This improvement was projected to include the damming of the Charles river, and the creation of a great freshwater basin, with drive-ways of reclaimed land along the shores, and other adornments, somewhat after the model of the Alster basins at Hamburg.
The city proper lies on both sides of the little river Alster, which, dammed up a short distance from its mouth, forms a lake, of which the southern portion within the line of the former fortifications bears the name of the Inner Alster (Binnen Alster), and the other and larger portion (2500 yards long and 1300 yards at the widest) that of the Outer Alster (Aussen Alster).
The oldest portion of the city is that which lies Boundary of Hamburg ' shown Thus:- ....._--- - - to the east.of the Alster; but, though it still retains the name of Altstadt, nearly all trace of its antiquity has disappeared, as it was rebuilt after the great fire of 1842.
In fine contrast to them is the bright appearance of the Binnen Alster, which is enclosed on three sides by handsome rows of buildings, the Alsterdamm in the east, the Alter Jungfernstieg in the south, and the Neuer Jungfernstieg in the west, while it is separated from the Aussen Alster by part of the rampart gardens traversed by the railway uniting Hamburg with Altona and crossing the lakes by a beautiful bridge - the LombardsBriicke.
Along the southern end of the Binnen Alster runs the Jungfernstieg with fine shops, hotels and restaurants facing the water.
The streets enclosing the Binnen Alster are fashionable promenades, and leading directly from this quarter are the main business thoroughfares, the Neuer-Wall, the Grosse Bleichen and the Hermannstrasse.
In anticipation of this event a gigantic system of docks, basins and quays was constructed, at a total cost of some £7,000,000 (of which the imperial treasury contributed 2,000,000), between the confluence of the Alster and the railway bridge (1868-1873), an entire quarter of the town inhabited by some 24,000 people being cleared away to make room for these accessories of a great port.
Hamburg probably had its origin in a fortress erected in 808 by Charlemagne, on an elevation between the Elbe and Alster, as a defence against the Sla y s, and called Hammaburg because of the surrounding forest (Hamme).
Two rivers, the Alster and the Bille, flow through the city of Hamburg into the Elbe, the mouth of which, at Cuxhaven, is 75 m.