„Will you take a harbour cruise this time?“ this is a running gag, when I start to my Hamburg trips. This time my best friend asked me and got the laconic answer: „I’ll do my very best, as ever!“ This time I saw Landungsbrücken, where all those damned harbour cruises start, but – that’s it! As ever, my time was too short for this ordinary touristic amusement, it had to wait, maybe next time. After all, I got a glimpse, but somehow there were too much other attractions between me and my cruise. And I don’t think of Reeperbahn, Große Freiheit and Musicals but Gängeviertel, Schanzenviertel and Millerntor Gallery… My main topic this time was Schanzenviertel, as I missed it last year. So this was my only fixed agenda item for this visit as an absolute must.
The day of arrival is always short. You have to get up very early to take an early train, drop your luggage down at the hotel reception and then – thank heaven – you can start at midday. How nice that there is a streetart hot spot nearby in a 10 minutes walk. Let’s start warm-up phase and have a closer look to Gängeviertel, where I have been the last time last year (Gängeviertel 2015).
The beginning of Gängeviertel date back to the 18th century. Originally the neighbourhood spred from the harbour to the inner city. Parts were destroyed in World War II and over the times several historic buidings were demolished and destroyed. What remains are now a handful of houses between Bäckerbreitergang Caffamacherreihe, Valentinskamp and Speckstraße. In August 2009 a group of artists and activists occupated the remaining houses to save them from destruction. What was dilapidated room in poor condition initially developed to apartments, studios, exhibition and event locations over the time. Today the quarter is a location for art and social projects. Built around 1900 „The Fabrique“ is the centerpiece of the neighbourhood. In former days belts and buckles were produced here. As part of the reorganization measures the listed building was rebuilt and reopened in March 2016. Gängeviertel is home for the work of a lot of famous street artists not only based in Hamburg and as the local residents are tolerant for this kind of art and don’t remove it, you can find them all in more or less good condition. Many of the pieces I found were older ones. New pieces were integrated in older ones and some new added. Kupferdiebehaus got a new facade designed by LOW BROS and and and… By the way: the pictures I have taken there you can find here. Easter Monday made it difficult to find something to eat and so I walked downtown with a strong feeling of hunger and passed Binnenalster and main station; finally I reached St. Georg, and there I was quite by accident to the right place. For good food – and for street art too. Here I stumbled the first but not the last time over an unknown artist who has to register criticism of Wladimir Putin. He calls him „Bloodymir Putin“. We shall meet him again and again in Schanzenviertel and St. Pauli too.