Germany: Hamburg – Speicherstadt Warehouse District

Speicherstadt aka Warehouse District of Hamburg is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest warehouse district in the world. The red brick buildings were built between 1883 to 1927 and most stand on timber-pile oak log foundations. The district was designed as a customs-free zone for storage and transfer of goods – tobacco, coffee, spices, dried fruit, and much more. Speicherstadt is about 1.5km long, a series of buildings in the water interconnected by pedestrian bridges. While some of the former warehouses are now museums or bars or clubs, many still serve as warehouses and supposedly 1/3 of the world’s carpet trade goes though here, plus a lot of coffee, cocoa, and tea.