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Bremen town hall, St. Peter's Cathedral and parliament
Bremen town hall, St. Peter's Cathedral and parliament
Coat of arms of Bremen

Bremen is located in Germany
Coordinates 53°4′33″N 8°48′27″E / 53.07583°N 8.8075°E / 53.07583; 8.8075
Country Germany
State Bremen
City subdivisions 5 boroughs (23 districts), including:
First mayor Jens Böhrnsen (SPD)
Governing parties SPDGreens
Basic statistics
Area 326.73 km2 (126.15 sq mi)
 - Metro 11,627 [[km2]] (4,489 sq mi)
Elevation 12 m  (39 ft)
Population 548,477  (1 November 2006)
 - Density 1,679 /km2 (4,348 /sq mi)
 - Metro 2,400,000 
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate HB
Postal codes 28001–28779
Area code 0421
Website Bremen online

The City Municipality of Bremen (German: Stadtgemeinde Bremen, pronounced [ˈbʁeːmən]) is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A port city along the river Weser, about 60 km (37 mi) south from its mouth on the North Sea, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area (2.4 million people). Bremen and Bremerhaven are the two cities in the state of Bremen (official name: Freie Hansestadt Bremen1 - Free Hanseatic City of Bremen). Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.



In 150 AD the geographer Claudius Ptolemaeus (known in English as Ptolemy) described Fabiranum or Phabiranum, known today as Bremen. At that time the Chauci lived in the area now called northwestern Germany or Lower Saxony. By the end of the 3rd century, they had merged with the Saxons. During the Saxon Wars (772-804) the Saxons, led by Widukind, fought against the West Germanic Franks, the founders of the Carolingian Empire and lost the war.

Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, made a new law, the Lex Saxonum. This law stated that Saxons were not allowed to worship Odin (the god of the Saxons), but rather that they had to convert to Christianity on pain of death. This period was called the Christianisation. In 787 Willehad of Bremen was the first Bishop of Bremen. In 848 the diocese of Hamburg merged with the diocese of Bremen, and in the following centuries the bishops of Bremen were the driving force behind the Christianisation of north Germany. In 888 gainedArchbishop Rimbert, Kaiser Arnulf of Carinthia, the Carolingian King of East Francia, and the market, coin and customs law.

The first stone city walls were built in 1032. Around this time trade with Norway, England and the northern Netherlands began to grow, increasing the importance of the city.

Germania, in the early 2nd century (Harper and Brothers, 1849)

In 1186 the Bremian Prince-Archbishop Hartwig of Uthlede and his bailiff in Bremen confirmed - without generally waiving the prince-archiepiscopal overlordship over the city - the Gelnhausen Privilege, by which Frederick I Barbarossa granted the city considerable privileges. The city was recognised as a political entity of its own law. Property within the municipal boundaries could not be subjected to feudal overlordship, this was true also for serfs acquiring property, if they managed to live in the city for a year and a day, after which they were to be regarded as free persons. Property was to be freely inherited without feudal claims to reversion. This privilege laid the foundation for Bremen's later status of imperial immediacy (Free Imperial City).

In fact, however, Bremen did not have complete independence from the Prince-Archbishops, in that there was no freedom of religion, and burghers were still forced to pay taxes to the Prince-Archbishops. Bremen played a double role, it participated in the Diets of the neighboured Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen as part of the Bremian Estates and paid its share in the taxes, at least when it had consented to the levying before. Since the city was the major taxpayer, its consent was mostly searched for. Like this the city wielded fiscal and political power within the Prince-Archbishopric, while the city would rather not allow the Prince-Archbishopric to rule in the city against its consent. In 1260 Bremen joined the Hanseatic League.

View from the Bremen Cathedral in the direction of the Stephani-Bridge

De facto independence and becoming a territorial power

In 1350 the number of inhabitants reached 20,000. Around then the Hansekogge (cog ship) became a speciality of Bremen.

In 1362 representatives of Bremen rendered homage to Albert II, Prince-Archbishop of Bremen in Langwedel. In return Albert confirmed the city's privileges and brokered a peace between the city and Count Gerard III of Hoya, who since 1358 held burghers of Bremen in captivity. The city had to bail them out. In 1365 an extra tax, levied to finance the ransom, incited uproar of burghers and handcrafters, bloodily suppressed by the city council.

In 1366 Albert II tried to take advantage from the dispute between Bremen's council and the guilds, whose members expelled some city councillors from the city. When these councillors appealed to Albert II for help, many handcrafters and burghers regarded this treason against the city. Appealing at princes would only provoke them to abolish city autonomy.

The fortified city held its own guards, not allowing prince-archiepiscopal soldiers to enter it. The city reserved an extra very narrow gate, the so-called Bishop's Needle (Latin: Acus episcopi, first mentioned in 1274), for all clergy including the Prince-Archbishop. The narrowness of the gate made it technically impossible to come accompanied by knights.

