Why Hamburg is what it is. If you want to know how the mission fort Hammaburg became the proud Hanseatic city and the proverbial gateway to the world, then the Museum of Hamburg History is the right place for you.
Hamburg's City Museum was built in 1908 by Fritz Schumacher, the important Hamburg architect and formative chief building director, on the site of the former Bastion Henricus, part of the Baroque fortification complex built between 1616 and 1625 by the Dutchman Jan van Valckenborgh, which made the city impregnable. Opened in 1922 on Holstenwall, the museum building is now one of the largest museums of cultural and urban history in Germany and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022.
From piracy in Hamburg and its development into a modern metropolis
The exhibitions in the Museum of Hamburg History document the changes in Hamburg on 1,000 square metres. The extensive collection on the city's history ranges from Hamburg's beginnings around 800 to the present day. Here the visitor learns everything worth knowing about the pirates of the 14th and 15th centuries, the development into a modern metropolis and one of the most important port cities in Europe.
Numerous exhibitions on the central themes of shipping, port and emigration via Hamburg, as well as the "Jews in Hamburg" section, provide a comprehensive presentation of Hamburg's history.
The highlight of the museum is the so-called Störtebeker skull. The 600-year-old skull was discovered in 1878 during the construction of the Speicherstadt warehouse district on Grasbrook. The head is attributed to the pirate leader Klaus Störtebeker, who was beheaded with 72 companions on Grasbrook - in today's Hafencity - on 21 October 1401.
In addition to the important exhibits of the last 1200 years, the museum also offers numerous special exhibitions, museum festivals, events and Hamburg's largest model railway in gauge 1. With its covered courtyard, the museum is one of Hamburg's most beautiful event venues.
Reopening in 2027
Since the beginning of February 2023, the museum has been undergoing modernisation and is largely closed. The special exhibition, the library, the gastronomy and the museum shop will remain open and adjusted admission prices will apply. The reopening is planned for 2027.
Short & Sweet
- How much time 2 to 3 hours
- Only here is the city of Hamburg's multifaceted development history from its beginnings around 800 until the present day
- How to get there Take the underground to St. Pauli (5 min. walk), take the bus to the Museum of Hamburg History (1 min. walk).
- Gastronomy "Bastion" Bistro in the building
- Near Reeperbahn, St. Michaelis Church, Wallanlagen
- Tip Free admission for children and young people under the age of 18