Welcome to the
Bremen Christmas Market
Bremen's atmospheric Christmas market is considered to be one of the most attractive in Germany.
With the town hall and the Roland statue as its backdrop and over 170 festively decorated stalls, it is perfect for browsing.
The historical setting, the romantic Christmas lights and the lovingly adorned booths create a special Christmas atmosphere that enchants more and more visitors every year.
Bremen also has another Christmas attraction: The Schlachte Magic Christmas Market on the popular river Weser embankment. Each day on the maritime promenade another little door is opened to reveal a special surprise – it is like a walk-through an Advent calendar.
At the Schlachte Magic Christmas Market there are many experiences to choose from: Christmas brunch on the Weser, a Christmas tree expedition, some seriously strong hot punch and a real Dutch Sinter Klaas on board a pirate ship.
Through out the Bremen Christmas Market the path to traditional handicrafts and medieval-style taverns are marked with wood fires and torch lights.
On the Weser waterfront, snow-covered chalet-style stalls offer a good selection of tasty delicacies and sizzling fish specialities. Here the aroma of steaming mulled wine, baked apples and cinnamon stars lies heavy in the air, while softly the most beautiful Christmas carols ring out in the background.
Everyone knows the Town Musicians which Bremen is famous for. The "Town Musicians of Bremen" ("Bremer Stadtmusikanten") are the famous fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers where four lost and unhappy animals, a donkey, a rooster, a cat and a dog, leave their homes and head for Bremen to become wealthy. Although they never arrive there, this does not matter with regard to the fame they achieved.
The visitor to Bremen is soon aware that this is a city which can look back on a thousand years of history, still alive and being cherished. The whole place is visibly steeped in tradition, and has an atmosphere redolent almost of a Grimm fairy tale.
Bremen, 37 miles from the mouth of the River Weser and Germany’s oldest maritime city, has held markets since 965, joined the Hanseatic League in 1358 and began to trade with America in 1783. Cotton and coffee gave its citizens a rich living.
Nowhere is its history more evident than in the market square in the heart of the old town, where the architectural styles of five different eras are visible. Outstanding is the Altes Rathaus (old town hall), built between 1404 and 1410 and a fine example of North German architecture with a magnificent Renaissance façade.
Right next to the town hall is one of Bremen’s most famous landmarks, statue of the Street Musicians of Bremen (an ass, a dog, a cat and a cock) from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. But the landmark that best symbolises the city’s freedom and independence of spirit is the 30ft statue of the knight Roland that has been calmly smiling down on the marketplace since 1404.
Other notable buildings that reflect Bremen’s history are the Schütting, former merchants’ guildhall of the 16th century, and the massive cathedral whose spires soar upwards to a height of 320 feet. The old and narrow Böttcherstrasse, a street museum with many restored mediaeval buildings, now houses high-quality artists’ and craftsmen’s shops.
Go a few steps further and you will find yourself in one of the most characterful quarters of Bremen, the Schnoorviertel, with its picturesque burghers’ houses, some of which date back to the 15th century, cosy taverns and small shops.
And after a tour of the city sights and a trip round the old harbour (from where it is said that the Saxons set off in 449 for England) a visit to the Ratskeller, offering more than 600 varieties of wine, is definitely in order . . .