Rathaus (Town Hall)
Rathaus (Town Hall) Review
To most Hamburgers this impressive neo-Renaissance building is the symbolic heart of the city. The seat of the city's Senate (State Government) and Bürgerschaft (Parliament), it was constructed between 1886 and 1897, with 647 rooms and an imposing clock tower. Along with much of the city center, the Rathaus was heavily damaged during World War II, but was faithfully restored to its original beauty in the postwar years, and it's now one of the most photographed sights in Hamburg. The forty-minute tours of the building begin in the ground floor Rathausdiele, a vast pillared hall. Although visitors are only shown the state rooms, their tapestries, glittering chandeliers, coffered ceilings, and grand portraits give you a sense of the city's great wealth in the 19th century and the Town Hall's status as an object of civic pride. Outside, the Rathausmarkt (Town Hall Square) is the site of regular festivals and events, including the annual Stuttgarter Wine Festival and the city's biggest Christmas market.