History

Gorch Fock (left) escorted by Sea Cloud at 790. port anniversary 1964

History

828 years old, and fit as a fiddle! Read up on the history of Hamburg's Port Anniversary, from the days of Emperor Barbarossa to today’s weekend-long festival.

Port Anniversary Hafengeburtstag History

Legend has it that the Hamburg Port Anniversary dates back to the days of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. On May 7th, 1189 he granted a tax exemption on trade in the Hamburg port area. This decision soon proved to be the turning point in Hamburg’s rise to power. In the centuries to come, the formerly modestly-sized town transformed into one of Europe’s most significant port cities.

No wonder that 828 years later, May 7th is still celebrated as the inception of Hamburg’s port. Since 1977, these celebrations have come in the shape of a large, weekend-long public festival, including an almost unfathomable abundance of food stalls, live music and ship parades. This combination proved to be a great success: Today, this “birthday party” is the single-largest port festival on the planet.

If you wish to learn more about the history of Hamburg’s port, click here.

History