Große Freiheit in Hamburg

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The Große Freiheit is a cross street on the North Side to Hamburg's Reeperbahn road in the St. Pauli quarter. It is part of the so called red light district or Kiez.


The street was named in 1610 after the fact that Catholics were allowed to practice their religion here at a time when this district, as part of Altona, did not yet belong to Hamburg; they were forbidden from doing so in Protestant Hamburg proper. The street has still a Catholic church (St. Joseph), situated among rather unholy businesses.

In 1938, when the Nazis changed borders with the Greater Hamburg Act, the street became part of Hamburg. In 1944, the German movie Große Freiheit Nr. 7 with Hans Albers was named after the road.

In the 1960s, The Beatles played here, eg. in Große Freiheit 64 (today Indra-Musikclub), and in the Star-Club (1962–1969 in Große Freiheit 39). The street still hosts music clubs like Große Freiheit 36, Kaiserkeller and Grünspan.

In the 1970s, several sex theatres (Salambo, Regina, Colibri, Safari) showed live sex acts on stage. , the Safari is the only live sex theatre left in Germany. The popular table dance club Dollhouse now takes the place of the Salambo.

In 1975, the German rock band Randy Pie used two views of Große Freiheit for their album "Kitsch": the front cover is a picture of the street at night, while the back cover is the same view but at day time.

In 2008, the Beatles-Platz square was built.



  • Uwe Heimowski: Brunos Dankeschön - Geschichten von der Reeperbahn, Neufeld Verlag, Schwarzenfeld 2005,


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