The official name “Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg” goes back to Hamburgs membership in the medieval Hanseatic League. These are the roots of the international trade city Hamburg the commercial and cultural centre of Northern Germany. Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the second-largest port city in Europe. Apart from national capitals Hamburg is the most populous city in the European Union. The city, defined according to its current administrative area, contains 1.76 million and the so called Hamburg Metropolitan Area with more than 4.5 million inhabitants.