In addition to the harbour, the Alster forms the maritime face of the city of Hamburg. The Alster, divided in to Binnenalster and Außenalster by the Lombardsbrücke, is a meeting point and attraction for tourists and Hamburgers alike.
The Binnenalster is the smaller part of the Alster and can be recognised by its characteristic Alster fountain, which can reach a height of up to 60 metres.
The Alster, coming from the north, once only brought cargo traffic to the city. Today's Binnenalster was built around 1250 by building a dam to dam the Alster for milling purposes. The first "Stadtwasserkunst" once stood on the site of today's Alsterhaus and supplied the old town with water from the Alster.
Good to know
- The basin of the Binnenalster contains as much water as all Hamburgers consume for drinking wahter in one day.
- The Binnenalster is on average no deeper than 3 metres.
- If it freezes enough in winter and the ice layer is at least 20 cm thick, you can skate here.