Nevertheless, in the night of May 29, 1366 Albert's troops invaded the city helped by some burghers. After this the city had to render him homage again, the Bremen Roland, symbol of the city's autonomy, was demolished and a new city council was appointed. In return the new council granted Albert a credit amounting to the enormous sum of 20,000 Bremian Marks.

But city councillors of the prior council, who had fled to the County of Oldenburg gained support of the Counts and recaptured the city on June 27, 1366. The members of the intermittent council were regarded traitors and beheaded and the city de facto regained its autonomy. Thereupon, the city of Bremen, since long rather holding an autonomous status, acted almost in complete independence from the Prince-Archbishop. Albert failed to subject the city of Bremen a second time, since he was always short in money and without support by his family, the Welfs, who fought the War on Luneburgian Succession (1370–1388).

By the end of the 1360s Bremen granted credits to Albert II, to finance his spendthrift lifestyle, and gained in return the fortress in Vörde and the dues levied in the pertaining bailiwick as a pawn for the credits. In 1369 Bremen again lent to Albert II against the collateral of his mint and his privilege of coinage, from then on run by the city council. In 1377 Bremen bought - from Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg - many of the prince-archiepiscopal castles, which Albert had pledged as security for a credit to Frederick's predecessor, thus Bremen gained a powerful position in the Prince-Archbishopric, pushing its actual ruler aside.

In 1380 knights of the family von Mandelsloh and other Verdian and Bremian robber barons ravaged burghers of Bremen and people in the entire Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen. In 1381 the city's troops successfully ended the brigandage and captured the castle of Bederkesa and the pertaining bailiwick, which it could hold until November 1654, when after the Second Bremian War Bremen had to cede Bederkesa and Lehe (a part of today's Bremerhaven) to Bremen-Verden. In 1386 the city of Bremen made the noble families, holding the estates of Altluneburg (a part of today's Schiffdorf) and Elmlohe, its vassals.

Reformation in Bremen

When the Protestant Reformation swept through Northern Germany, St Peter's cathedral belonged to the cathedral immunity district (German: Domfreiheit), an extraterritorial enclave of the neighbouring Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen. The then still Catholic cathedral chapter closed St Peter's after in 1532 a mob of Bremen's burghers had forcefully interrupted a Catholic mass and prompted a pastor to hold a Lutheran service.

Roman Catholic Church was condemned as a symbol of the abuses of a long Catholic past by most local burghers. In 1547 the chapter, meanwhile prevailingly Lutheran, appointed the Dutch Albert Rizaeus, called Hardenberg, as the first Cathedral pastor of Protestant affiliation. Rizaeus turned out to be a partisan of the rather Zwinglian understanding of the Lord's Supper, which was rejected by the then Lutheran majority of burghers, city council, and chapter. So in 1561 - after tremendous quarrels - Rizaeus was dismissed and banned from the city and the cathedral shut again its doors.

However, as a consequence of that controversy the majority of Bremen's burghers and city council adopted Calvinism by the 1590s, while the chapter, being simultaneously the body of secular government in the neighbouring Prince-Archbishopric, clung to Lutheranism. This antagonism between a Calvinistic majority and a Lutheran minority, though of a powerful position in its immunity district (mediatised as part of the city in 1803), remained determinant until in 1873 the Calvinist and Lutheran congregations in Bremen reconciled and founded a united administrative umbrella, the still existing Bremian Evangelical Church, comprising the bulk of Bremen's burghers.

At the beginning of the 17th c. Bremen continued to play its double role, wielding fiscal and political power within the Prince-Archbishopric, but not allowing Prince-Archbishopric to rule in the city against its consent.

Thirty Years War

Flag of Bremen

Soon after the beginning of the Thirty Years' War Bremen declared its neutrality, as did most of the territories in the Lower Saxon Circle. John Frederick, Lutheran Administrator of the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen, tried desperately to keep his Prince-Archbishopric out of the war, being in complete agreement with the Estates and the city of Bremen. When in 1623 the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, fighting in the Eighty Years' War for its independence against Habsburg's Spanish and imperial forces, requested its Calvinist co-religionist Bremen to join, the city refused, but started to reinforce its fortifications.

In 1623 the territories comprising the Lower Saxon Circle decided to recruit an army in order to maintain an armed neutrality, with troops of the Catholic League already operating in the neighbouring Lower Rhenish-Westphalian Circle and dangerously approaching their region. The concomitant effects of the war, debasements and dearness, had already caused an inflation also felt in Bremen.

In 1623 the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, diplomatically supported by King James I of England, the brother-in-law of Christian IV of Denmark, started a new anti-Habsburg campaign. Thus the troops of the Catholic League were bound and Bremen seemed relieved. But soon after the imperial troops under Albrecht von Wallenstein headed for the North in an attempt to destroy the fading Hanseatic League, in order to subject the Hanseatic cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck and to establish a Baltic trade monopoly, to be run by some imperial favourites including Spaniards and Poles. The idea was to win Sweden's and Denmark's support, both of which since long were after the destruction of the Hanseatic League.

