Friday, April 17, 2009
Gebaude Der Patriotischen Gesellschaft abuts Trostbrucke, a small but historically-important bridge that spans Nikolaifleet, one of Hamburg’s dozens of canals.
Trostbrucke was erected in 1881. It is one of countless bridges in Hamburg, a city that boasts more bridges than Venice and Amsterdam combined.
When erected, the 1881 stone bridge replaced a wooden bridge from the 13th Century. It is decorated with statues of Bishop Ansgar, who founded Hamburg’s first Christian outpost in 832, and Count Adolf von Schauenburg, who founded Hamburg’s merchant district in the 12th Century. These two historic persons were chosen because the bridge was intended to note the important connection between Hamburg’s religious history and its merchant history, the two foundations upon which the city was built.
Trostbrucke (“Comfort Bridge”) was given its name because prisoners on their way to be tried at the town hall were comforted for one last time on the bridge.
From the middle of the 13th century until the 1842 fire, Trostbrucke was the very center of Hamburg’s Altstadt.