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Hamburg: Europe's green capital

An oasis of peace and tranquility, a vibrant city, and a symbol of sustainability: as European Green Capital 2011, Hamburg, Germany's second largest city, is focused on all things green.

Enjoy a boat trip along the River Elbe from Hamburg to Cuxhaven on the North Sea; relax in the leafy shade of a spreading oak tree looking out over the Alster lake; take a tour of HafenCity, the modern urban-planning project that is transforming the city's harbourside district; spend a relaxing afternoon in Stadtpark or explore the huge Planten un Blomen park, which includes a botanical garden and the largest Japanese garden in Europe... The charm and appeal of Hamburg is almost infinite. This city – one of the richest in Europe – has achieved a fine balance between urban life and nature. In recognition of the city's commitment to all aspects of the environment and nature conservation, Hamburg has been named European Green Capital 2011.

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Hamburg, European Green Capital, 2011
The River Alster forms two artificial lakes within the  city of Hamburg. The Outer Alster Lake is a paradise for lovers of sailing, canoeing and rowing 

Hamburg, European Green Capital, 2011
A visit to Hamburg should include a trip around the Speicherstadt – the old warehouse district that dates from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and where a number of museums are now housed in the beautiful Neo-Gothic buildings 

Hamburg, European Green Capital, 2011
Rieck Haus in Curslack, also known as the Vierlander Open Air Museum, is a branch of Hamburg's Altonaer Museum 

Hamburg, European Green Capital, 2011
The traditional Hagenbeck Zoo is one of the most important zoos in Europe today. It covers an area of around 25 hectares and is home to over 2,500 animals of 360 species from all continents 

Hamburg, European Green Capital, 2011
There is still evidence of the ancient city defences in the city centre, which boasts a number of large parks including the vast Planten un Blomen 

Hamburg, European Green Capital, 2011
Planten un Blomen park – whose name means plants and flowers – is home to the old botanical garden and the largest Japanese garden in Europe, a quiet but impressive attraction 

Hamburg, European Green Capital, 2011
In Hamburg, one of the richest cities in Europe, a careful balance has been achieved between nature and urban life 

Hamburg, European Green Capital, 2011
Planten un Blomen park is often the site of public concerts and theatrical performances 

Hamburg, European Green Capital, 2011
Almost half the area of Hamburg is made up of green spaces, protected areas and wooded zones, making the city a pioneer in the field of environmental awareness 

Hamburg, European Green Capital, 2011
The stress of everyday life is cushioned and absorbed by the green oases of tranquility offered by this vibrant city 

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