The picturesque district of Blankenese was once home to ship owners and captains. Today it has become an affluent and sought-after residential district – one of the most expensive within the borders of Hamburg. The name Blankenese can almost certainly be traced back to the name of the sandy bay upstream (“blanke Nes” = “white nose”), which can be seen on maps of the river Elbe as early as 1568 and which used to be a major obstacle to shipping on the Elbe. This small hillside community is particularly famous for its system of stairs, with 58 staircases and 4864 steps – known locally as the “Treppenviertel” or the “stairs district”. The river beach at Blankenese is a great place for visitors to sunbathe, spot ships or walk the dog on cooler days. The community of Blankenese celebrated its 700th birthday in 2001.