A fairytale quartet: the Bremen Town Musicians
Although they never reached their intended destination, the Bremen Town Musicians are still local heroes. In the fairytale of the Brothers Grimm, the quartet of domestic animals finds a new home in a forest on their way to Bremen by scaring away the bandits who are living there. Since then, the donkey, dog, cat and rooster have become symbols for, and ambassadors of, the Hanseatic city. The most famous sculpture of them, created by sculptor Gerhard Marcks in 1951, can be found outside the western end of the town hall. There are many other representations of them in Bremen, for example the bronze figures created by artist Bernhard Hoetger by the Fountain of the Seven Lazy Brothers in Böttcherstrasse, and several others around the world.
Historical city centre and UNESCO World Heritage site
Bremen town hall, built between 1405 and 1409 in the style of the Weser Renaissance
© WFB / Jonas Ginter
The most historical part of Bremen will make any passer-by smile, whether they are a tourist or a local. The church, the town hall, proud merchants and free citizens – history comes to life here, and all parts of society are represented in the architecture. Bremen town hall, built between 1405 and 1409 in the style of the Weser Renaissance, is part of an exceptional ensemble of buildings around the market square that includes the Schütting (guildhall), the State Parliament and the cathedral. The town hall's magnificent exterior houses the art nouveau Golden Chamber, a marble lobby and the old-established Ratskeller. The Upper Hall of the town hall, featuring model ships hanging from the ceiling, is used for ceremonial occasions, such as the Schaffermahl banquet. The town hall, together with the Roland statue that stands before it, was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2004.
Maritime charm along the Weser river and the Schlachte Embankment
Schlachte Embankment along the Weser river
© WFB / Jonas Ginter
Whenever the sun shines, the focus of city life moves to the restaurants and cafés along the Schlachte Embankment. This historical embankment on the Weser river oozes maritime charm throughout the year, and it has been a vital part of Bremen life and its economy for over a thousand years. Barges, pleasure boats, small yachts, motor and rowing boats, and lovingly restored sailing vessels all make their way along this picturesque stretch. Downriver towards the railway bridge, the river becomes a route for maritime shipping, and the proximity to the sea is visible every day as the tides influence water levels in the city. When there is flooding, the floodplains upriver along Osterdeich are partially submerged. A stroll along the road of the same name brings you to magnificent mercantile villas and affords excellent views of the Weser Stadium in its idyllic setting. There is a small ferry here that will take you to the other side. A short walk away is Werdersee lake, which is perfect for swimming and water sports.