Many of the funfairs around the world have a long and storied history. Some started as feast days, other ‘hirings’ where able bodied men presented themselves for potential work.
Today’s post is the world famous Hamburg Dom, which dates from the 11th Century. The whole shebang started when the old Mariendom cathedral was used as a shelter by the local merchants and entertainers. This was a tradition which lasted centuries, until the cathedral was demolished in 1804.
The merchants remained ‘homeless’ until 1893 when a new location was found for them in the Heiligengeistfeld event space in St Pauli district.
The name Dom is the only link to the days in the old Cathedral or ‘Dom’ in German.
Originally a winter market was held on the site. In the 30’s a spring market was added to help ease local merchants through the economic crisis. Post World War 2 a summer market was introduced as well.
Nowadays Hamburg DOM is the largest fair in Northern Germany and the longest running in the country with three seperate 30 day events. Like many modern events the fair is primarily a fun fair with a huge selection of modern rides, games and food outlets, over 200 in all, definitely putting up around the top of the major European events.
The events have a tradition that Wednesday’s are family days, where special rates are on offer for kids. Every Friday night they offer hugh firework displays.
The summer DOM hosts rainbow day, to coincide with Pride week, including a separate parade through the fairground.
Like many European fairs, food is a big part. Hamburg being known for Schmalzkuchen, it’s famous fried bite sized doughnuts, also roast almonds, currywurst and sauerkraut.
Over 60 stalls serving these treats along with the usual fare of coffee, candy floss etc. Oh, and one major difference between the UK and European funfairs, is that they tend to serve beer, mulled wine and other alcoholic beverages.