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Lombard Lamp map_it

History

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This ornate cast-iron and aluminum street lamp is a replica of the historic streetlights that adorn the Lombard Bridge in Hamburg, Germany. It is a gift from the City of Hamburg, dedicated on March 1, 1979.

The Lombard Bridge, which connects the inner and outer Alster Lakes in Hamburg, is a major transportation link between the regions north and south of the River Elle. It was built in 1865 to replace an earlier wooden bridge dating to 1616. In 1869 Hamburg’s parliamentary senate enacted a resolution with specifications for the bridge’s ornamental street lamps. The resolution stipulated that “The execution of the candelabra must be conducted in the finest manner, in gray iron, completely pure without any form of chiseling…the casting process must be the absolute best yet developed for works of this nature.” The series of lamps that line the bridge have long been beacons at the heart of this vital German city.

The ornate Lombard Lamp, designed by Hamburg sculptor Carl Borner, has a lavish base composed of cherubs, garlands and other decorative features. Although it is hollow, the fifteen-foot lamb weighs more than 1200 pounds, and supports five glove-shaped luminaires.

The gift of this lamp symbolizes the sister-city relations between Hamburg and New York. As Hamburg Mayor Helga Elster commented at the time, “We hope to shed light on a bridge of friendship…”

Lombard Lamp Details

  • Sculptor: Carl Borner (original)
  • Description: Street lamp adorned with a pair of infant figures at each of four corners of base, plaque
  • Materials: Lamp--cast iron; plaque--aluminum
  • Dimensions: H: 15'; Weight: 1,320 pounds
  • Cast: ca. 1979
  • Dedicated: March 1, 1979
  • Donor: People of the City of Hamburg, Germany
  • Inscription: LOMBARD LAMP: / LAMPS SUCH AS THIS ONE HAVE BEEN A FAMILIAR SIGHT IN HAMBURG, / GERMANY, SINCE 1869, WHERE THEY GRACE THE FAMOUS LOMBARD BRIDGE. / THIS LOMBARD LAMP IS PRESENTED TO THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK / CITY BY THE PEOPLE OF THE FREE HANSEATIC CITY OF HAMBURG / SO THAT IT MAY FOREVER BRIGHTEN A BRIDGE OF FRIENDSHIP IN / HUMAN RELATIONS, TRADE AND COMMERCE. / MARCH 1979

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namings often in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, but not necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the year listed reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8143

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