Image by Jorg Greuel Getty Images

One of Hamburg's most beautiful buildings is the crowning gem of the new Unesco-annointed Kontorhaus District. The brown-brick 1924 Chilehaus is shaped like an ocean liner, with remarkable curved walls meeting in the shape of a ship’s bow and staggered balconies that look like decks.

Designed by architect Fritz Höger for a merchant who derived his wealth from trading with Chile, the building is a leading example of German expressionist architecture. It’s situated alongside other so-called ‘Backsteingotik’ buildings (Backstein refers to a specially glazed brick; gotik means ‘Gothic’) in the Kontorhaus District, which was one of Europe's first purpose-built office building developments. Note the stylistically similar 1927 Spinkenhof building is across the street.