Hamburg, as any tourist guide will tell you, occupies a unique position within Germany. Now, every city can make this claim, so what constitutes Hamburg's uniqueness? Natives would say it is the harbor (Germany's largest) and the water that flows through the metropolis that claims more bridges than Venice. But ask an outsider, German or not, and he or she will likely say the Reeperbahn, Hamburg's notorious red-light district, known also to music fans as the incubator of The Beatles. Historically speaking, the harbor has been this Hanseatic city's source of trade and prosperity, as well as a major transit point for overseas travelers; the nearby Reeperbahn has long been a magnet for those seeking pleasure and distraction from the cares of life. In the 1950s and 1960s—the years of West Germany's “Economic Miracle” (Wirtschaftswunder)—Hamburg saw greater numbers of visitors than ever before. These guests included Germans from west and east (before the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961); international tourists, particularly from neighboring countries; British NATO troops stationed in the northern Federal Republic; and seamen from around the world. Some chose Hamburg specifically as their destination, others passed through on their way to someplace else.