In May 1625 Christian IV of Denmark, Duke of Holstein was elected – in the latter of his functions – by the Lower Saxon Circle's member territories commander-in-chief of the Lower Saxon troops. In the same year Christian IV joined the Anglo-Dutch war coalition. Christian IV ordered his troops to capture all the important traffic hubs in the Prince-Archbishopric and entered into the Battle of Lutter am Barenberge, on 27 August 1626, where he was defeated by the Leaguist troops under Johan 't Serclaes, Count of Tilly. Christian IV and his surviving troops fled to the Prince-Archbishopric and took their headquarters in Stade.

In 1627 Christian IV withdrew from the Prince-Archbishopric, in order to fight Wallenstein's invasion of his Duchy of Holstein. Tilly then invaded the Prince-Archbishopric and captured its southern parts. Bremen shut its city gates and entrenched behind its improved fortifications. In 1628 Tilly turned to the city, and Bremen paid him a ransom of 10,000 rixdollars in order to spare its siege. The city remained unoccupied.

The Leaguist takeover enabled Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, to implement the Edict of Restitution, decreed March 6, 1629, within the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen including the city of Bremen. In September 1629 Francis William, Count of Wartenberg, appointed by Ferdinand II as chairman of the imperial restitution commission for the Lower Saxon Circle, carrying out the provisions of the Edict of Restitution, ordered the Bremian Chapter, seated in Bremen, to render an account of all the capitular and prince-archiepiscopal estates (not to be confused with the Estates). The Chapter refused, arguing first that the order was not authenticised and later that due to disputes with Bremen's city council, they couldn't freely travel to render an account, let alone do the necessary research on the estates. The anti-Catholic attitudes of Bremen's burghers and council would make it completely impossible to prepare the restitution of estates from the Lutheran Chapter to the Roman Catholic Church. Even Lutheran capitulars were uneasy in Calvinistic Bremen.

Bremen's city council ordered that the capitular and prince-archiepiscopal estates within the boundaries of the unoccupied city weren't to be restituted to the Roman Catholic Church. The council argued, that the city had long been Protestant, but the restitution commission replied that the city was de jure a part of the Prince-Archbishopric, so Protestantism had illegitimately alienated Catholic-owned estates. The city council answered under these circumstances it would rather separate from the Holy Roman Empire and join the quasi-independent Republic of the Seven Netherlands.[1] The city was neither to be conquered nor to be successfully beleaguered due to its new fortifications and its access to the North Sea.

In October 1631 an army, newly recruited by John Frederick, started to reconquer the Prince-Archbishopric - helped by forces from Sweden and the city of Bremen. John Frederick was back in his office, only to realise the supremacy of Sweden, insisting on its supreme command until the end of the war. With the impending enfeoffment of the military Great Power of Sweden with the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen, as under negotiation for the Treaty of Westphalia, the city of Bremen feared to fall as well under Swedish rule. Therefore the city beseeched an imperial confirmation of its status of imperial immediacy from 1186 (Gelnhausen Privilege). In 1646 Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, granted the requested confirmation (Diploma of Linz) to the Free Imperial City.

Defence against Swedish mediatisation attempts

Nevertheless, Sweden, represented by its imperial fief Bremen-Verden, which comprised the secularised prince-bishoprics of Bremen and Verden, did not accept the imperial immediacy of the city of Bremen. Swedish Bremen-Verden tried to remediatise the Free Imperial City of Bremen. To this aim Swedish Bremen-Verden waged war on Bremen twice. In 1381 the city of Bremen had captured de facto rule in an area around Bederkesa and westwards thereof up to the lower Weser stream near Bremerlehe (a part of today's Bremerhaven). Early in 1653 Bremen-Verden's Swedish troops captured Bremerlehe by violence. In February 1654 the city of Bremen achieved, that Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, granted it a seat and the vote in the Holy Roman Empire's Diet, thus accepting the city's status as Free Imperial City of Bremen.

Ferdinand III ordered his vassal Christina of Sweden, Duchess regnant of Bremen-Verden to compensate the city of Bremen for the damages caused and to restitute Bremerlehe. When in March 1654 the city of Bremen started to recruit soldiers in the area of Bederkesa, in order to prepare for further arbitrary acts, Swedish Bremen-Verden enacted the First Bremian War (March to July 1654), arguing to act in self-defence. The Free Imperial City of Bremen had meanwhile urged Ferdinand III for support, who in July 1654 ordered his vassal Charles X Gustav of Sweden, Christina's successor as Duke of Bremen-Verden, to cease the conflict, which resulted in the Recess of Stade (November 1654). This treaty left the main issue, accepting the city of Bremen's imperial immediacy, unresolved. But the city agreed to pay tribute and levy taxes in favour of Swedish Bremen-Verden and to cede its possessions around Bederkesa and Bremerlehe, therefore later called Lehe.

