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Bremen Ratskeller

Cellar master with glass in hand.
600 years of tradition, around 650 wines from the 13 German wine-growing regions, Bremen specialities from Knipp to Labskaus and the oldest cask wine in the country - all this awaits you in the Ratskeller Bremen. Immerse yourself in the exciting vaults beneath Bremen's town hall.

© WFB/Sarbach

The "delicious foundation of the town hall" - Bremen's Ratskeller is not nicknamed this for nothing. The vaults below the Liebfrauenkirchhof and the Domshof not only house one of Bremen's most traditional restaurants, but also the world's largest selection of exclusively German wines. As part of Bremen's town hall, the Ratskeller is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and impresses with its more than 600 years of history.

A Piece of City History

There was already a municipal wine cellar in medieval Bremen. When Bremen's town hall was built in 1405, the Ratskeller was relocated to its cellars. Until 1815, only the Bremen City Council had the privilege of serving white wine in the city. Even today, only German wines are served in Bremen's Ratskeller.

Weinfässer in einem Gewölbe.

© momentkonserve-Bremen

Every Hall is Different

Through the entrance on the side of the town hall, you first enter the "Historic Hall" or "Great Columned Hall", with its huge 18th century "magnificent barrels" decorated with wood carvings. This vault is the oldest part of the Ratskeller, which houses parts of the building's catering facilities. It was gradually extended over the years. A guided tour through the vaults is highly recommended.

  • Priölken: Six small wooden sheds for four to five people, the so-called "Priölken" (Low German for "arbour"), were set up on the south side of the hall around 1600.
  • Apostelkeller: Built around 1550, the Apostelkeller houses twelve oak barrels of Rhine wines from the 18th century.
  • Rose cellar: The oldest and most valuable wines in the cellar were stored here. The Rosekeller also served as a secret meeting room for the councillors. The oldest wine in the cellar, the famous Rüdesheim wine from 1653, which is also the oldest cask wine in Germany, is stored at the front of the cellar.
  • Senate Room: Originally reserved for the reception of guests of the Senate, the Senate Room is now rented out by the Ratskeller.
  • Bacchuskeller: The Bacchuskeller was built in 1620 as a wine storehouse. Today it is also a guest room. At the front is a barrel with a figure of the wine god Bacchus from the Baroque period.
  • Hauffsaal: The Hauffsaal is also a former wine storehouse and now serves as a restaurant. It was named after the poet Wilhelm Hauff, who visited the Ratskeller in 1826.
Ein schick gedeckter Tisch mit Rosen, Rosenblättern und Kerzen in einer Priölke im Bremer Ratskeller. Priölken sind kleine separate Ecken, die man im Bremer Ratskeller buchen kann, um dort zu essen oder zu trinken.

© Fotograf Andre Schütt

A wine archive of inestimable value

In the past, only wines from the Rhine and Moselle were stored in the Ratskeller - today the range includes German wines from all 13 wine-growing regions. The Ratskellermeister has always watched over the stocks. A large proportion of the valuable wines - with the exception of the old Rose and Apostel wines - were lost in the post-war turmoil. Today, outstanding bottled wines from all vintages are once again archived in the Ratskeller's treasure chamber. All in all, a collection of inestimable value.

A Prominent Restaurant

Over the centuries, many well-known personalities have visited Bremen's Ratskeller. The most frequent guest was undoubtedly Kaiser Wilhelm II, who visited the cellar once a year from 1890 to 1914 for the "Kaiserfrühstück". But the Ratskeller was also very popular with artists. The poet Wilhelm Hauff even wrote a novella about his visit ("Phantasien im Bremer Ratskeller"). Other writers such as Heinrich Heine, Hoffmann von Fallersleben and Theodor Fontane as well as composers such as Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss are also on the list of prominent guests.

Typical Bremen

In 2022, the Bremen Ratskeller won the Tourism Award in the Typical Bremen category, as it is one of Bremen's classic sights and has become an integral part of the city's tourist portfolio.

Impressions from the Bremen Ratskeller

Guided Tours through the Ratskeller

Bremen's Ratskeller is absolutely worth a visit! On a guided tour, you can find out what goes on behind the otherwise closed doors of this World Heritage Site. You can enjoy a drop or two from the extensive selection. All dates can be found at www.ratskeller.de.

The following tours are available for private groups:

  • Classic cellar tour with one wine
  • Cellar tour Selection with three wines
  • Premium cellar tour with five wines and chocolate

You can also find all information about making an appointment at www.ratskeller.de.


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St. Peter’s Cathedral

© WFB / Carina Tank

A view of Bremen's market square with the town hall and Roland statue.

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Market Square

© WFB / Carina Tank

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