A look back at the beginnings: On the morning of April 14, 1973, Gustav Heinemann, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, officially opened the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg. In addition to many celebrities, the event in Hall 1 was attended by about 1,400 citizens of Hamburg. The five-story convention center, including a two-level underground parking garage, had been completed within three years at a total cost of 146 million Deutschmarks, a dizzying sum at the time. The opening of the CCH, which claimed to be the best and largest facility of its kind in Europe, was intended to set new standards. And so it did, in every conceivable respect.
For more than forty years the “old” CCH had a formative influence on the national and international convention scene, serving as a model for other convention centers across Europe. Game-changing conventions took place at this venue, and world-famous stars were celebrated in its auditoriums by exhilarated audiences. German chancellors and presidents spoke from the podiums of the CCH, Hamburg's largest venue, and global corporations held annual general meetings there. Countless festive balls, dance tournaments, award ceremonies, grand galas and events of all kinds took place at the CCH. Major organizations hosted at the CCH included, among others, the United Nations (1982); the 19th Postal Union Congress (1984), with a duration of forty days the most lengthy event ever held in Hamburg; the 15th World Cancer Congress (1990); and the 96th Lions Club International Convention (2013). The Evangelical Church in Germany likewise chose the CCH for its 34th National Convention in 2013.
But even a renowned, well-established complex like the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg ages over time. That is why the CCH closed at the end of 2016 to undergo comprehensive modernization and upgrading as of January 2017. The result of this thorough revitalization is quite impressive: Every part of the building, which was designed to meet the latest sustainability criteria, is an expression of forward-looking architecture, featuring fascinating axes of light and many carefully crafted details along with leading-edge technical installations for today's and tomorrow’s requirements. Looking ahead, there will be another notable event in the near future: in 2023 "our" CCH will celebrate its 50th birthday. By then, the new CCH is sure to have won the hearts not only of its faithful Hamburg audience but also those of many new guests from around the world. A new era for the CCH has begun!