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. 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.
The Bremer Schaffermahl is a traditional banquet held in the Town Hall annually.
The 600-year-old town hall is Bremen’s pride and joy. Its special status was confirmed in 2004 when it became a UNESCO World Heritage site. UNESCO’s justification for its inscription praised Bremen town hall and the Roland statue as “an outstanding ensemble which bears an exceptional testimony to civic autonomy and sovereignty, as these developed in the Holy Roman Empire.” The report also expressly acknowledged the town hall as an “outstanding example of the Weser Renaissance architectural style in northern Germany”.
The building’s architectural splendour makes it the jewel in the crown of Bremen’s historical market square.
The Upper Hall, where the city council used to convene, is the most magnificent ceremonial venue in Bremen. The model ships that hang from the ceiling bear witness to the importance of commerce and maritime trade. Their miniature cannons can even be fired if the occasion demands. In the early 20th century an extension was added to the town hall to create much-needed extra space. Designed by architect Gabriel von Seidel, the modern building blends seamlessly with the medieval section to form a harmonious whole.
- 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.
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