Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus district with Chilehaus
This is where the roots of the modern European city of Hamburg lie: the historical Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus district with the famous Chilehaus are synonymous with Hamburg’s rise as a global trading power – and are today a vibrant cultural quarter. Having survived the years without damage or alteration, this historical ensemble has now been granted UNESCO World Heritage status. You can almost smell the aromas of tea and coffee, fine spices and all kinds of delicacies as you stroll through the district. It is a miniature city in itself, a collection of warehouses built on thousands of oak piles between 1885 and 1927 in the neo-Gothic brick style. Narrow streets, bridges and canals link together the world’s largest warehouse complex, which once provided over 300,000 square metres of storage space for all manner of goods at the heart of Hamburg’s port.
Reminders of a golden age
Merchants didn’t just need storage space, however, they also needed offices. And so they built the Kontorhäuser, the first purely administrative buildings in Europe, right next to the Speicherstadt. To this day the Kontorhäuser bear witness to the prosperity of the former trading dynasties. The most famous of them is the Chilehaus, which was built using an incredible 4.8 million hand-layered bricks. Henry B. Sloman, who had made his fortune trading saltpetre from Chile, commissioned the architect Fritz Höger to design a spectacularly tall building with angled facades to resemble the bow of a ship.
So much to see and do
Both quarters, the Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus district, hold great attraction for tourists in the area between the Elbe Philharmonic Hall and HafenCity. There’s so much to see and do, with museums such as the Hamburg Dungeon, Speicherstadt Museum and Miniatur Wunderland, old-established coffee roasting houses and traditional chocolate-makers, harbourside pubs and charming restaurants. It’s like it’s own little world!
Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus Hamburg
UNESCO World Heritage since 2015
From the selection criteria
Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus Disctrict with Chilehaus contain outstanding examples of the types of buildings and ensembles that epitomize the
consequences of the rapid growth in international trade in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Their high-quality designs and functional construction, in the guise of historicism and Modernism, respectively, make them an exceptional ensemble of maritime warehouses and Modernist office
buildings of the 1920s.