Sol LeWitt, Black Form Dedicated to the Missing Jews, townhall Altona (Altona-Altstadt).
|o Total||77.5 km2 (29.9 sq mi)|
|o Density||3,500/km2 (9,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
Altona (German: ['altona:] ) is the westernmost urban borough (Bezirk) of the German city state of Hamburg, on the right bank of the Elbe river. From 1640 to 1864 Altona was under the administration of the Danish monarchy. Altona was an independent city until 1937. In 2016 the population was 270,263.
Altona was founded in 1535 as a village of fishermen in then Holstein-Pinneberg. In 1640, Altona came under Danish rule as part of Holstein-Glückstadt, and in 1664 received city rights from Danish King Frederik III, who then ruled in personal union as Duke of Holstein. Altona was one of the Danish monarchy's most important harbor towns. The railroad from Altona to Kiel, the Hamburg-Altona-Kiel railway (Danish: Christian VIII Østersø Jernbane), was opened in 1844.
Because of severe restrictions on the number of Jews allowed to live in Hamburg until 1864 (with the exception of 1811-1815), a major Jewish community developed in Altona starting in 1611, when Count Ernest of Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg granted the first permanent residence permits to Ashkenazic Jews. Members did business both in Hamburg and in Altona itself. All that remains after the Nazi Holocaust during World War II are the Jewish cemeteries, but in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, the community was a major center of Jewish life and scholarship. Holstein-Pinneberg and later Danish Holstein had lower taxes and placed fewer civil impositions on their Jewish community than did the government of Hamburg.
The wars between Denmark and the German Confederation--the First Schleswig War (1848-1851) and the Second Schleswig War (February - October 1864)--and the Gastein Convention of 1864, led to Denmark's cession of the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein to Prussian administration and Lauenburg to Austrian administration. Along with all of Schleswig-Holstein, Altona became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1867.
During the Weimar era following World War I, the city of Altona was disturbed by major labor strikes and street disorders. Inflation in Germany was a major problem. In 1923 Max Brauer, the mayor of Altona, directed that city personnel be paid in part with gas meter tokens, as these coins did not lose value from inflation. The most notable event at this time is the Altona Bloody Sunday (German: Altonaer Blutsonntag) on 17 July 1932, when several persons were shot by the police force which was providing security for a demonstration of Nazi groups. After police raids and a special court, on 1 August 1933, Bruno Tesch and others were found guilty and put to death by beheading with a hand-held axe. In the 1990s, the Federal Republic of Germany reversed the convictions of Tesch and the other men who were put to death, clearing their names.
On 1 February 2007 the Ortsämter (precincts) in Hamburg were dissolved. In Altona the precincts of Blankenese, Lurup and Osdorf had existed and had local offices. On 1 March 2008 the Schanzenviertel neighborhood, which had spanned across parts of the boroughs of Altona, Eimsbüttel and Hamburg-Mitte, became the Sternschanze quarter, the entirety of which is now in the Altona borough.
The border of Altona to the south is the River Elbe, and across the river the state Lower Saxony and the boroughs Harburg and Hamburg-Mitte. To the east is the borough Hamburg-Mitte and to the north is the borough Eimsbüttel. The western border is with the state of Schleswig-Holstein. According to the statistical office of Hamburg, the area of Altona is 77.5 km2 or 29.9 sq mi in 2006.
Politically, the following quarters (German: Stadtteile) are part of Altona borough:
In 2018 Altona had a population of 274,702 people. 18.0% are children under the age of 18 and 17.9% are 65 years of age or older. 16.2% are immigrants. 5.0% of people are registered as unemployed. In 2018 53,4% of all households are single-person households.
There are 195 kindergartens and 31 primary schools in Altona as well as 879 physicians in private practice, 254 dentists and 60 pharmacies.
Simultaneously with elections to the state parliament (Bürgerschaft), the Bezirksversammlung is elected as representatives of the citizens. It consists of 51 representatives.
Elections were held in Hamburg on 20 February 2011. The five parties having more than 5 percent in recent polls (minimum to qualify) are the conservative CDU, the social-democratic SPD, the ecologist Green Party (GAL), the left-wing Die Linke and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP).
The A 7 autobahn passes through Altona borough.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt), in Altona 87,131 private cars were registered (359 cars per 1000 people).