In December 1660 the city council of Bremen rendered homage as Free Imperial City of Bremen to Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. In 1663 the city gained seat and vote in the Imperial Diet, sharply protested by Swedish Bremen-Verden. In March 1664 the Swedish Diet came out in favour of waging war on the Free Imperial City of Bremen. Right after Leopold I, busy with wars against the Ottoman Empire, had enfeoffed the minor King Charles XI of Sweden with Bremen-Verden, and with the neighboured Brunswick and Lunenburg-Celle being paralysed by succession quarrels and France being not opposed, Sweden started from its Bremen-Verden the Second Bremian War (1665–1666).

Swedes under Carl Gustaf Wrangel beleaguered the city of Bremen. The siege brought Brandenburg-Prussia, Brunswick and Lunenburg-Celle, Denmark, Leopold I and the Netherlands to the scene, all in favour of the city, with Brandenburgian, Cellean, Danish and Dutch troops at Bremen-Verden's borders ready to invade. So on 15 November 1666 Sweden had to sign the Treaty of Habenhausen, obliging it to destroy the fortresses built close to Bremen and banning Bremen from sending its representative to the Diet of the Lower Saxon Circle. From then on no further Swedish attempts to capture the city sprang out.

In 1700 Bremen introduced - like all Protestant territories of imperial immediacy - the Improved Calendar, as it was called by Protestants, in order not to mention the name of Pope Gregory XIII. So Sunday, the 18 February of Old Style was followed by Monday, the 1 March New Style.

19th century

In 1811 Napoleon invaded Bremen and integrated it as the capital of the Département de Bouches-du-Weser (Department of the Mouths of the Weser) in the French State. In 1813 the French - on their retreat - withdrew from Bremen. Johann Smidt, Bremen's representative at the Congress of Vienna, successfully achieved that Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck were not mediatised and incorporated into neighbouring monarchies, but became sovereign republics.

Population History

1350: 20,000 1810: 35,800
1830: 43,700
1850: 55,100
1880: 111,900
1900: 161,200
1925: 295,000
1969: 607,185
1998: 550,0004
2005: 545,983 2006: 546,900

The first German steamship was manufactured in 1817 at the yard of Johann Lange.

In 1827 Bremen, under Johann Smidt, its Burgomaster at that time, purchased land from the Kingdom of Hanover, to establish the city of Bremerhaven (Port of Bremen) as an outpost of Bremen because of the increased silt buildup in the Weser river.

Brauerei Beck & Co KG, a brewery, was founded in 1837 and remains in operation today. The shipping company The North German Lloyd (NDL) was founded in 1857. The Lloyd was a byword for commercial shipping and is now a part of Hapag-Lloyd. In 1872 the Bremer Cotton Exchange was created. Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG was founded in 1923, and is today part of Airbus, a manufacturer of civil and military aircraft. Borgward, an automobile manufacturer, was founded in 1929, and is today part of Daimler AG. The town of Vegesack became part of the city of Bremen in 1939, and the Bremen-Vegesack concentration camp was used during World War II.

Following the Bombing of Bremen in World War II, Bremen was captured by the British 3rd Infantry Division under General Whistler in late April 1945.[2] After World War II, the city became a part of the American occupation zone. Bremen's burgomaster traveled to the US to seek Bremen's independence from Lower Saxony, as Bremen had traditionally been a city-state.

In 1947 Nordmende was founded, a manufacturer of entertainment electronics. In 1958 OHB-System was founded, a manufacturer of medium-sized spaceflight satellites.


The Stadtbürgerschaft (municipal assembly) is made up of 68 of the 83 legislators of the state legislature, the Bremische Bürgerschaft, who reside in the city of Bremen. The legislature is elected by the citizens of Bremen every four years.[3]

One of the two mayors (Bürgermeister) is elected President of the Senate (Präsident des Senats) and serves as head of the city and the state. The current President is Jens Böhrnsen.

