Seasonal Views of Bremen 2014

This holiday season I mostly found myself tied to the house due to ongoing construction work. Which isn’t that much of a problem, since I do most of my holiday shopping online anyway.

However, yesterday there was a lull in the construction work, so I took the chance for a stroll over the Bremen Christmas Market. And since the weather was decent, I took my camera along:

Bremen Christmas market

Heading for the Christmas Market. In the background you can see Bremen townhall and the St. Petri Dom church. In the front, you’ve got Christmas lights in the shape of the Bremen town musicians at the entrance to the main shopping street Obernstraße. The lines crisscrossing the photo are the contact wires for the tram.

Bremen townhall Christmas market

Bremen’s Renaissance townhall, a Unesco World Heritage site, with the Church of Our Lady in the background and the Christmas market in the foreground.

Bremen Roland Christmas

The giant Roland statue on the market square overlooks a stand selling gingerbread hearts. The Roland depicted here is the heroic knight from the “Chanson de Roland”. According to an old legend, the Roland statue guarantees Bremen’s independence.

Bremen Dom Christmas market

A look across the roofs of the Christmas market at the Romanesque St. Petri Dom, the city’s main cathedral. The modern building on the right is the seat of the Bremen state parliament, a rather unfortunate 1960s design.

Bremen Christmas market

Here is the state parliament building again, with a giant nutcracker adding some seasonal cheer.

Bremen Christmas Market

A giant Christmas tree stands in a corner of the market square.

Bremen Schütting

Gilded puttos adorn the Baroque guild hall “Schütting”.

Bremen Christmas market

Otto von Bismarck, the iron chancellor, overlooks the Christmas market from his plinth next to the St. Petri Dom church.

Bremen Christmas market

These market stands are almost exact reproductions of notable buildings in the medieval Schnoor neighbourhood. The originals are maybe 500 meters away.

Bremen Christmas market nativity

This beautiful life-size nativity scene sits nestled against the massive walls of the St. Petri Dom.

Bremen Christmas market

A seasonally decked out ferris wheel with the former headquarters of the Bremer Bank, now a Commerzbank branch in the background.

Bremen Christmas market Happy Sailor

The “Happy Sailor”, a vintage carousel from the 1960s, is something of a Bremen institution. The regular design has been updated for Christmas.

Bremen Christmas Market moose

This animatronic moose sings Christmas carols and is one of the highlights of the Christmas market.

Bremen town musicians

The Bremen town musicians from the Grimm brothers’ fairytale have left their mark all over the city. Here is a modern fibreglass statue of the town musicians reading, while sporting the colours of the local football club Werder Bremen. Note the massive Christmas tree in the background.

Bremen town musicians

And once again, the Bremen town musicians in festive dress.

Bremen St. Martini church

Town musicians the third, this time silhouetted as Christmas lights in front of the St. Martini church.

Bremen Schlachtezauber

Originally, the Christmas Market was confined only to the market square and neighbouring St. Petri churchyard, but in recent years it has spilled out across the city, such as this pirate themed market along the river Weser.

Bremen Admiral Nelson

Pirates need a ship and luckily the “Admiral Nelson”, a restaurant vessel, is moored at the Weser quay.

Bremen Schlachtezauber

This stall by the riverside sells birdhouses. In the background, you can see the Museum Weserburg, a modern art museum. The highrise building in the far background is the headquarters of the chocolate and coffee manufacturer Kraft Jakobs Suchard on the other side of the river.

Christmas pyramid Bremen central station

More evidence that the Christmas market has spilled out all over the city is provided by this giant Christmas pyramid in front of Bremen central station.

Mispelled doughnuts

This stand inside Bremen central station sells doughnuts. Unfortunately, whoever set this up was seriously spelling challenged and misspelled doughnuts/donuts as “donazz”.

Bremen light sculpture Galeria Kaufhof

Not really Christmassy, just beautiful: A spectacular light sculpture spanning five floors in the Galeria Kaufhof department store, formerly Horten. Store and sculpture were built in 1972.

Here is an older photo (not mine) of the light sculpture with the warmer and dimmer regular bulbs rather than the new flourescent bulbs.

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6 Responses to Seasonal Views of Bremen 2014

  1. You’ve posted some fun shots here, Cora. I especially enjoy the shot containing the Roland statue.

  2. I came to your blog for the Stories on the Go anthology (thanks for the link, by the way), but I always enjoy your pictures, so I landed here. Watching them is going for a stroll through the Hanseatic city myself.

    On another note, I think donazz is an apt “germanification” of donuts. 🙂

    • Cora says:

      Glad you liked the photos, Andrew. I’m sure Antwerp must look lovely during the holiday season as well. At any rate, it did when I was last there during the run-up to Christmas several years ago.

      “Donazz” strikes me as a case of spelling a word like it’s spoken. It also stands in the sad tradition of misspelled or simply unfortunate English language business names such as my personal favourite, a “Lab and Tabel Dance Bar” in rural North Germany. Because obviously one spelling mistake isn’t enough.

  3. What a lovely town! I’d happily visit it if I could.

    I’m familiar with the Bremen town musicians thanks to the soviet cartoon full of rock’n’roll songs. 🙂 Have you seen/heard it?

    • Cora says:

      Glad you like the photo, Ekaterina.

      Thanks for the link to the cartoon. I’ve never seen it (we got a lot of East German and Czech fairy tale films in the 1970s and 1980s, but not so many Soviet ones), but it looks very cool.

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