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ALTONA, a town in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, on the right bank of the Elbe. Though closely adjoining Hamburg on the west, Altona is administered separately. Pop. (188o) 91,049 (1900) 161,508; (1933) 242,006. The name may be derived from allzu-nah ("all too near"), the Hamburgers' designation for an inn which in the 16th century lay too close to their territory. For a long time this was the only house in the locality. When Altona passed to Denmark (1640) it was a small fishing vil lage, but the Danish kings granted it customs privileges and ex emptions to make it a formidable rival to Hamburg. Although burnt by the Swedes in 1713, it rapidly recovered and, despite the Napoleonic wars, increased in prosperity. After 1853, when Den mark withdrew the privileges, its trade waned. Occupied in 1864 in the name of the German Confederation it passed to Prussia after the war of 1866, and in 1888, together with Hamburg, joined the Zollverein, while retaining certain free trade rights over the Freihafengebiet which it shares with Hamburg and Wandsbek. Lying higher than Hamburg, Altona enjoys a purer and healthier atmosphere. The Palmaille, one of the numerous wide streets, ends in a terrace about 1 oof t. above the Elbe. An elevated railway connects the town with Hamburg and provides through communication with the main Prussian railway systems. Altona manufactures tobacco and cigars, machinery, woollens, cottons, chemicals, leather, soap and oil. The port carries on an extensive trade with Great Britain, France and America, but most of its business is transacted on the Hamburg exchange; while the magnificent warehouses at Altona are largely used by Hamburg merchants. Since 1888 much has been spent at various times, es pecially in 1918, upon improvement and enlargement or the har bour. The exports and imports resemble those of Hamburg. In 1925 the net tonnage of boats entering was 557,196. Some fishing is carried on and there are ship-repairing yards. In 1890 the pop ulous suburbs of Ottensen to the west, Bahrenfeld, Othmarschen and Ovelgonne were incorporated with the town.

hamburg, town and trade