Banknote Index



Hamburg History

Hamburgs official name is "Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg" showing the connection between the city and the Hanseatic League as well the its free city status as part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Hamburg was founded in 808AD when Emperor Charlemagne ordered a castle to be built on the rocky ground between Alster and Elbe as a defence against the Slavs. The castle was named Hammaburg (Hamma Castle). It is not clear where the Hamma comes from.
Hamburg was designated the seal of a Roman Catholic Bishopric in 834 and was united with Bremen in 836.
Hamburg has been heavily damaged several times:

Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg Flag
Hamburg Great Coat of Arms

In 1189 Hamburg was given the status of Imperial Free City by Frederick Barbarossa and tax free access to the North Sea via the Lower Elbe. This, along with its closeness to the main trade routes of the Baltic and the North Seas, made it a major trading port in Northern Europe.
Hamburg formed an alliance with Lübeck in 1241, this was the precursor to the Hanseatic Leage that would dominate trade in the region for 200 years.
Upon the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Free Imperial City of Hamburg became a sovereign state and this lasted with some occupations until 1866 when Hamburg became a member of the North German Confederation.

Map, Flag and Coat of Arms and City images from

Hamburg Notgeld

Hamburg as a city and the businesses and authorities within it were were prolific producers of notgeld and produced at least 67 sets of notes. As the popularity of series notgeld increased many authorities rushed to produce their own sets. Hamburg abused the system along with others like Knievesburg, Koenigswinter was responsible for the production of notgeld for mythical towns. However even with this in mind Hamburg produced some wonderful series notes.