Writing Prompt Story Starter: Hamburg Rathaus

story starter

This week’s Story Starter is the very impressive entrance lobby of the Rathaus — the city hall — in Hamburg, where we visited recently for a few days.

Now, I know next to nothing about architecture. So although I’d love to be able to tell you all about that vaulted (?) ceiling and those arches and columns and the roof detail, I can’t.

But it is a stunning, delicate structure; ornate, stately and imposing.

I don’t know about you, but it puts me in mind of weddings. I think it’s the creamy light, the pillars, the lacy roof pattern . . . it’s all very “wedding cake”.

It certainly captures a sense of occasion.

Who are the people milling about, gathering in clusters? They look like they’re waiting for something, or someone.

I can tell you, because I was there, that they were mainly tourist groups waiting to be told where to go next. But a city hall will see wedding parties, too. And civic receptions for visiting dignitaries, or for public servants.

A lot of potential

This space is space for hire, I believe; what other kind of gathering might take place there?

The word “gathering” makes me think of a Highland gathering. And you can actually see this kind of Renaissance architecture in the grand homes and palaces of the UK, too.

Intricate wrought-iron gates, gold leaf surrounds. It’s all exceptionally fine.

Maybe such a scene makes you think of the humble stonemasons who toiled in the building’s creation?

Contrast its grandeur with the simplicity of their own homes. Did it fire ambition, or envy and resentment?

Tourism. City breaks. Sightseeing. Flights — and the environmental disapproval of them. There’s a lot of potential here!

We’re on the look-out for all lengths of stories now, but be aware that writers will always write more at 2000 than we need, so the sensible target is 3000.

Did this Story Starter inspire you? If not, Shirley has plenty more in stock! Click here to read them.

Read Shirley’s blog here.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.