It ranked 18th in the world for livability in 2016.
Hamburg is a major European science, research, and education hub, with several universities and institutes.
Prior to the constitutional changes in 1919 it formed a civic republic headed constitutionally by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten.
Repeatedly destruction has beset the city's history including the Great Fire of Hamburg, exceptional coastal flooding and military conflicts including WW2 bombing raids.
Its trade alliance with Lübeck in 1241 marks the origin and core of the powerful Hanseatic League of trading cities.
On 8 November 1266, a contract between Henry III and Hamburg's traders allowed them to establish a hanse in London.
The coldest are December, January, and February, with low temperatures of −0.3 to 1.0 °C (31.5 to 33.8 °F).Two years later, Hamburg was united with Bremen as the Bishopric of Hamburg-Bremen.In 1189, by imperial charter, Frederick I "Barbarossa" granted Hamburg the status of an Imperial Free City and tax-free access (or free-trade zone) up the Lower Elbe into the North Sea.It is on the River Elbe at its confluence with the Alster and Bille.The city centre is around the Binnenalster ("Inner Alster") and Außenalster ("Outer Alster"), both formed by damming the River Alster to create lakes.
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Multipartite international political conferences and summits have in recent years included those between Europe and China and among the G20.