The Shutting…. The Chamber of Commerce, Bremen
I guess it is fitting to start our tour of Bremen in front of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, fitting because Bremen has made it fortunes from Trade from across the world for many centuries. It is also a case of survival as the town is built upon marsh land, adjacent to a river, liable to flooding. It was also a target for bombing during WW2 with a good deal of the City destroyed but rebuilt in the traditional style.
There are two statues that Bremen are very proud of and perhaps sum up the city.
The first is that of Knight Roland. He has stood in the Market Place since 1404 with sword drawn facing the Cathedral and so symbolising the peoples rights to liberty. The second is more contemporary but based upon an old Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale. It is the Sculpture known as “The Town Musicians of Bremen” and tells the tale that right and innocence will always triumph against bad and evil.
(Modern myth is that it is Good Luck to touch the leg or nose of the Donkey)
Today Bremen is a City in three parts. There is the sprawling and prosperous industrial and commercial city that surrounds the central core of old Bremen. But this central core can also be split into two distinct areas.
The first we will tour is that which surrounds the Market Squares and the Cathedral of St. Peter. The Cathedral dominates the City, dark and for some forebodingly over the Market Square…sadly we could not venture inside to view what we are told is a fantastic interior as it is closed for vital restoration work. But that aside here is a flavour of the old commercial centre on what was a very wet day.
The other centre of Old Bremen is known as the Schnoor District
This is an area of narrow lanes and alleys, it was once the part of Bremen closest to the port. Consequently it was the location for warehouses, trades people and crafts associated with shipping and its needs. Today it is a charming tourist trap, small shops, cafes, bars and private residences all vying for your interest.
Bremen is a City of historic note, once a key Hanseatic trader and still today an important commercial and industrial centre. For the visitor the history and its well preserved and restored architecture is just waiting to be discovered…. no doubt we will return to rediscover anew.
It is also a City for fun (and Refreshments) as Jean discovered when she rather took a fancy to this Human Street Sculpture….
But for now our short Hanseatic trip from the Baltic, via Kiel, Elbe and Weser is complete so it is back to Braemar and full steam ahead for the North Sea and home…..
Sad to be finished but lots of memories….
(C) David Oakes 2017