The Town Musicians of Bremen (German: Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten) is a folktale recorded by the Brothers Grimm.
In the story a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster, all past their prime years in life and usefulness on their respective farms, were soon to be discarded or mistreated by their masters. One by one they leave their homes and set out together. They decide to go to Bremen, known for its freedom, to live without owners and become musicians there. “Something better than death we can find anywhere.”
Bremen Cathedral (German: Bremer Dom or St. Petri Dom zu Bremen), dedicated to St. Peter, is a church situated in the market square in the center of Bremen, in northern Germany. The cathedral belongs to the Bremian Evangelical Church, a member of the Protestant umbrella organisation named Evangelical Church in Germany. It is the proto-cathedral of the former Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen. Since 1973, it is protected by the monument protection act.
An unusual “Bleikeller” or lead basement is located beneath the nave, which even before the Reformation had a reputation as an excellent place to preserve bodies of the dead in amazing form. Eight mummies in glass-topped coffins can be seen there. The displays lists among those on display: two Swedish officers from the Thirty Years’ War, an English countess, a murdered student, and a local pauper. The crypt has become the cathedral’s most visited attraction for more than 300 years.
The Schnoor area is a neighbourhood in the medieval centre of the city of Bremen, and the only part of it that has preserved a medieval character. The neighbourhood owes its name to old handicrafts associated with shipping. The alleys between the houses were often associated with occupations or objects: There was an area in which ropes and cables were produced (string = Schnoor) and a neighboring area, where wire cables and anchor chains were manufactured. In the Hanseatic city of Bremen, the Schnoor was one of the poorer corners. While the rich merchants settled in the Obernstraße (Upper Street), which was meant as well geographically (ridge of the dune) as socially, or in the Langenstraße (Long street, along the Balge, Bremen’s first harbour), the Schnoor developped in 10th century as a district of fishermen. The inhabitants built thatched cottages on the little island between the rivers Weser and Balge.
Böttcherstraße is a street in the historic centre of Bremen, Germany. It is famous for its unusual architecture and ranks among the city’s main cultural landmarks and visitor attractions. Most of its buildings were erected between 1922 and 1931, primarily as a result of the initiative of Ludwig Roselius, a Bremen-based coffee-trader, who charged Bernhard Hoetger with the artistic supervision over the project. The street and its buildings are a rare example of an architectural ensemble belonging to a variant of the expressionist style. Since 1973, the ensemble is protected by the monument protection act.
Learn all about its history at our guided Böttcherstrassen Tour. You can book your tour here on our website.
If you want to see green fields, cows, bikers and in-line skaters, visit “Blockland” to enjoy the agricultural side of Bremen´s nature. It is located near the river Wümme, roughly in the west of the university.
You can drive by bike or skates along the dyke and enjoy an ice cream from one of the farms – some also sell organic food. In winter there is no ice cream, but you can go ice-skating on the river and small creeks.
The Bremen Ratskeller is the council wine cellar (German: “Ratskeller”) of the Town Hall of Bremen. Since it was erected in the year 1405, German wines were stored and sold there.
With its history over 600 years the Ratskeller of Bremen is one of the oldest wine cellars of Germany, furthermore the oldest wine barrel of Germany, a wine from Rüdesheim which is dated 1653, is stored here. In the cellar there has long been a traditional tavern and today a large part of it is a gourmet restaurant. More informations & location map
The original “Kaffeemühle” was built by Moritz Meier in 1699. His first mill had to give way to a fortification (the Doventorswall), and his subsequent new building did not last very long either. The complaints of competitors (yes, even back then…) were the reason that, soon, he had to build again, this time on the Junkers-Bastion along the ramparts (where the Olbers Planetarium was erected in 1850). However, this precursor of today’s building did not last long either. The wind conditions were so poor that he picked a windier place and moved to the location where today you drink your coffee, enjoy your cocktail or eat your meal in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.
A good place to get in touch with the locals is to take a stroll along the river Weser on the scenic Osterdeich, where – in good weather – lots of little groups hanging out on the grassy hills may invite you to barbecue with them or have a beer.
The company was set up by Ludwig Roselius, co-developer of the first commercial decaffeination process. Alfred Runge and Eduard Scotland designed iconic postersand packaging for the HAG Kaffee company. They are credited with designs that defined the company. The brand originated in Bremen in Germany in 1906 and took its name from the company title Kaffee Handels-Aktien-Gesellschaft, or Kaffee HAG for short. In the 1920s and 1930s Kaffee HAG was known for the publication of the Coffee Hag albums of heraldic emblems.
John Gimlette savours the gilded medieval glories of Bremen in Germany.
Travelling in Germany, I often feel there are a few centuries missing. The medieval world is usually in good shape, and so is the space age. It’s the stuff in between that’s conspicuously absent. This must be odd to live with, but it’s great for a long weekend.
Bremen is a case in point. I went there recently, with my family. Two hours out of London, we were sitting at the heart of the 15th century. Or, at least, that’s how the main square, or Marktplatz, felt. All around us was the gilded flummery of a Golden Age; guildhouses, cloisters, parapets, a riot of heraldry, and a cathedral more than 1,000 years old. Here, too, was Germany’s oldest coffee house, decorated with customers in armour.
But best of all was the town hall. Vast, turreted and baubled, it is Renaissance bling at its most outrageous. In 1612, it underwent a facelift, and now looks like a mountain of wriggling statues. Still, however, it presides over Germany’s richest and most socialist city. It’s also the state wine cellar, with more than a mile of racks. Anyone can visit. And for about €10,000 you can sample a flagon from 1653.
From the Markt, we could nip down to Schnoor, the old fishing quarter. Today, this little rat-run of cottages looks prettier than ever, like a nursery rhyme that’s sprung to life. My daughter (aged seven) loved it here, and bought a tiny ship in a bottle. It wasn’t always so happy; for seven million emigrants, Schnoor was the last they’d see of Germany before sailing for America.
Elsewhere, the Baroque thins out but the past persists. Although Allied bombing destroyed 60 per cent of Bremen, its citizens can still be doggedly medieval. You can still buy a crossbow here, and fast food means brathering (fried herring) on buttered bread. In fact, fast fish is so closely linked to the city that Bremer is now the German for “fishhead”.
To understand why the Fishheads eat so fast (and became so rich), we went in search of their work. First, we took a cruise along the Weser. Soon we were amid the hard, flat landscape of commerce. Here were wind farms, futuristic mills, and ships the size of football grounds. For such an ancient community, Bremen – it struck me – produced peculiarly modern things: cornflakes, space stations, lager and rocket parts.
Our last day, we set out for the city’s thinking parts, the Universum. First, we had to negotiate an opulent band of gardens (one is twice the size of Hyde Park). Among the oddities we passed were a giant windmill, and a five-storey elephant. Eventually, however, we were in the future, which – I now know – will consist of trams no louder than a sigh, and museums like enormous silver clams.
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