Monday, 1 October 2012


I love map cards and my favourites are those that show both the map itself and little cartoons of key places (and, if possible, a few small photos of those key places as well).  This is a classic example.

Card no 222   29th Sept 2012

Thank you to Brigitte who sent me this card.  Brigitte is not a postcrosser because she doesn't have a computer but she likes swapping cards with people when she gets the chance.

I am used to seeing little cartoon churches and town halls and boats and statues on this type of card but, hang on a moment, what is that naked lady half way down the left hand side? 

The answer is she is representing the red-light district, something that is illegal in Britain.  The Reeperbahn is a street in Hamburg's St. Pauli district, one of the two centres of Hamburg's nightlife and also the city's red-light district. In German it is also sometimes described as die sündige Meile (the sinful mile).   Due to the problems with prostitution and the high crime rate, in 2007 the Senate of Hamburg enacted a ban on weapons in the Reeperbahn area.  The St Pauli Preservation Society decries the ongoing gentrification of the area. Some people blame the decline of the Reeperbahn's prostitution and pornography businesses on the rise of discotheques and cheap bars that attract teenage customers.

In the early 1960s, The Beatles (who had not yet become world-famous) played in several clubs around the Reeperbahn, including the Star-Club, Kaiserkeller, Top Ten and Indra. Stories about the band's onstage and offstage antics are legendary.     John Lennon is quoted as having said  "I might have been born in Liverpool - but I grew up in Hamburg".

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