Fabled City Bremen

ON THE BANKS OF NORTHERN GERMANY’S WESER RIVER, THE CULTURAL CITY OF BREMEN IS AS FRIENDLY AND LAID BACK AS A SMALL TOWN BUT AS BUSTLING AS ANY METROPOLIS.

Life itself is fabulous in this city famed for the Brothers Grimm fable, the Musicians of Bremen. Known for its waterfront shopping center brimming with cafes and boutiques, its historic city center dotted with antique shops and its Jugendstil (art nouveau) streets and quarters, Bremen is perfect for a weekend trip that won’t wear you out. You can walk almost anywhere in this city which is also crisscrossed with tram lines. With its architecture, museums, port area, cultural activities and vibrant way of life, Bremen offers both the old and the new.

ROME OF THE NORTH
Boasting a 1200-year past, Bremen owes its rich history and economy to its having been a port city on the medieval Hanseatic trade routes. Declared an Archbishopric in the 8th century, Bremen is known in history as ‘the Rome of the North’. Becoming steadily richer in successive centuries, Bremen was transformed into a Free Imperial City in 1646. Two thousand nails made of brass and steel will guide you around the city. One of Northern Germany’s oldest fair grounds, Marktplatz (Market Square) attracts interest for architectural monuments like the two-steepled Cathedral St. Petri and the green-roofed Rathaus (Town Hall). Although the 13-meter statue of Knight Roland in front of the Rathaus is considered a symbol of the city representing its independence, the statue of the Musicians of Bremen is the greater focus of interest here. Rubbed and touched frequently because they are believed to bring good luck, the nose and front hooves of the donkey fairly gleam. Meanwhile Bottcherstrasse directly adjacent is a Jugendstil avenue non-pareil lined with artisans’ boutiques. Don’t miss Bernard Hoetger’s spiral staircase and golden north entrance on this avenue rebuilt in Jugendstil by coffee magnate Ludwig Roselius, who made his fortune by inventing decaffeinated coffee. The riverbank district of Schnoor is abuzz even by night with cafes, restaurants and boutiques. Famous for its coffee and chocolates, Bremen is rich in seafood as well as traditional German cuisine. A museum in the shape of a clam shell surrounded by water, the Universum Science Center reflects the city’s innovative space industry. The simulated travel you will make to the ocean, the core of the earth and outer space is fun indeed. What’s more, the patrician houses, the Schütting (traditional chamber of commerce) and Übersee Museum with its exotic art are some of the city’s must-see sights along with its windmills and botanical gardens.

THE MUSICIANS THAT NEVER REACHED BREMEN
The Grimm Brothers’ famous Musicians of Bremen is the story of a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster who set out for Bremen with a dream of becoming town musicians. But they never reach the city when the house where they decide to stop on the first night turns out to be occupied by thieves. Ganging together they drive out the robbers and settle in themselves. This fable is reenacted on Marktplatz every Sunday at 1:30 from May through October.