Admiring the Architecture of Bremen Town Hall
Just a two hour drive from Hamburg, the city of Bremen is known historically for its role in the maritime trade in Europe. The Hanseatic buildings in the Market Square are made of sandstone and brick, and are considered one of the most beautiful in Germany.
Pay special attention to the UNESCO recognized Town Hall, distinguished by its ornate Gothic-Renaissance facade, miniature cannons and large model ships in the upper hall. This is one of the finest town halls in Europe.
Fun fact: The Bremen Town Hall houses the oldest cask of wine in Germany, dating back to 1635.
Searching for Knight Roland, The Protector of Trade
European cities such as Bremen, that are involved in the Hanseatic League, also feature the statue of Knight Roland. In fact, the statue in Bremen is the oldest that has survived to date.
Roland was one of the paladins, 12 of the fiercest warriors in the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne’s court. Legend has it that as long as Knight Roland, stands watch over Bremen, the city will remain free and prosperous. Apparently, there is a second statue of Roland hidden in Bremen’s underground vaults.
Snapping a Selfie with the Town Musicians of Bremen
Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten, better known as “The Town Musicians of Bremen”, are well known characters associated with the popular Brother Grimm’s Fairytales. Most visitors to Bremen almost always are a fan of the animals, even rubbing the donkey’s mouth and forelimbs for good luck (note the gold gleam!).
The story follows the lives of four ageing domestic animals; a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster. After working for their masters for most of their lives, and suffering neglect and abuse, the animals decide to run away and become town musicians in the city of Bremen.
Walking through the Halls of Bremen Cathedral
The Bremen Cathedral or Dom St. Petri is one of Bremen’s most iconic buildings. Over 1200 years old, this Gothic beauty has undergone numerous renovations and modifications. Have a look at the beautifully hand carved choir stalls, dating from the 13th century.
Today, the Bremen Cathedral is one of Europe’s largest historic brick structures, with the oldest parts of the cathedral being two crypts. Unlike the many stone structures incorporated into the cathedral’s facade, the crypts remain preserved in their sandstone and Renaissance style.
Fun fact: Bremen Cathedral is home to eight mummies. You can view them through their glass-topped coffins.
Shopping at Böttcherstraße
Böttcherstraße is often missed by most tourists visiting Bremen. Tucked away from the Market Square, this quaint Art Nouveau side street is only a 100 meters long. But it is a valuable part of Bremen’s historic and cultural landscape.
Most of the buildings were built in the early 1900s, and are a stunning example of the rare Brick Expressionism style of architecture. Today, they are home to upmarket and high quality goods.
The Böttcherstraße is a bit out of the way from Bremen’s Market Square. If you have difficulty locating the street, don’t hesitate to ask for directions. That’s exactly what I did! 🙂