Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft mbH
Hamburg, Postfach 540 930 22509
The founder and his idea Carl Hagenbeck built what no other dared dream of. In 1907, the Hamburg man opened the first barless zoo in the world. As early as the end of the eighteenth century, this son of a fishmonger had the idea of showing animals no longer caged up but in open viewing enclosures. In his zoo of the future, nothing more than unseen ditches were to separate wild animals from members of the public. Carl Hagenbeck patented this idea in 1896. Nine years later his dream was to come true in Hamburg-Stellingen. The revolutionary open viewing enclosures and panoramas were in fact ridiculed in professional circles but took the public's breath away. Hagenbeck's zoo is considered to have prepared the way for today's wildlife adventure parks. Even today new zoological gardens are being created to his model.Carl Hagenbeck was born on the 14th June 1844 and died on the 14th April 1913.
The complex In the centre of Hamburg there is a zoological garden without peer. The far-ranging park extends over 25 hectares with its old trees and plants from all over the world. Authentic buildings and sculptures from Japan and Nepal bejewel the banks of the two lakes and the main entrance. Within its famous barless open enclosures and panoramas such as the Arctic Sea live 1,850 animals. Along the 4 miles of pathways visitors can see 210 different species of animals from all continents. An eight metre high giraffe sculpture by Stephan Balkenhol, the generously mapped-out public parkland and the Nepalese temple beckon visitors from afar to an unforgettable time at Hagenbeck.
The animals Barbary sheep clamber nimbly over the grey rocks. Two lionesses are dosing leisurely in the sun. The orang-utans swing happily among the branches and ropes. Every visitor will find their favourite among Hagenbeck Zoo's 1,850 animals. Some animals, such as giraffes, can be experienced close up by feeding them from a high stand. Others such as Siberian tigers are separated from the visitor by mere moats and similar natural boundaries.
The keepers introduce their animals and answer the guests' questions. This way they can find out something interesting which they might not necessarily find in an animal encyclopaedia. Especially popular: the show feeding of the seals and penguins. In the exotic animal and free-flight show, macaws and pelicans show off their flying skills while coatis demonstrate their climbing abilities.
Another visitors favourite is the lively group of orang-utans. In their open air cupola, large and small apes rampage wantonly through the jungle-like enclosure. But the big star at Hagenbeck is "Shila" the baby elephant. She came punctually into the world for the zoo's centenary on the 11th April 2007 in the new free-roaming hall.
Other attractions Exotic animal and free-flight shows, historic African, Asian and Arctic panoramas, the orang-utan house with the moving open air cupola, feeding the elephants, the new elephant free-roaming hall, giraffe feeding from the high stand, pony rides and horse drawn carriage trips, goat petting enclosure, big adventure playground, fairyland mini-rail, show feeding talking to the keepers at feeding times. So close, so wild, so beautiful. Catering Ice cream and refreshments can be had from the park's numerous kiosks. The Flamingo Lodge restaurant offers a comprehensive menu and diners there can enjoy a wonderful view of the lake, steppes and mountains of the world famous African panorama.
Visitors to the zoo Around one million people visit the zoo each year. Only Hamburg's seven biggest museums put together receive this many. That makes Hagenbeck Zoo the biggest tourist magnet in the Hanseatic city. Visitors come from the metropolitan region of Hamburg as well as from home and abroad. The neighbouring Tropical Aquarium attracts a further 500,000 visitors of which the majority will also visit the zoo. Hagenbeck is simply the best "Fist class" apart from Hagenbeck, only one other zoo has been given this rating. In a test survey, unique in its comprehensiveness, the Stern magazine (no. 31/2000) asked zoo experts to compare and evaluate 39 German zoos.
Hagenbeck even scored points for environmental conservation: in 2003 it was the first zoological gardens in Germany to be awarded an international seal of approval. And the work of this successful zoo will be rewarded again in its 2007 centenary year: Hagenbeck will be the only zoo to be entered into the handbook entitled "Deutsche Standards brands of the century".
The seasons A visit to Hagenbeck Zoo is always in season. In springtime crocuses and narcissi, azaleas and rhododendrons transform the park into a sea of blossoms. In May and June the jungle nights are accompanied by an exotic programme of music and show. Two months later the whole zoo becomes Europe's most beautiful concert stage during the Romantic Nights.
The autumn foliage radiates colour to rival the fire-red Asian buildings and in winter a thick covering of snow provides a contemplative calm. Hagenbeck Zoo is a trip to adventure any time of the year. THE AQUARIUM On the 25th May 2007, 100 years after the opening of the world renowned zoo, Hagenbeck gave the all-clear for its new recreational attraction: the Tropical World adventure aquarium. That finally gives the citizens of Hamburg and the steadily growing number of tourists to the Hanseatic city an aquarium of the highest international standard. This new attraction has given Hamburg, the waterside city and "gateway to the world", an access to the flora and fauna of the tropics, the South Seas and the Caribbean.
For the visitor, a truly unique world of adventure opens itself up which is designed as though Carl Hagenbeck himself had done it: with barless open enclosures, right up close to the animals. Visitors can see 13,000 exotic animals in their habitat on land, in the water and in caves. The concept: animals ashore, in water and in caves 290 animals live in the Tropical Aquarium, some are endangered species from the equatorial regions. In all a total of 13,000 exotic animals have found a home here in Hamburg. The round tour leads the visitor through several theme areas: the tropical and sub-tropical seas, forests and the world of caves. This combination is unique in the world. The species-specific and close-to-nature design of the enclosures together with the fascinating presentation of the animals results in the illusion for the visitor of finding themselves transported into the middle of their habitat. In the biotopes, animals whose territory would also overlap in the wild share a habitat with each other.
The multi-storey building which has sprung up next to the zoo augments the enthralling Hagenbeck animal world with many new attractions. The visitor can wander along jungle pathways through the tropical and sub-tropical primeval forest past lively lemurs and parrots, Nile crocodiles and many other reptiles - some very poisonous. The longest poisonous snake in the world, the king cobra, can also be seen along with the green mamba and Gabon viper. Dwarf mongooses, hyraxes, fruit bats and turacos also afford a fascinating insight into the animal world. Various insects and web spinners can likewise be observed. The caves are noticeably cooler and damper. Visitors take themselves into a dark, underground area and experience such animals as bats and emperor scorpions.
In the adventure aquarium the visitor is "immersed" in the fascinating underwater world of the tropical seas. They can experience sharks close enough to touch. The large shark atoll alone with 1.8 million litres of water is one of the biggest pools in Europe and the concave glass is a one-off. It was produced in Japan in five pieces. Its size is enormous: 14 metres long, six metres high, 22 centimetres thick and weighing 26 tons.
Visitors are struck by the unbelievable multiplicity of colours and forms of the living coral reef. The multitude of fresh and salt water pools are home to red lion fish, moray eels, unusual schooling fish and rarities of the aquatic habitat. The architecture The Nepalese pagoda temple at the main entrance, the Thai sala and the many Asiatic sculptures make their mark on the wonderful ambience of the zoo. Hagenbeck has linked its Tropical Aquarium centenary project architecturally with the existing cultural objects and buildings. The exterior view of the tropical aquarium situated directly adjacent to the zoo is reminiscent of a monastery. Within, the building exhibits the biodiversity of the tropics. The habitats are designed to appear as though deserted by humanity and re-conquered by the animal world.
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