Main sights

  • Many of the sights in Bremen are found in the Altstadt (Old Town), an oval area surrounded by the Weser River, on the southwest, and the Wallgraben, the former moats of the medieval city walls, on the northeast. The oldest part of the Altstadt is the southeast half, starting with the Marktplatz and ending at the Schnoor quarter.
  • The Marktplatz (Market square) is dominated by the opulent façade of the Town Hall. The building was erected between 1405 and 1410 in Gothic style, but the façade was built two centuries later (1609–12) in Renaissance style. Today, it hosts a restaurant in original decor with gigantic wine barrels, the Ratskeller in Bremen, and the wine lists boasts more than 600 — exclusively German — wines. It is also home of the twelve oldest wines in the world, stored in their original barrels in the Apostel chamber.
  • Two statues stand to the west side of the Town Hall: one is the statue (1404) of the city's protector, Roland, with his view against the Cathedral and bearing Durendart, the "sword of justice" and a shield decorated with an imperial eagle. The other near the entrance to the Ratskeller is Gerhard Marcks's bronze sculpture (1953) Die Stadtmusikanten (Town Musicians) which portrays the donkey, dog, cat and rooster of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale.
  • Other interesting buildings in the vicinity of the Marktplatz are the Schütting, a 16th-century Flemish-inspired guild hall, and the Stadtwaage, the former weigh house (built in 1588), with an ornate Renaissance façade. The façades and houses surrounding the market square were the first buildings in Bremen to be restored after World War II, by the citizens of Bremen themselves.
  • The impressive Cathedral St. Petri (13th century), to the east of the Marktplatz, with sculptures of Moses and David, Peter and Paul and Charlemagne.
  • The Liebfrauenkirche (Our Lady's Church) is the oldest church of the town (11th century). Its crypt features several impressive murals from the 14th century.
  • Off the south side of the Markplatz, the 110 m (120 yd) Böttcherstraße was transformed in 1923–1931 by the coffee magnate Ludwig Roselius, who commissioned local artists to convert the narrow street (in medieval time, the street of the barrel makers) into an inspired mixture of Gothic and Art Nouveau. It was considered "entartete Kunst" (depraved art) by the Nazis. Today, the street is one of Bremen's most popular attractions.
  • At the end of Böttcherstraße, by the Weser bank, stands the Martinikirche (St Martin's Church), a Gothic brick church built in 1229, and rebuilt in 1960 after its destruction in World War II.[citation needed]
  • Tucked away between the Cathedral and the river is the Schnoor, a small, well-preserved area of crooked lanes, fishermen's and shipper's houses from the 17th and 18th centuries, now occupied by cafés, artisan shops and art galleries.
  • Schlachte, the medieval harbour of Bremen (the modern port is some kilometres downstream) and today a riverside boulevard with pubs and bars aligned on one side and the banks of Weser on the other.

More contemporary tourist attractions include:


The Freie Waldorfschule in Bremen-Sebaldsbrück was Germany's first school built to the Passivhaus low-energy building standard.[4]

The Fallturm (Drop Tower) of the University of Bremen


Main train station Bremen

Bremen has an international airport situated in the south of the city.

Bremer Straßenbahn AG (translates from German as Bremen Tramways Corporation), often abbreviated BSAG, is the public transport provider for Bremen, offering tramway and bus services.[5]


The Bremen site is the second development centre after Hamburg. It forms part of the production network of Airbus Deutschland GmbH and this is where equipping of the wing units for all widebody Airbus aircraft and the manufacture of small sheet metal parts takes place. Structural assembly, including that of metal landing flaps, is another focal point. Within the framework of Airbus A380 production, assembly of the landing flaps (high lift systems) is carried out here. The pre-final assembly of the fuselage section (excluding the cockpit) of the A400M military transport aircraft takes place before delivery on to Spain.[6]

More than 3,100 persons are employed at Bremen, the second largest Airbus site in Germany. As part of the Centre of Excellence - Wing/Pylon, Bremen is responsible for the design and manufacture of high-lift systems for the wings of Airbus aircraft. The entire process chain for the high-lift elements is established here, including the project office, technology engineering, flight physics, system engineering, structure development, verification tests, structural assembly, wing equipping and ultimate delivery to the final assembly line. In addition, Bremen manufactures sheet metal parts like clips and thrust crests for all Airbus aircraft as part of the Centre of Excellence - Fuselage and Cabin.[7]

There is also a Mercedes-Benz factory in Bremen, building the C, CLK, SL, SLK, and GLK series of cars.[8]

Beck & Co's headlining brew Beck's and St Pauli Girl beers are brewed in Bremen. In past centuries when Bremen's port was the "key to Europe", the city also had a large number of wine importers, but the number is down to a precious few. Apart from that there is another link between Bremen and wine: about 800 years ago, quality wines were produced here. The largest wine cellar in the world is located in Bremen (below the city's main square), which was once said to hold over 1 million bottles, but during WWII was raided by occupying forces.

A large number of food producing or trading companies are located in Bremen with their German or European headquarters: Anheuser-Busch InBev (Beck's Brewery), Kellogg's, Kraft Foods (Kraft, Jacobs Coffee, Milka Chocolate, Milram, Miràcoli), Frosta (frosted food), Nordsee (chain of sea fast food), Melitta Kaffee, Eduscho Kaffee, Azul Kaffee, Vitakraft (pet food for birds), Atlanta AG (Chiquita banana), chocolatier Hachez (fine chocolate and confiserie), feodora chocolatier6.


  • Every year since 1036, in the last two weeks of October, Bremen has hosted Freimarkt ("Free market"), one of the world's oldest and in Germany one of today's biggest continuously celebrated fairground festivals.
  • Bremen is host to one of the four big annual Techno parades, the Vision Parade.
  • Bremen is also host for the "Bremer 6 Tage Rennen" a bicycle race at the AWD-Dome.
  • Every year the city plays host to young musicians from across the world, playing in the International Youth Symphony Orchestra of Bremen (IYSOB).
  • Bremen was host to the 2006 RoboCup competition.


