About Beatles-Platz Square
The Beatles-Platz Square is a plaza in the St. Pauli quarter, and is home to five life-sized silhouettes of The Beatles, who got their first taste of stardom here in the 1960’s. The Square is actually circular, 29 metres in diameter, and paved black to make it look like a vinyl record.
History of Beatles-Platz Square
Beatles-Platz Square was built in 2008 to commemorate Hamburg’s important role in the history of The Beatles.
In the 1960’s, many bars and music venues along St. Pauli’s infamous Reeperbahn and Große Freiheit streets hosted bands, helping them gain stardom, both for German and international musicians.
Before the ‘British Invasion’ began in 1964, the Beatles too spent two years playing gigs in this area (from August 1960 to December 1962) in small venues like Indra and the Star-Club and later the larger Kaiserkeller, amongst the area’s neon lights, clubs and restaurants. During this time, they often stayed above the venues they played in, in shabby living conditions.
However, playing at these venues helped improve and hone their performance skills, widened their reputation, and led to their first recording, ‘My Bonnie’, made in Hamburg with Tony Sheridan – bringing them to the attention of Brian Epstein. Indeed George Harrison is quoted at having said “Hamburg was really like our apprenticeship, learning how to play in front of people”, and John Lennon later said, “I might have been born in Liverpool – but I grew up in Hamburg”.
The Beatles are also said to have first met Astrid Kirchherr in Hamburg, who was instrumental in their adoption of the mop topped Beatle haircut.
The draft design of The Beatles’ silhouettes was by architects Dohse & Stich, and the project cost about €500,000 to build, covered by the City of Hamburg, sponsors and donations from members of the public. Construction took approximately three months and a ceremonial opening took place on 11 September 2008, presided over by the city’s First Mayor.
Beatles-Platz Square today
Alongside the silhouettes of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe, their original bass-player, one figurine represents a hybrid of drummers Pete Best and Ringo Starr — who both played with the band in Hamburg. In addition to the metal statues of the band members, there are song names of successful songs.
Tourists often pose inside the silhouettes imagining they were part of the band.
Getting to Beatles-Platz Square
Beatles-Platz Square is situated at the intersection of the renowned nightlife district of the Reeperbahn and Große Freiheit street, a short walk from the city centre. The closest public transport links are U3 St. Pauli or S1, S2 and S3 Reeperbahn.
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