What can you visit in Hamburg, on a rainy day? This former Soviet / Russian submarine! Once in service as the B-515, the submarine can now be visited under the fictitious name U-434 as a museum ship near the landing bridges on the Elbe in Hamburg. This is a unique experience for tourists in Hamburg. These narrow passages inside the submarine, it is hard to imagine that several dozen people were active inside. And mostly underwater, with roaring engines and active on duty. Around the clock, without endless fresh air or restful leisure time. Unbelievable, because even as a tourist visitor it feels more than cramped with its width of 8.6 metres.
The history of the former Soviet / Russian submarine B-515
The submarine of the Tango class was built in the Russian submarine yard Krasnoye Sormovo in Nizhny Novgorod. It was completed in 1976, after only eight months of construction. It was commissioned on 29 December 1976 and belonged to the Northern Fleet of the Soviet Navy, which was stationed beyond the Arctic Circle, until 1991. From 1991, it belonged to the Russian Navy. The submarine was decommissioned in April 2002, having already been transferred to the fleet’s reserve in 1998. Incidentally, the Northern Fleet with its largest base at Murmansk on the Russian peninsula of Kola is still active.
How the Russian spy submarine B-515 became the museum ship U-434 in Hamburg
After being decommissioned, the 92-metre-long submarine was bought by investors for one million euros. The transport, the submarine had to be towed and was not allowed to sail itself, cost another million euros. On site in Hamburg, it was converted for museum use by the renowned Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg-Steinwerder. Among other things, larger opening holes were cut into the hull at the bow and stern to create the current entrances and exits for visitors. Due to these changes, the submarine is no longer submersible today.
Until 2010, the museum submarine was docked in today’s Hafencity near the Speicherstadt, since then it has been docked near the Landungsbrücken and Fischmarkt on the Elbe in St. Pauli.
You should plan at least 30 to 60 minutes to visit the U-434 submarine museum in Hamburg.
Hamburg Submarine Ship Museum
Address: St. Pauli Fischmarkt 10, 20359 Hamburg, Germany.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 9am to 8pm, Sundays 11am to 8pm.
Admission prices: Adults 9 euros, senior citizens over 65 7 euros, children 6-12 years/pupils/students 6 euros, children under 6 free of charge