UNESCO World Heritage Site Chilehaus

The expressionist Chilehaus building is a UNESCO world heritage site for its rich architecture and history. 


The Chilehaus UNESCO World Heritage Site - Expressionist Architecture by the Elbe River

A building like a ship’s bow

Is’s safe to say that the Chilehaus (lit. ‘Chile house’) is one of Hamburg’s most impressive buildings. It’s the pointy eastern end, reminiscent of a ship’s bow, is what first meets the eye. Since the building’s completion in 1924, it has been a centre for international maritime trade. Today, the impressive landmark also houses a real estate firm, a department store and a piano retailer. The expressionist brick building is located nearby other important sights, such as the Mönckebergstrasse shopping street, city hall, the St. Nikolai church memorial and the Spiegel publishing house.

Chilehaus - office spaces and shopping

After passing under a high archway, visitors enter one of the complex’s inner courtyards, where they’ll find an array of cafés, restaurants and stores. The upper floors are mainly occupied by offices.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Along with the Speicherstadt warehouse district and the adjacent Kontorhausviertel with its old trading stations, the Chilehaus is on  the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of the more than 1,000 such sights that exist globally, more than 40 can be found throughout Germany.

Spurred by the saltpetre trade

The Chilehaus was built between 1922 and 1924 according to blueprints drafted by Fritz Höger. It was one of the city’s first high-rises (by the standards of the day) and was commissioned by the at-the-time richest man in Hamburg: Henry B. Sloman. Having moved to Chile in 1869 to open a saltpetre plant for processing potassium nitrate, he returned to his home by the Elbe river a rich man in 1898. His fortune only increased as his ongoing investments in the South American saltpetre trade continued to pay off handsomely.

See this link for a more detailed look into the Chilehaus.



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