Central Market Hall

Großmarkt Hamburg, Facade, Hamburg.
Großmarkt Hamburg, Facade, Hamburg. © Großmarkt Hamburg.


  • 1958 — 1962
  • Ulrich Finsterwalder, Bernhard Hermkes, Gerhart Becker, Schramm + Elingius

The Central Market Hall on an area measuring 27.3 hectares in Hamburg-Hammerbrook has supplied commercial customers with food and flowers since 1962. The roof covers three interconnecting halls with a footprint of over 40,000 square meters and a volume of 900,000 cubic meters. Recognized as a landmark in the history of German structural engineering, the prestressed concrete structure was planned under the direction of architect Bernhard Hermkes and his partner Gerhart Becker, as well as the firm of Schramm and Elingius, and with the assistance of engineer Ulrich Finsterwalder.

The Deichtor Market in the Klostertor section of Hamburg had supplied the local populace with fruit and vegetables since 1911, but to meet growing needs after World War II, quarters for a new market were found in the Hammerbrook District next to Hamburg’s Oberhafen harbor. A competition for a new central market hall in this area, devastated by bombardments in 1944–45, was held in 1954. The commission was awarded to Bernhard Hermkes. In an unprecedented step, an engineer and a construction firm (Dyckerhoff & Widmann) were pre-assigned during the planning phase to assist the architect.

The team designed a construction consisting of twelve girders with three parabolic prestressed concrete arches and elliptically shaped supports that add up to a total length of 220 meters, with a hall width of 183 meters, and a height of 21 meters. The curved roof surfaces consist of prestressed concrete shells between the support chains. In the north, the three connected halls are generously glazed. The southern end at the Oberhafen shore is made up of a suspended subconstruction with a continuous flat, rippled roofline. The market’s offices with a view of the harbor are located here.

Between May 1958 and September 1961, 60,000 cubic meters of reinforced concrete with 6000 tons of round-steel reinforcement were used in constructing the market halls. Since its opening on June 4, 1962, the market has handled fresh produce six days a week between 2am and 9am, totaling at present approximately 1.5 million tons per annum. The multimedia Mehr (more) theater has seating for 3500 visitors for its evening performances in the central hall. The German Food Additives Museum is also located on the grounds of the Central Market. [OH/HY]


Contact and opening hours


Großmarkt Hamburg
Auf der Brandshofer Schleuse 4
20097 Hamburg

Experience the nocturnal trade on a guided tour through the traditional Central Market Hall. Sign up for one of the listed dates. Send an e-mail with the name (first and last name) of the participants, your complete address and your mobile number to info@grossmarkt.hamburg.de. You‘ll receive a confirmation e-mail. For groups of 10 or more, appointments are made on Mondays, Fridays or Thursdays upon request.

conveying formula

Wahrzeichen der Ingenieurbaukunst in Deutschland
Großmarkt Hamburg, Interior view: EZG area, Hamburg.
Großmarkt Hamburg, Foto: H. Retzlaff.
Großmarkt Hamburg, Interior view: EZG area, Hamburg.
Großmarkt Hamburg, Aerial view, Hamburg.
Großmarkt Hamburg, Foto: Cordelia Ewerth, 22941 Hammoor/üb. Ahrensburg.
Großmarkt Hamburg, Aerial view, Hamburg.

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