The Reeperbahn is a street in Hamburg’s St. Pauli district, one of the centres of Hamburg’s nightlife which is also the city’s red-light district. In German it is sometimes described as “die sündigste Meile” (the most sinful mile). The name Reeperbahn means ropewalk, a place where originally ropes were manufactured (Reep = rope, the standard German word is Seil; Bahn= track).
Until the 1620’s, Hamburg’s rope-walks were located in the Neustadt (new-town) quarter of the inner city close to the Elbe, which became a densely developed area. Therefore the rope-walks had to be relocated outside the city walls, on the country road leading towards Altona, taking on the street name Reeperbahn. [Part II]