Hamburg maintains partnerships with nine cities, mainly with other port cities.
The first – oral – partnership agreement was concluded in 1957 with Leningrad, today’s St. Petersburg, Russia. The partnership is the oldest between a German and a then Soviet city.
Within the framework of the Franco-German friendship, the partnership with Marseille was sealed in 1958. It is characterized by the exchange on an economic level, student and youth exchange. Hamburg has similar problems as the twin city Marseille. This concerns the port, port expansion, the development of old port areas.
The partnership with Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, which began in 1986, was frozen in 1989 after the massacre at the Gate of Heavenly Peace. However, the exchange in cultural and economic areas continued.
On 14 December 1987, the partnership with the Elbe city of Dresden, then German Democratic Republic, was signed.
The partnership with Osaka, Japan, was concluded in 1989. The highlight of the partnership was the opening of the Japanese Garden in Planten un Blomen.
A partnership has existed with León in Nicaragua since 1990, which is mainly characterised by Hamburg development aid.
On April 19, 1990, a partnership with the then Czechoslovakian, now Czech capital Prague was concluded in Hamburg as part of the East-West rapprochement. The Moldau and Elbe rivers connect Prague and Hamburg.
On Chicago’s initiative, a further town twinning arrangement has existed since 1994. The reasons were the large number of descendants of German emigrants of the nineteenth century living in Chicago and a great interest of Hamburg schools in a German-American partnership.
In June 2010 the twinning with Dar es Salaam in Tanzania was established by the Hamburg City Council.
coat of arms, logo, emblem
The small national coat of arms shows a white (or silver) castle in red shield and goes back to the town seals of the 12th and 13th century. The middle tower, on which a cross stands, is interpreted as a reference to the seat of a bishop and as a representation of the medieval St. Mary’s Cathedral, which was consecrated to the patron saint of the town and from which the “Mariensterne” above the side towers are also said to derive their name.
The design of the castle varied considerably over time. The gate was once open, fitted with portcullis or closed as an expression of a fortified town and independence from other sovereigns.
Since 1835 the coat of arms has existed in its present form with minor changes.
The phrase “Hamburg – The Gateway to the World” or “Germany’s Gateway to the World” has long been well known, in contrast to other short-term epithets or sayings of city advertising. It first appeared after Hamburg’s accession to the German customs territory (1888), a period in which Hamburg developed into one of the leading world ports.
In the preamble to the state constitution adopted in 1952, Hamburg described itself as a “global port city”, which “has a special task assigned to it by its history and location in relation to the German people. It wants to be a mediator between all continents and peoples of the world in the spirit of peace.