Holzhafen: an insider tip
The Hamburg Holzhafen between the Altona Cruise Center and the St. Pauli fish market is a quiet counterpart to the tourist-heavy Landungsbrücken piers. Especially during big events at Hamburg’s port, such as the Cruise Days or the Port Anniversary, the Holzhafen is a great alternative that allows visitors to experience events away from the big hustle and bustle. Plenty of other sights are close by as well, for example the Dockland, the Altona Town Hall, the Altonaer Balkon park, and the Christianskirche church.
Your tastebuds will thank you for a visit to the Holzhafen too. In addition to high-end restaurants like Henssler & Henssler or Marseille, there are traditional fish restaurants, fish stalls, sushi restaurants, cute cafés, rustic and quaint sailors' pubs and various delis to be found.
The office building Holzhafen Ost was completed in 2003 and received the 2002 Bauwerk des Jahres (‘Building of the Year’) award from the Hamburg Architecture and Engineering Association. In 2013, the construction of the property Holzhafen West was completed. Both buildings are reminiscent of the traditional architecture found in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt.
Another special address in the Holzhafen area is the building at Große Elbstrasse 84, which houses veteran Hamburg music venues Hafenklang on its ground floor and Goldener Salon on the second floor. At the beginning of the last century, the ground floor of the building was still used as a stable for the trams that once roamed the city. In the 1970s, the famous recording studio (from which today's Hafenklang gets its name) was established on the second floor. Concerts and cultural events make Hafenklang an important meeting place for the creative scene in Hamburg every night of the week.
Hamburg’s oldest artificial harbour facility
The Holzhafen was built in the early 18th century and is considered the oldest surviving artificial harbour complex in Hamburg. Immediately to its west was once the most important fishing port in Germany around the turn of the century: the Altona fishing port. 150 years ago, a large complex of storage houses reminiscent of the larger Speicherstadt to the east — a kind of ‘Altona Speicherstadt’ — was built around the Holzhafen. It included a malting house and a fish smokehouse.
After the second world war, the timber port was devastated and abandoned. Over the years, it’s served many purposes, including as a parking lot with a view of the river and as the location of a beach club. The area owes its current modern appearance to the architects at Büll & Dr. Liedtke.