The Castle in the Port or Where the Leap across the Elbe ends
Hamburg is leaping across the Elbe – in other words, towards Harburg. Indeed, over recent years a dynamic maritime quarter has been emerging among the old warehouses and shipyards of Harburg Upriver Port: new high-tech forges combined with restaurants and riverside homes. Start this tour in the Upriver Port.
An independent town until 1938, Harburg is today a district of Hamburg. It is a district with a turbulent history, however, inextricably linked to the industrialisation and recovery of its harbour. This can be seen to this day around the inner harbour, the heart of Old Harburg. The earliest evidence is Harburg Castle, though only parts of the former west wing remain, dating back to the fourteenth century.
From the mid-nineteenth century on, Harburg harbour grew into an industrial port. The castle was also affected by this development. Around 1900 a shipyard took over the land and built a tenement for workers on the foundations of the west wing. It is still inhabited, holding its own for a good century among the dockyards, port facilities, and warehouses that surround it. Now for the first time its residents will have neighbours.
The epicentre of the remodelled area is Harburg Schlossinsel Park, which lies between the new housing and the castle; it was finished in 2012. With its freshly planted trees, expanse of grass, children’s playground, and plenty of benches, the park is set to become the meeting place for the Schlossinsel.
The Park Quarter housing project, by summer 2013 the site of two residential buildings, is being built right next to the park. The Marina on the Schlossinsel with 162 housing units ranging from stacked town houses to spacious loft apartments, is also being built nearby.
The restructuring of Lotseplatz and Kanalplatz is part of a network of open spaces and linking paths that are breathing new life into the historical heart of Harburg – a typical industrial area for over a century.
The Harburg Cultural Workshop, which is based in a former shipping office right on Kanalplatz, offers an extensive programme and range of courses.
An archaeological dig is still underway nearby following the discovery of the remains of a medieval settlement. As soon as the excavation work is complete, construction can begin on the IBA Hamburg project Maritime Housing by the Kaufhauskanal. Then, there should be twelve new houses with a cutting-edge design, laid out in a grid pattern between Harburger Schlossstrasse and the canal. You can enjoy something to eat in the famous Restaurant Goldener Engel on Schlossstrasse.
The most distinctive features of the Upriver Port are the countless old factory and warehouse buildings along the canals. Lavishly renovated, they now house offices, research facilities, various retail establishments, and stylish restaurants. The driving force behind this transformation is the “channel hamburg” association, which gives the whole area its name.
Directly adjacent to the IBA Hamburg project InnovationCampus Green Technologies – a research, technology, and new business centre for renewable energies, environmental technology, and climate impact management – will be built on the corner of Karnapp and Schellerdamm from summer 2013.
The IBA Hamburg is also participating in two projects in this new district, on former railway property. Walk back up Schellerdamm towards the Schlossinsel. Housing on the Hafencampus is the first residential development on the square, consisting of 63 highly energy-efficient apartments overlooking the Östlicher Bahnhofskanal. A neighbouring project ist the Schellerdamm Student Residence.
At the end of Schellerdamm, on Veritaskai, you can round off your tour of Harburg, looking out over the Schlossinsel.