Welcome to Bremen – a small but fierce city on the Weser River that’s an arts and culture capital, with a special warrior protecting its inhabitants.
We’re talking about the magnificent Bremen Roland statue [below], part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just in front of the City Hall, which dates back to 1404 and is a proud symbol of Bremen’s freedom.
Roland stares intensely at Bremen Cathedral, or ‘The Dom’; here in Bremen, the merchants and businessmen have always been free to talk and think with their own minds.
Meanwhile the bronze Town Musicians of Bremen statue [below], designed by Gerhard Marcks, brings to life the Brothers Grimm folktale of four intrepid, ageing animals – a donkey, a dog, a cat and a cockerel – who flee their respective farms and travel to the city to form a band. If you touch the donkey’s legs (both at the same time, please!) you are granted a wish.
Treading the boards
Bremen’s historic reputation as a liberal and free-thinking city has had a wonderful effect on the arts scene. From delicate dancers and gravity-defying acrobats and chart-breaking pop acts, from the Freimarkt (the oldest fun-fair in Germany) to Maritime Festival Week, and one of the most popular Christmas markets in Germany, there’s something for everyone here.
One of the grandest cultural institutions is the Theater Bremen, that has four permanent venues all around the city and which offers plays, opera and dance. The Theatre am Goetheplats, the Moks in Brauhaus, the Brauhauskeller and the Kleines Haus are the four lovely temples of the arts.
Blockbuster musicals also abound; Musical Theater Bremen offers excitement, sensual delights, treachery and passion. Cats, Dirty Dancing and so on: enjoy one of the 1,450 seats which are no more than 24 meters from the edge of the stage. You’ll feel like you’re dancing with the stars!
On the flip side, Bremen is a haven for classical music, and the acclaimed German Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of Bremen is known all over the world. Meanwhile Die Glocke, is one of the best concert halls in Europe, with marvelous acoustics and art deco style. Regarding rock, pop and wonderful events, the Ã