|Borough of Hamburg|
Sol LeWitt, Black Form Dedicated to the Missing Jews, townhall Altona.
|Borough subdivisions||13 quarters|
|Area||77.5 km2 (29.9 sq mi)|
|Population||243,972 (31 December 2006)|
|- Density||3,148 /km2 (8,153 /sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Boroughs of Hamburg|
Altona (German pronunciation: [ˈaltona]) is the westernmost urban borough (Bezirk) of the German city state of Hamburg, on the right bank of the Elbe river. From 1640 to 1864 Altona was under the administration of the Danish monarchy. Altona was an independent city until 1937. In 2006 the population was 243,972.
Founded in 1535 as a village of fishermen, in 1664 Altona received city rights from Danish King Frederik III. Until 1864, Altona was one of the Danish monarchy's most important harbour towns. The railroad from Altona to Kiel, the Christian VIII Baltic Sea Rail Line (Christian VIII Østersø Jernbane), was opened in 1844.
Because of the severe restrictions on the number of Jews allowed to live in Hamburg (with the exception of the period of 1811–15,) until 1864, a major Jewish community developed in Altona. Members did business both in Hamburg and in Altona itself. All that remains after the Nazi Holocaust during World War II is the Jewish cemetery, but in 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the community was a major center of Jewish life and scholarship.
The wars between Denmark and the Kingdom of Prussia, such as the First Schleswig War (1848–1851) and the Second War of Schleswig (February 1864 – October 1864) followed by the Gastein Convention (1864), led to Denmark's cession of the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg to Prussian and Austrian administration, respectively. In 1867 Altona became part of the Kingdom of Prussia.
During the Weimar era following World War I, the city of Altona was disturbed by major worker strikes and street disorders. Inflation in Germany was a major problem. In 1923 Max Brauer, the mayor of Altona, directed that city personnel be paid in part with gas meter tokens, as these coins did not lose value from inflation. The most notable event at this time is the bloody Sunday of Altona (German: Altonaer Blutsonntag) on July 7, 1932 when several persons were shot by the police force during a demonstration of Nazi groups. After police raids and a special court, on August 1, 1933 Bruno Tesch and others were found guilty and executed by the guillotine.  In the 1990s, the Federal Republic of Germany reversed the convictions of Tesch and the other men who were executed, clearing their names.
On 1 February 2007 the Ortsämter (Precincts) in Hamburg were dissolved. In Altona were the precincts Blankenese, Lurup and Osdorf with local offices. On 1 March 2008 the Schanzenviertel neighborhood, which had spanned across parts of the boroughs of Altona, Eimsbüttel and Hamburg-Mitte, became the Sternschanze quarter, the entirety of which is now in the Altona borough.
The border of Altona to the south is the River Elbe, and across the river the state Lower Saxony and the boroughs Harburg and Hamburg-Mitte. To the east is the borough Hamburg-Mitte and to the north is the borough Eimsbüttel. The western border is to the state of Schleswig-Holstein. According to the statistical office Hamburg the area of Altona was in 2006 77.5 km² or 29.9 sq mi.
Politically, the following quarters (German Stadtteile) are subject to the Altona borough:
In 2006 in the borough Altona were living 243,972 people. 16.4% were children under the age of 18, and 18.6% were 65 years of age or older. 15.3% were immigrants. 12,545 people were registered as unemployed. In 1999 48% of all households were made up of individuals.
There were 37 elementary schools and 30 secondary schools in Altona and 635 physicians in private practice and 67 pharmacies.
Simultaneously with elections to the state parliament (Bürgerschaft), the Bezirksversammlung is elected as representatives of the citizens. It consists of 51 representatives.
Elections were held in Hamburg on 24 February 2008. The five parties having more than 5 percent in recent polls (minimum to qualify) are the conservative CDU, the social-democratic SPD, the ecologist Green Party (GAL), the left-wing Die Linke and the neoliberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). The voter participation were 65.2%.
The Bundesautobahn 7 leads through Altona borough.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt), in Altona were 87,131 private cars registered (359 cars/1000 people).