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

Port Anniversary History

In 1189, legendary emperor Barbarossa declared Hamburg's port a custom-free zone. The Anniversary is celebrated since 1977. 

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 almost 830 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.