The Speicherstadt in Hamburg, Germany is the largest timber-pile founded warehouse
A warehouse is a commercial building for storage of goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial areas of cities and towns. They usually have loading docks to load and unload...

 district in the world. It is located in the port of Hamburg—within the HafenCity
HafenCity is a quarter in the District of Hamburg-Mitte in Hamburg, Germany. It is located on the Elbe river island that use to be called Kehrwieder and Wandrahm....

 quarter—and was built from 1883 to 1927.

The district was built as a free zone to transfer goods without paying customs. As of 2009 the district and the surrounding area is under redevelopment.


The Speicherstadt is located in the port of Hamburg and 1.5 km (0.93205910497471 mi) long and pervaded by loading canals (German [in Hamburg]: Fleet).


Since 1815, the independent and sovereign city of Hamburg was a member of the German Confederation
German Confederation
The German Confederation was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia...

—the association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

—but not member of the German Customs Union
thumb|upright=1.2|The German Zollverein 1834–1919blue = Prussia in 1834 grey= Included region until 1866yellow= Excluded after 1866red = Borders of the German Union of 1828 pink= Relevant others until 1834...

. With the establishment of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 in 1871, Hamburg could not be a customs free zone and part of the German Empire. Due to treaties of 1888 Hamburg was part of the German customs zone and a free port was established.

In 1883 the demolition of the Kehrwieder area began and more than 20,000 people needed to be relocated. From 1885 to 1888 the first part was built and managed by the Freihafen-Lagerhaus-Gesellschaft (the predecessor of the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG is a German logistics and transportation company. The firm operates three container terminals at the Port of Hamburg: Altenwerder, Burchardkai and Tollerort, as well as cargo handling and transport services by rail, road and sea...

) During the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 the Speicherstadt was half-destroyed and partly reconstructed. Since 1991 it is listed a heritage site in Hamburg, and since 2008, part of the HafenCity
HafenCity is a quarter in the District of Hamburg-Mitte in Hamburg, Germany. It is located on the Elbe river island that use to be called Kehrwieder and Wandrahm....

quarter. In an attempt to revitalize the inner city area, the Hamburg government
Government of Hamburg
The government of Hamburg is divided into executive, legislative and judicial branches. Due to the characteristic that Hamburg is a city-state and a municipality in Germany, the governance deals several details of state politics and community politics. It takes place in two ranks; a city-wide and...

 initiated the development of the HafenCity area, for example with the construction of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall
Elbe Philharmonic Hall
The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg is a concert hall under construction in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany. The concert hall is designed by Herzog & de Meuron on top of an old warehouse...



The warehouses were built with different support structures, but Andreas Meyer
Andreas Meyer (civil engineer)
Andreas Meyer was a German civil engineer. From 1872 to 1901 he and Carl Johann Christian Zimmermann helped significantly shape the city of Hamburg - Meyer himself is most notable as the creator of the Speicherstadt. He was a cousin to Eduard Meyer and Kuno Meyer....

 created a Neo-Gothic
Gothic Revival architecture
The Gothic Revival is an architectural movement that began in the 1740s in England...

A brick is a block of ceramic material used in masonry construction, usually laid using various kinds of mortar. It has been regarded as one of the longest lasting and strongest building materials used throughout history.-History:...

 outer layer with little towers, alcoves, and glazed terra cotta
Glazed architectural terra-cotta
Glazed architectural terra-cotta is a ceramic masonry building material popular in the United States from the late 19th century until the 1930s, and still one of the most common building materials found in U.S. urban environments...

 ornaments. The warehouses are multi-storey buildings with entrances form water and land. One of the oldest warehouses is the Kaispeicher B of the International Maritime Museum
Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg
The Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg is a private museum in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany. The museum houses Peter Tamm's collection of model ships, construction plans, uniforms, and maritime art, amounting to over 40,000 items and more than one million photographs...



The Speicherstadt is a tourist attraction in Hamburg. There are several museums like the Deutsches Zollmuseum (German Customs Museum), Miniatur Wunderland
Miniatur Wunderland
Miniatur Wunderland is a model railway attraction in Hamburg, Germany and the largest of its kind in the world. , the railway consists of of track in HO scale, divided into seven sections: Harz, the fictitious city of Knuffingen, the Alps and Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, and Switzerland...

, a model railway, the Hamburg Dungeon
Hamburg Dungeon
Built in 2000, the Hamburg Dungeon is a tourist attraction from a chain including the London Dungeon and York Dungeon. It is the first of this brand to be built in mainland Europe...

, and the Afghan Museum
Afghan Museum
The Afghan Museum is private museum of culture and cultural history of Afghanistan, situated in the historic and picturesque Speicherstadt of Hamburg, Germany...


The buildings are also used as warehouses. As of 2005, the companies in the Speicherstadt handled one-third of the world's carpet production, and other goods as cocoa, coffee, tea, spices, maritime equipment, and electronic goods.

External links

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