Canary Islander in Hamburg (II)

In the Town Hall Market stands the magnificent Hamburg City Hall, located in the Altstadt quarter in the city center. It’s a majestic-looking building, designed in the Neo-Renaissance style, built in 1897 out of sandstone and with a central clock tower of 112 meters. Inside this building, after passing through the exhibition hall, I entered a delightful inner courtyard. In the center of the courtyard I admired the fabulous Hygieia Fountain, featuring a female figure in bronze, representing health and a dragon which symbolizes the cholera and represents the triumph of health over the beast of plague.

Very close to the city hall I saw the Alsterarkaden Renaissance galleries, designed by architect Alexis de Chateauneuf after the “Great fire” of 1842, which destroyed about a quarter of the inner city of Hamburg. These galleries, inspired by Venetian constructions, with its historic arcades and wrought iron lamps, shelters in its midst restaurants and the most exclusive shops. In this place, the architecture mimetizes with the environment, embracing the nature along the canal.

I followed my path to Jungfernstieg, that was the first road to be asphalted in Germany. Today this street offers great shopping in big department stores and exquisite boutiques. Jungfernstieg owes its name to the unmarried daughters (Jungfer is the old German word for “virgin” or “maiden”) who were shown off by their wealthy families who paraded them along the promenade. This urban arterial street is located near the inner Alster, a lake that has a huge fountain that sprays water to a height of 60 meters.

I observed several tourist boats in the Alster Lake and decided to explore the city from the water. The boat trip made nine stops on its leisurely two-hour journey and I discovered the fullness of the beauty of this artificial lake created as early as the 13th century out of the Alster river which in turn lead to the formation of two artificial lakes: the Binnenalster (inner Alster) and the Außenalster (outer Alster) on Alster lake. The Kennedy and Lombard bridges separate the Inner from the Outer lake.

From the ship glass window I observed people surfing, traveling by yacht and rowing. I also saw birds, ducks and swans that have made the lake their own home. This image of Hamburg, this city on the water, with lakes and countless streams and canals, evoke fond memories of my land, GRAN CANARIA, a volcanic island that emerged from the waters of the Atlantic ocean that also has a rich marine history, nautical heritage and character…

What do you think about Hamburg?

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