Virtual Tour

Main Entrance

The main entrance to the Tribunal is to be found at Am International Seegerichtshof 1 in Nienstedten, a village to the south west of the centre of Hamburg.

The Tribunal's premises cover an area of 30,090 square metres. They include a modern concrete and glass building as well as a nineteenth-century villa and were constructed at a cost of DM 123 million (Euro 63 million). The premises are provided to the Tribunal free of rent.

Entrance Hall

The entrance hall of the Tribunal is covered by a roof of glass. The entrance hall houses the majority of the Tribunal's collection of art.

Artwork provided with building:

  • Entrance: Internationaler Seegerichtshof, Heimo Zobernig
  • Lobby and east wing: floor mosaic, Matt Mullican
  • Northern Inner Courtyard: coral brain sculpture 'mehr als siebenzehntel', Thomas Stricker


  • Government of the Republic of Tunisia: mosaic 'Triumph of Neptune'
  • Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg: model 'Wappen von Hamburg I'
  • Government of the People's Republic of China: stand with silk embroidery
  • Government of Belize: painting 'Dangriga River'
  • Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago: steel pan
  • Government of Ghana: Kente cloth 'Sika Futuro'
  • Government of Singapore: painting 'Above the Ocean'
  • Government of the Republic of Cyprus: model 'Kyrenia II'
  • Government of the Republic of Croatia: stone sculpture of the Tribunal's logo
  • Government of the Republic of India: bronze statue “Nataraja”
  • Hapag-Lloyd: painting 'Acaba de pasar…'

    The Rotunda

    The rotunda is directly below the main courtroom of the Tribunal and provides seating for those who cannot be accommodated in the courtroom during hearings. A media wall transmits the hearings live to the rotunda.

    The rotunda is used for receptions during the conferences and seminars that take place in the courtroom.


    The model of the building was given to the Tribunal by the architect, Emmanuela van Branca, and is situated in the public area on the first floor.


    The entrance to the main courtroom is adorned with the flags of the Member States of the United Nations, a gift from the United Nations for the official opening of the headquarters buildng of the Tribunal.

    The main courtroom is used for plenary sittings of the Tribunal of 21 judges and of the Seabed Disputes Chamber. The bench has seating for the Members of the Tribunal, judges ad hoc and for experts appointed under article 289 of the Convention. The courtroom has seating capacity for 250 people.

    There are two smaller courtrooms to be used for sittings of the chambers of the Tribunal and any ad hoc chambers that might be established at the request of the parties to a dispute.

    Each courtroom is equipped with modern courtroom technology, enabling the parties to give presentations which appear on monitors before the judges, parties, witnesses, interpreters and the public, as well as allowing a video-link to witnesses unable to travel to Hamburg. Interpretation booths and media transmission services are also installed.

    The Registry

    The Registry wing houses offices for the different departments that make up the Tribunal's secretariat:

    • Administration
    • Budget and Finance
    • Building
    • Electronic Data Processing
    • Library and Archives
    • Linguistic Services
    • Legal Office
    • Press Office

    Villa Schröder

    In 1870 the banker Frensdorf bought the land on which the Tribunal is now situated and constructed the villa in 1871. Six years later, J. Rudolf Freiherr von Schröder, from whom the villa gets its name, bought the property. The villa was extended in height in 1905 by Martin Haller, the architect who was also responsible for Hamburg's City Hall.

    Today, the Tribunal uses the villa for official receptions, meetings and training programmes. It also serves as headquarters for the International Foundation for the Law of the Sea and is home to the Summer Academy.