Hamburg Concert Hall Finally Completed After 9 Years

Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany photographed on Oct. 31, 2016. 

A spectacular new concert hall overlooking Hamburg's harbor has been completed, several years behind schedule and far over the original budget.

Lights in the Elbphilharmonie concert hall's facade spelled out the word "FERTIG" -- "COMPLETED" -- on Monday night after construction company Hochtief handed the keys to Mayor Olaf Scholz. The first concert at the building is scheduled for Jan. 11.

The Elbphilharmonie, with a wave-shaped roof and spectacular glass facades, was built on top of a former coffee warehouse jutting out into the harbor of Germany's second-biggest city. It's also home to a hotel.

Construction started in 2007 and was originally supposed to be finished in 2010; the cost to taxpayers climbed from an initially planned 77 million euros to 789 million euros ($865 million).