Also known by the locals as Bremen’s ‘Gute Stube’ (drawing room), the cluster of historic buildings in the middle of the city has a unique character.
Rathaus and Roland
The outstanding feature is the Rathaus, the Town Hall, dating from 1405 which, together with the Roland statue, forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
The most magnificent building on the market square is without doubt the town hall. In front of it stands the proud statue of Roland, which symbolises the freedom of the city. Both have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Turning clockwise on the Hanseatic Cross near the statue, you can see St. Peter's Cathedral, the State Parliament and the Schütting guildhall. Just past the Schütting, a narrow lane leads to Böttcherstrasse. On the western side of the Kontorhaus shopping arcade follows a row of beautiful gabled buildings.
On the south-east side of the Marktplatz, you will find Bremen’s St. Peter’s Cathedral, built in the Gothic style. Construction began in the 11th century, on the foundations of previous, older buildings.
Thought to be too modern, this building was a hot topic of discussion before and during its construction on the southeastern side of the Marktplatz. Since 1966, it has housed the Bremische Bürgerschaft, the representative body of the state of Bremen. It was built according to the design of the architect Wassili Luckhardt.
Quelle: privat / JUA
On the south-west side of the Marktplatz, the merchants of Bremen built a guildhall, a headquarters for their trades in 1444, but they had to tear it down in 1535 to build a new building. The Schütting was created in the Renaissance style. The intricate inscription above the portal, ‘buten un binnen - wagen un winnen’ (outside and in - to dare and to win), is now seen as the motto of the city.
Quelle: bremen.online GmbH / MDR
Directly next to the Schütting a row of gabled houses built in the Renaissance style borders the north-west side of the Marktplatz. Of the buildings originally built in the 16th and 17th centuries, none remain today. The historical-looking facades were built in the 20th century.
Quelle: Frauenseiten / A. Robers
Can you hear voices at the Marktplatz? Barking, crowing, cock-a-doodle-dooing or hee-hawing are quite normal in Bremen: they come from the Bremer Loch! A drain cover next to the Bürgerschaft has been transformed into a donation box. After throwing in a couple of coins, one of the four Musicians of Bremen will reward you with their sound. The coins go to the Wilhelm-Kaisen-Bürgerhilfe charity for their social projects. The Hole of Bremen is a drain cover with a slot for coins. After throwing in a couple of coins, the noises of the Musicians of Bremen can be heard.
From left to right, we have the Sparkasse bank building with its 1755 facade, the Rathsapotheke (council apothecary) and the Akzise (customs house) from 1595 (replaced in 1830), followed by the more recent Deutsches Haus. This is the top of Obernstrasse – the ideal starting point for a shopping spree.
Strictly speaking, the famous sculpture of the Bremen Town Musicians by Gerhard Marcks is not actually on the market square, but on Unser Lieben Frauen Kirchhof, which runs along the western side of the town hall.
Quelle: WFB / Kristina Tarnowski