It is home of the football team SV Werder Bremen which won the German Football Championship for the fourth time and the German Football Cup for the fifth time in 2004, making SV Werder Bremen just the fourth team in German football history to win the double; the club has most recently won the German Football Cup for the sixth time in 2009. It´s the second best footballteam in Germany. Only Bayern Munich has won more titles.


The University of Bremen is the largest university in Bremen5, and is also home to the international Goethe-Institut. Furthermore Bremen has a University of the Arts and the University of Applied Sciences, more recently the Jacobs University Bremen.


  • In December 1949, Bremen hosted the lecture cycle "Einblick in das, was ist" by the philosopher Martin Heidegger, in which Heidegger introduced his concept of a "fourfold" of earth and sky, gods and mortals. This was also Heidegger's first public speaking engagement following his removal from his Freiburg professorship by the Denazification authorities.
  • A fictional mask in the Nintendo-made video game The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, is named the Bremen's Mask.
  • In 24 (season 8), Jack Bouer is a German arms dealer named Meier who grew up in Bremen but traveled with his father.

Notable people

International relations

Twin towns - Sister cities

Bremen is twinned with:

Sister City Since Country
Gdańsk[10] 1976 Poland Poland
Riga [11] 1985 Latvia Latvia
Dalian 1985 People's Republic of China China
Rostock 1987 Germany Germany (then German Democratic Republic)
Haifa 1988 Israel Israel
Bratislava[12] 1989 Slovakia Slovakia
Corinto 1989 Nicaragua Nicaragua
Lukavac 1994 Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina
İzmir 1995 Turkey Turkey
Durban[13] South Africa South Africa
Pune India India
Maracaibo Venezuela Venezuela

See also



  • Tristam Carrington-Windo, Katrin M. Kohl (1998). A Dictionary of Contemporary Germany. Routledge (UK). ISBN 1-57958-114-5.  page 64
  • Claus Christian: A photographic excursion through Bremen, Bremen-North, Bremerhaven, Fischerhude and Worpswede, 2007 ISBN 978-3-00-015451-5
  • Dannenberg, Hans-Eckhard and Heinz-Joachim Schulze (eds.) (1995-2008). Geschichte des Landes zwischen Elbe und Weser (3 vol., vol. 1 Vor- und Frühgeschichte (1995), vol. 2 Mittelalter (einschl. Kunstgeschichte) (1995), vol. 3 Neuzeit (2008), (Schriftenreihe des Landschaftsverbandes der ehem. Herzogtümer Bremen und Verden; vol. 7) ed.). Stade: Landschaftsverband der ehem. Herzogtümer Bremen und Verden. ISBN (vol. 1) ISBN 978-3-9801919-7-5, (vol. 2) ISBN 978-3-9801919-8-2, (vol. 3) ISBN 978-3-9801919-9-9. 


  1. ^ The Dutch independence was finally confirmed by the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648).
  2. ^ Sir John Smythe Bolo Whistler: The Life of General Sir Lashmer Whistler Frederick Muller Ltd 1967
  3. ^
  4. ^ Passivhaus schools (German), Passivhaus Institute. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  5. ^ "BSAG Public transportation in Bremen" (in German). 
  6. ^ "EADS in Germany". 
  7. ^ "Airbus in Germany". 
  8. ^ "Bremen Infos". 
  9. ^ "Message of Greeting". Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  10. ^ "Gdańsk Official Website: 'Miasta partnerskie'" (in Polish & English). Urząd Miejski w Gdańsku. 2009.,62,733.html. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  11. ^ "Twin cities of Riga". Riga City Council. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  12. ^ "Bratislava City - Twin Towns". Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  13. ^ "Sister Cities Home Page".  eThekwini Online: The Official Site of the City of Durban

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Bremen [1] is a city in northern Germany, population 500,000+.

The historic center around the Altmarkt (old market), including the famous "Roland" statue. By Felix Gottwald.
The historic center around the Altmarkt (old market), including the famous "Roland" statue. By Felix Gottwald.



Bremen was once a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and is still one of the most important cities in northern Germany. Together with the city of Bremerhaven on the North Sea it forms Germany's smallest state. Bremen has a more than 1200 years of history, and was most of the time an independent city state.


Bremen is a rather long and narrow city, lined along both sides of the river Weser. Along the north-west/south-east axis it stretches 1 km, but across only 2 km.

Get in

By plane

Bremen airport (IATA: BRE) (ICAO: EDDW) is in the south-west of the town and offers flights to most bigger German cities and some European destinations. It's easily accessible by public transport (tram line 6, about 16 minutes from the city center) and by car. Major carriers are OLT [2], Ryanair and Lufthansa [3].

