After the Habsburgs joined the German Customs Union, the construction of a free trade zone became necessary. From 1885 an entire district around the Zollkanal was torn down to make way for the Speicherstadt warehouses. Today, the 373 000m2 complex still houses precious merchandise. With its rows of gabled brick buildings, Speicherstadt is a distinctive district which is architecturally very harmonious. A number of buildings have been restored and converted into museums.
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