Guy Fawkes

1842 The great fire of Hamburg at the Hamburg Dungeon

The night of the 4th of May 1842 would go down in the history of the city of Hamburg. Come the next day, nothing would ever be the same: a large part of the city was destroyed, thousands of people had lost their entire belongings and some even their lives. To think that this disaster started off quite innocently …

It was a warm night in May, 1842, shortly after midnight, that a watchman patrolling along the canals turned onto Deichstraße. Everything appeared to be in order until he suddenly noticed thick plumes of smoke wafting across the street. The watchman instantly realized that a fire had broken out und rang the alarm. The fire rapidly turned into a blazing inferno since the nearby warehouses primarily stored easily flammable goods such as rubber, spirits, alcohol, and oil.

Hamburg is burning! It is not the first fire that ravages the Hanseatic city but it will be the one to wreak the most havoc. From a distance you can hear the frantic screaming of the people living in the nearby slums. It is dark and the air is stifling, the stench of burning wood filling your nostrils. Tread carefully so you do not lose your way in the smoke! The eerie crackling of the fire keeps coming closer and closer, flames licking at the walls and the windows. The fire is destroying everything in its way! There is no escape in sight! But how did the fire even start? Was it an accident or maybe even arson? In order to save Hamburg, the plan was to create a firebreak but the bourgeoisie refused to give up their homes.    

Only one question remains: do you believe that you’ll be safe in the narrow alley here in the Hamburg Dungeon?

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • Why was the fire able to spread so fast?
  • Who looted the abandoned warehouses?
  • Can we escape the fire?

DUNGEONS UNCOVERED

Those who want to escape the fire will have to make their way through the terrifying fire drum. But beware, an optical illusion may cause you to lose your balance quite suddenly. The fire drum is actually deeply embedded within the foundations of the Hamburg Dungeon and cannot be moved or incorporated into another show.