History of Hamburg
Hamburg (officially the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg) is the second largest city in Germany and one of the largest ports in Europe.
Hamburg's history begins with a fortress «Hammaburg», erected at the mouth of the Alster River by order of Emperor Charlemagne at the beginning of the 9th century. During its long history, the city was repeatedly attacked by various conquerors (Vikings, Poles, Danes, French, etc.), several times was thoroughly destroyed, experienced severe fires and outbreaks of plague that claimed thousands of lives, but despite everything, it grew and developed.
In 1189, Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa granted the city a special status and endowed a number of trade and tax privileges, which in fact served as a powerful impetus for the further development of Hamburg as one of the largest ports in Europe. The rapid economic growth was also greatly facilitated by the trade alliance concluded with Lübeck in 1241 and the subsequent accession of Hamburg to the Hanseatic League. In 1410, the first Hamburg Constitution was adopted. By the beginning of the 16th century, Hamburg significantly expanded its borders, and already in 1510 it officially received the status of the Free Imperial City and, accordingly, the right to self-government. By the middle of the 16th century, Hamburg becomes one of the largest trading floors in Europe.
The Reformation, which swept Western and Central Europe in the 16th century, did not pass aside from Hamburg. In 1529, the city officially adopted Lutheranism. The ensuing massive influx of Protestant refugees from the Netherlands and France, and then Sephardic Jews from Portugal, had a significant impact on the increase in the population of Hamburg and the cultural development of the city..
In 1806, after the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, Hamburg retained its privileges and actually became a city-state, but already in 1810 it was occupied by Napoleon's troops. True, the rule of the French, which had a very negative impact on the economic development of the city, was short-lived. In 1814, Russian troops liberated Hamburg, and the city regained its independence, the guarantees of which were officially declared in 1815 at the Vienna Congress. From 1814 to 1866, Hamburg was a member of the so-called German Confederation, from 1866 to 1871 - a member of the Northern German Confederation, and from 1871 to 1918 - part of the German Empire and its main «sea gate». The city managed to maintain its autonomous status during the Weimar Republic (1919-1933).
During the Second World War, Hamburg was repeatedly bombed, as a result of which a significant part of the city was destroyed. From 1945 to 1949, Hamburg was occupied by British troops, after which it became part of the Federal Republic of Germany. «Iron curtain» passing only 50 km east of Hamburg, undoubtedly had a great impact on reducing the commercial attractiveness of the city and its role in world trade. A significant rise in the economic development of the city began after the unification of Germany in 1990..
Today Hamburg is an important financial and industrial center of Germany, as well as a major transport hub..