Commuter train in Bremen central station
Commuter train in Bremen central station

By bus

There is a direct buslink from Bremen to Groningen (NL) €19, Oldenburg and Aurich (€19) [4]. Buses leave from Bremen Central bus station (next to the train station), Hugo-Schauinsland-Platz.

By train

Regular and frequent services connect Bremen with the rest of Germany. There are two trains every hour to Hamburg in the north and Osnabrück, Münster and the Ruhr Area in the South as well as to Hanover. In the west lie the cities Delmenhorst and Oldenburg and the Frisian islands. There are also trains (via main station) connecting the peripher areas of Bremen (2 times per hour to North Bremen, final station Bremen-Vegesack, or to Verden via Mahndorf or Sebaldsbrück. See [5] for more information, language selection on the right).

By car

Autobahn 1 runs to Hamburg in the north and Cologne in the south but do check the traffic information! The A27 goes north to Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven and south towards Hanover, Braunschweig, Berlin and other eastwards connections.

Get around

By foot

Much of Bremen (or at least the part frequented by travelers) can be negotiated by foot - the best way to explore the old city and its surrounding districts.

By Shared Car

Members of the Cambio car-sharing network, whether in Germany or Belgium, can hire cars - Bremen is the company's headquarters.

By bus/tram

Bremen offers an intensive public transportation network with street-cars (trams) and buses. For public transportation timetables and ticket fares see [6] (English). There are night bus' or trams (indicated by an "N"), through almost the whole night, but not as frequently as in daytimes (hourly). Fares on the night network are one euro in addition to normal individual, group or day fares (2008). You can buy bus tickets on the bus or tram, but is slightly cheaper to buy a set of 4 rides or a day pass for individuals or groups, or a weekly pass for individuals. Note that on trains, tickets must be purchased before you board.

By taxi

Taxis are found nearly everywhere and every time but they have got their price (about 1,25 EUR/km).

By bike

You can hire bicycles at the railway station and several bike shops in Bremen. See [7] (German only). Bremen is a quite bike-friendly city. Its former mayor Hennig Scherf is an avid cyclist (who despite the wishes of his bodyguards rode his bike every day to his office or he simply walked to the office.)

Bremen Town Hall
Bremen Town Hall
  • Rathaus (Town Hall) this is one of the finest in Europe and as such has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Building work started in 1410 and it is seen as an important display of the wealth and freedom of the city. Tours of the interior are conducted by the Tourist information office at 11AM, noon, 3PM and 4PM
  • Dom St Petri (Cathedral of St Peter) is over 1200 years old, and its huge towered façade dominates the main square. the interior is impressive with some fine painted details on the ceilings. There is a treasury displaying the collection of the cathedral. Entrance is free, for €1 you can climb the Southern Tower offering nice views over the whole city
  • Roland this statue on the main square is of the Knight Roland who was a protector of trade. It appears in many European cities especially those involved in the Hanseatic league. Bremen's is considered one of the finest and is included with Town Hall on the World Heritage List.
  • Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten (Town Musicians of Bremen) perhaps the most well known figures associated with Bremen are the characters from the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale, their image adorns many of the souvenirs in the city. Next to the Town Hall is a much photographed statue of them.
  • Böttcherstrasse, [8] is the incredible Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) street that runs from the main square towards the river. There are many fine façades and courtyards all with large amounts of design detail. There is an impressive Glockenspiel that chimes at regular intervals. There are lots of shops and several Museums, including the impressive Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum. Haus Atlantis (now the Hilton) has an impressive spiral staircase just inside, at the top of which is the staggering Himmelshaal (unfortunately it is not normally open to the public).
  • Am Wall is a lovely park next to the former defensive moat which offers a nice place to sit and relax.
  • Schnoor this area of twisting lanes is a lovely place to wander aimlessly looking at in the many shops and also at the world smallest hotel (see Sleep)


Stroll around the city center and visit the Schnoor-Viertel with its old medieval buildings. If interested in arts visit the Bremer Kunsthalle [9] (museum of art) with one of north Germany's finest collections. If you like football, visit a match of the local team Werder Bremen [10] in the stadium.

If you want to see green fields, cows, bikers and in line skaters, visit "Blockland" [11] (site in German with some pictures) 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 dike and take an icecream at one of the farms (some also sell organic food). In winter there is no icecream but the river and small creeks for iceskating.

On October 03, 2008, the indoor ice skating season will start again at Paradice, the skating hall in Walle ([12], site in German). Paradice is opened from October to February.

  • January 6th: "Eiswette": a funny tradition where a tailor checks if he can cross the river Weser without getting wet feet.
  • February: carnival in Bremen, more South-American than Cologne style
  • April: easter market
  • June: "vision parade": techno parade along the Weser, "Breminale" art festival along the River Weser
  • August: International Bremen Summer, circus festival LA STRADA, "Festival Maritim" in Bremen-Vegesack (in the northern end of Bremen)
  • October (2nd half): "Freimarkt" (free market), one of the biggest and oldest fairground festivals in Germany, right north of the railway station
  • November: International Cutter Race / "Kutterpullen" tournament (rowing contest on the Weser river)
  • December: Christmas market around the city hall

The monthly free event magazine MIX has hosts an event calendar online (German only) [13].

