I already posted some seasonal images of Bremen’s Christmas markets as well as of the famous architectural monument Böttcherstraße last year.
However, I found myself in Bremen today and since I had my camera, I took some more photos. Unfortunately, today was a very grey day, so everything looks kind of gloomy.
The wide open space in front of Bremen’s central station viewed through the shinto arch in front of the overseas museum. You can see the central station on the left, the big Christmas tree in the middle, flanked by two sculptures by artist Markus Lübbertz, a smallish Christmas market and the central post office in the rear and on the far right, a segment of the Berlin wall and a tram. turning the corner.
A giant Christmas wreath adorns the entrance hall of Bremen’s Victorian central station.
The focal point of the small Christmas market in front of the central station is this giant Christmas pyramid. Christmas pyramids like this one are traditional holiday ornaments from the Erzgebirge region in East Germany. Mostly, they don’t come any higher than approx. 12 to 14 inches though.
The “Elchbar” with its singing animatronic moose is one of the most interesting stands on the Bremen Christmas market.
Birdhouses for sale on the so-called Pirate market at the river front boulevard Schlachte. In the background you can see the river Weser, Weserburg museum of modern art on the Teerhof island in the middle of the river as well as the administrative building of Jacobs-Suchard, Kraft Foods or whatever they’re calling themselves these days on the far bank of the river. The buildings on the very right of the photo are part of the Becks brewery.
And here is the main Christmas market on the market square with Bremen’s stunning Renaissance townhall, an UNESCO world heritage site, in the background.
A seasonally decked out merry-go-round at Bremen Chritmas market.
The Romanesque cathedral St. Petri Dom with an illuminated Christmas market stall in the foreground. The wires crisscrossing this and many other photos are for powering the trams.
Christmas market stall with the Church of Our Lady in the background.
This enormous statue of the knight Roland of Song of Roland fame is the symbol of Bremen’s independence and therefore fiercely guarded. This Roland on the market square is actually a reproduction – the original is in a museum.
Between the feet of the Roland, you can see this small figure, which refers to the local legend of the Bremen cripple (sorry for the politically incorrect term, but that’s how he’s known. Besides, he’s pretty awesome inspite of the politically incorrect name). According to medieval legend, the highly charitable Countess Emma of Lesum once promised to give the burghers of Bremen as much of her land (which borders the city to the North) as one man could circumvent in a day. The brother-in-law of Countess Emma was furious about her charitable impulses, so he picked a physically challenged beggar. Alas, in spite of his handicap, the beggar managed to circumvent a huge piece of land (now the city park and free space for fairgrounds and the like).
The full story of the pious Countess Emma and the physically challenged but resilient beggar may be found here BTW.
View down Bremen’s main shopping street Obernstraße with seasonal illuminations. The brick building on the right corner is the jeweler Brinkmann & Lange. The big building next to it is Karstadt’s department store. The building on the left is the old stock exchange, now inhabited by the clothing store chain Peek & Cloppenburg.
View down the other main shopping street, Sögestraße. The name means swine street in Lower German, because the pigs were once driven to market down this street. You can see the swineherd in the illuminations. The building on the left is the Karstadt department store, on the right is the Brinkmann & Lange jewelery shop.
Christmas decorations inside the Lloyd Passage, a shopping arcade built in the 1980s.
This illuminated sign lights the way to the Christmas market. The brick building on the left is the furniture store Willems Wohnen, the white building on the right is the Hotel Atlantis.
A view down Böttcherstraße, an expressionist work of art financed by coffee mogul Ludwig Roselius. You can see House Atlantis on the left, the Robinson Crusoe House on the right and some stained glass artwork in the centre. The red rooster is a vintage fire alarm and one of the few still in existence.
More brick artwork from the Weimar Republic era: This elephant shaped monument has an interesting history, since it was originally designed as a memorial for German soldiers who died in the former German colonies in Africa (nowadays Namibia, Tanzania, Cameroon and Togo). Unfortunately, the fallen soldiers remembered here slaughtered approx. 85000 members of the Herero nation and approx. 10000 members of the Nama nation in what is now Namibia, which makes this monument something of a liability. It has recently been recast as an anti-colonial monument dedicated to all victims of German colonialism and a memorial specifically for the murdered Herero people was set up nearby. I tried to photograph that one as well, but unfortunately the photo didn’t come out right.
Here is more on the Herero and Nama uprising and subsequent genocide and here is a photo of the monument for the murdered Herero and Nama people with the elephant in the background. This monument is made from stones from the Omaheke desert in Namibia, where thousands of Herero and Name people died of thirst. Wikipedia also has an extensive article about the history of the anti-colonial monument.
A close-up view of the weather vane on top of the former headquarters of the North German Lloyd shipping company. My Dad worked in this building (well, not in the turret) until 1982.