Altonaer Fischauktionshalle



The Altonaer Fischauktionshalle was built in 1896 and bombing brought it down in flames in 1943.

Year of construction: 1894 - 96

Construction type: market hall from the ancient Roman empire, a basilica with two aisles, a middle transept and crossing dome. Length 103m / 3,800 sq.metre area. Rivet steel construction made of 'Buddelstahl' (rust-free steel). Initially it was to be torn down in 1975 due to extensive war damage.

Restoration of the Historical Monument 1984/85

Through architect Günter Talkenberg's dedicated work, the hall, modelled after a Roman market hall - a basilica with two aisles, a middle transept and crossing dome, was able to be saved. The Hamburg senate was persuaded of its preservation value and approved the necessary 6.5 million DM. The de-Koster-Stiftung, London (De Koster Foundation) awarded the city of Hamburg the Europa Nostra Diploma (European heritage asset protection) for exemplary restoration work. With old photos and plans as references, the hall was rebuilt in a two-year construction period and adornments such as the stained glass windows, light fixtures, crests and pilaster were restored. The hall's structure was well preserved because it was constructed with 'buddelstahl' (rust-free steel). Thus, the whole steel structure remained almost completely intact. A distinctive feature: during floods, the water from the Elbe River can enter and flow back through openings in the gates without endangering the structure through built-up water pressure.

In 1992 the historic quay in front of the middle of the hall was restored.

Historically Embedded

The hall was being planned in 1894 and was supposed to stand on the Hamburg city border at the Altonaer Fish Market. The border between Altona and Hamburg ran along the Pepermölenbek (tributary) from the Elbe River northwards.

Brisk fish trade (the Sunday Fish Market), fishermen docking on the Elbe River and use of the
socalled 'harbour railway' for the transportation of fresh goods, marked this period. Slowly, the fishing trawlers increased competition with the fishermen, and an auctioneer helped keep the price, pressured by the wholesalers, oriented on supply and demand.

Flood Protection and Renovation of Listed Buildings

After 1960, in 1976, a second great flood caused extensive damage in the harbour area. As a consequence, studies regarding flood protection were commissioned, from which later the fish market promenade running along the Hafenstraße with its high walls for flood protection, was conceived. In the early 80s the planning for flood protection measures was completed and it was then decided in the Hamburg senate that the Fischauktionshalle be saved. After the restoration of the hall, the post-modern redevelopment of the Fischmarkt (1988-94) with the re-erection of the Minerva-Brunnen (Minerva fountain) which dates back to 1742 located on the so-called 'Bergfläche' (hill area) occurred.

Also the Stadtlagerhaus, the Lübke-Speicher and the former Malzfabrik Näfeke (now Stilwerk) along the Große Elbstraße were restored as historical assets.

Likewise, in Neumühlen before the museum harbour Övelgönne, the so-called Altonaer 'Perlenkette' (chain of pearls) was built under the former chief planning officer Kossak, this is an ensemble of modern offices and living spaces with a wide promenade (a continuation of the Elbwanderweg), which give Altona a modern cityscape.