Besides Berlin, Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany. It has more than 1.84 million people. Hamburg is also the 7th-largest city in the world and the largest non-capital city in the European Union with more than 1.84 million people. A city called Hamburg has about 2.5 million people living there. The city's metropolitan area has more than five million people living there. The city is on the River Elbe and two of its smaller rivers, the River Alster and the River Bille, which flow into it. Germany has 16 states that are all part of one country, but Hamburg, one of them, is near Schleswig-Holstein to the north and Lower Saxony to the south.
According to the city's official name, Hamburg has a long history. It used to be a member of the mediaeval Hanseatic League, and it was a free city of the Holy Roman Empire. Before the 1871 Unification of Germany, it was a fully sovereign city state. Before 1919, it was a civic republic led by a class of hereditary grand burghers, or Hanseaten, who were chosen by the people. The city has been hit by disasters like the Great Fire of Hamburg, the North Sea flood of 1962, and military conflicts like bombing raids from World War II. Each time, the city has been able to recover and become richer.
It comes after Rotterdam and Antwerp to be Europe's third largest port. NDR, Gruner + Jahr, Der Spiegel, and Die Zeit are all based in the city, as are many other big businesses. Hamburg is home to Germany's oldest stock exchange, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and the world's oldest merchant bank, Berenberg Bank, which dates back to 1625. Airbus, Blohm + Voss, Aurubis, Beiersdorf, and Unilever are just a few of the big media, commercial, logistical, and industrial companies that have big offices in the city. Hamburg is also a major European centre for science, research, and education, with a lot of universities and other places to go. This year, the city was ranked 19th in Mercer's Quality of Living Survey. It has a very good quality of life.
A lot of people who study international law and the world economy live and work in Hamburg. These people include consular and diplomatic missions, such as the International Tribunal for Law of the Sea. Multipartite international political conferences and summits like Europe and China and the G20 also take place in Hamburg. Both former German chancellors, Helmut Schmidt and Angela Merkel, were born in Hamburg, and both were born there. Olaf Scholz, who used to be the mayor of Hamburg, has been the German chancellor since December 2021.
Hamburg is a very popular place for both international and domestic tourists to go. They were made World Heritage Sites by the United Nations in 2015. Hamburg has the most bridges in Europe. It has about 2,500 bridges that cross its rivers and canals, making it the city with the most bridges in the whole world. This isn't the only thing that makes the city great. It also has a lot of great cultural venues, like the Elbphilharmonie and the Laeiszhalle concert halls. In the end, it led to groups like Hamburger Schule and the Beatles. Hamburg is also known for having a lot of theatres and a lot of different musical shows. In Europe, St. Pauli's Reeperbahn is one of the most well-known places to have fun.
When Emperor Charlemagne built a castle on the site in AD 808 and named it Hamburg, it was the first thing there that stayed in place. It was built on rocky ground in a marsh between the River Alster and the River Elbe as a defence against Slavic invasion. It was given the name Hammaburg, which means castle or fort. The origin of the word Hamma is unknown, but it is thought to have been at the site of today's Domplatz.