  • Kluten, are a traditional sweet from Bremen. They are cubes of peppermint, partly covered in chocolate. Hachez, near the Town Hall, is a traditional Bremen based chocolatier and their store is well worth a visit to buy the Kluten, though they are also available at many other places throughout the center.


  • Schnoor is a den of tight lanes selling boutique style products including Jewlery, African Artifacts, Paper Models and a year round Christmas Shop. There are also a lot of shops selling tourist souvenirs.
  • Böttcherstrasse, This wonderful Art Nouveau street has many outlets cattering for upmarket/high quality products.
  • Markets are out on most of the squares around the Town Hall.
  • Lloyd Passage, Obernstrasse, Sögestrasse are the main shopping streets with all the main High Street chains.


Several cafes and restaurants line the "Schlachte" [14] along the Weser river while another popular area is the "Viertel" south of the Kunsthalle. Many traditional dishes from Bremen and Northern Germany are very satiable. This region is famous for cabbage (Grünkohl- green cabbage), fish (smoked eel, herring, smelt in March), an old sailor´s meal called Labskaus (lobscouse) consisting of mashed potatoes, corned beef, onions, fried egg an beetroot or chick ragout (very fine) as well as red fruit jelly or Butterkuchen (cake with yeast and topped with lots of butter, sugar and almonds). You can find some fish restaurants in Böttgerstrasse. "Knigge" is the name of a traditional coffee house in Bremen.


The world-wide known Beck's Beer is brewed in Bremen. Guided brewery tours in English and German are offered. Costs (as in November 2009) 9 Euros/person, also you have to book it in advance.

The "Ratskeller" [15] is a wine cellar and restaurant with a famous collection of wines and the oldest wines in Germany.

There are many bars, pubs and cafes in Bremen: the Schlachte along the Weser and the Viertel, a young and lively quarter.

If you like beer and bretzels, try the "Schüttinger" brewery house (next to Böttgerstrasse) where several types of beer are brewed and served directly.

  • International Youth Hostel Kalkstr.6, 28195 Bremen, tel +49(421)171369, fax +49(421)171102 [16].
  • GastHaus Bremer Backpacker Hostel Emil-Waldmann-Strasse 5-6, 28195 Bremen, tel +49(421)2238057 [17].
  • Townside Hostel Bremen Am Dobben 62, 28203 Bremen, tel 49(421)78015 [18]
  • prizeotel Bremen-City, [19], Theodor-Heuss-Allee 12, 28215 Bremen, tel +49(1805)697749. Budget designer hotel centrally located within walking distance from Bremen Central Station, directly opposite the AWD Dome and Bremen Exhibition Halls. 127 air conditioned rooms furnished with 180 x 200 cm beds, 32" flat screen TV, desk, iLamp with integrated loudspeaker and iPod/iPhone connection, shower with rainforest showerhead and free high speed wireless LAN internet access in the entire hotel.
  • Hochzeitshaus-Bremen, Wüste Stätte 5, 28195 Bremen, Tel: +49 (0162) 19 25 24 4, [20] Mail: --- €350 for first night €250 for subsequent nights. ---

This hotel has a very strong claim to being the smallest Hotel in the world. In fact if you stay here you have the whole hotel to yourself as it has just one room. It has a great location in the heart of the Schnoor district.

It is based on the tradition of small hotels catering for newly wed couples seeking somewhere to consummate their marriages after the ceremony, and is aimed at a market that can help continue this tradition.

  • Hilton, Böttcherstrasse 2, Tel: +49 (421) 36960, Fax: +49 (421) 3696960 €107-220, [21]. In an excellent location just off the main square with an entrance on the magical Böttcherstrasse. Its room are the high standard you would expect from the chain, and there is a small Pool, Sauna and Micro Gym in the basements. The Böttcherstrasse entrance makes this a little more interesting than the rest of the chain as it has an impressive spiral staircase at the top of which is the fantastic Himmelsaal.

Swissôtel Bremen, [5 Star Hotel][22]. Hillmannplatz 20. Phone: +49 (0) 421 62 000 0, Fax: +49 (0) 421 62 000 222. E-mail: [23] Swissôtel Bremen is a 5 star Business hotel in the heart of historic Bremen. The central position gives a magnificent view over the Bremen city wall and the hotel sits within walking distance to all major attractions like the town musicians and the charming Market Square of Bremen.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Bremen discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:



Proper noun




  1. One of the component states of Germany according to the current administrative division of the nation.
  2. A city in Germany.


See also


Proper noun


  1. Bremen (state)
  2. Bremen (city)


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