Town Hall of Bremen

The Town Hall of Bremen is the seat of the President of the Senate and of the Mayor of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. It is one of the most important examples of Brick Gothic architecture in Europe. In July 2004, along with the Bremen Roland, the building was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Location

The city hall stands on the market square of the historic town centre. Directly in front of it is the statue of Roland, mentioned above. Opposite the square the Chamber of Commerce is located, to the right are Bremen Cathedral and the modern parliament building, whilst to the left is Our Lady's Church. On the west side of the square the sculpture "The Town Musicians of Bremen" by Gerhard Marcks is displayed.

History

The old town hall was built between 1405 and 1409. From 1595 to 1612, the architect Lüder von Bentheim renovated the structure and created the new façade which overlooks the market. Built in the style of the Weser Renaissance (a local variation of ), the façade features architectural elements based on masters of the Dutch Renaissance, such as Hans Vredeman de Vries, Hendrik Goltzius and Jacob Floris. Between 1909 and 1913, the Munich architect Gabriel von Seidl constructed an extension at the back of the building in the style of the Neo-Renaissance. By boarding up the outer walls, the citizens of Bremen succeeded in protecting the building largely from the bombs of the Second World War which destroyed more than 60% of the city. The city hall has been restored several times, most recently in 2003.

Tourist attractions

*The "Bremer Ratskeller" is a public house in the basement, the home of the oldest barrel of wine in Germany, crafted in 1653.
*The upper council chamber
*The Golden Chamber. This small room, added to the upper chamber in 1595, was redecorated in 1905 by Heinrich Vogeler in a pure Art Nouveau style. All details and fittings, including door handles, fireguard, chandeliers and the gilded leather wallpaper have been selected in this style.
*The banquet hall
*The fireplace room
*The Gobelin room
*The Senate Hall
*The lower council chamber. This room retains its unadorned original form. In contrast to the upper chamber, this room is plain, with a stone floor, visible timber beams, and limewashed walls. In earlier times, it also functioned as a marketplace for fine-goods such as spices and cloths.

Important Events

The "Bremer Schaffermahl" - a traditional annual banquet

Sources

External links

* [http://www.rathaus-bremen.de/ Official website of Bremen City Hall] - in German and English.
* [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1087 UNESCO World Heritage listing]


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