Day 275: Bremen Day-TripNovember 16, 2017 in Germany
Another day, another day-trip! Our new "hub and spoke" model of travelling means that we'll be doing quite a few of these over the next couple of months. Makes way more sense this way since we don't have a car. So off we went again, on the train out of Hamburg headed south-west towards the city of Bremen.
Bremen is another of the northern German "Hanseatic League" cities that was very important for trading during the middle ages and Renaissance. Many of the buildings in town date from this era. But the WHS here is actually quite small - it's just the town hall, in constant use and largely unchanged since the 13th century, and a Roland statue out the front which I'll explain later.
Arrived at the station, walked the 10 minutes down to the main square and checked out the town hall. It's not super large, but has a very impressive facade with lots of statues, coats of arms and other decorations. There's also a cute statue of the "Bremen Town Musicians", from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about four animals escaping death at the hands of their masters and running away to become court musicians in Bremen. Weird.
The interior of the town hall is apparently super impressive, and they offer day trips - but it was closed today! It still gets booked for functions and official business etc, and there was only one day in November the tours were available - and it wasn't today! Damn.
Finished up our filming of the town hall and also did a piece about the Roland. This is a large statue just in front of the town hall, of a paladin named Roland - a knight in the service of Charlemagne. He was a very popular figure in the middle ages and the medieval periods, and in northern Germany is seen as a defender of the independence of city-states and so on. This statue is quite deliberately placed facing the main cathedral in town, defending the council administration against religious encroachment. This particular statue was built of stone, and had apparently stood since 1404. Pretty cool!
Since we couldn't tour the town hall, we made up for it by having lunch in the wine cellar restaurant underneath the building! They were doing lunch specials which made it nicely affordable - only about 8 euros per main which is good value.
After lunch we wandered around the old town as there was quite a bit to see! A cool little area called Böttcherstraße, with a bunch of really interesting art noveaux shop-fronts. Plus they had a glockenspiel playing melodies every hour which was quite nice! Another area known as the Schnoor which had a whole lot of twisting alley-ways and very old small buildings. Nice to get lost in!
There was still other stuff to see, but by mid-afternoon we decided to head back to Hamburg on the train. Only a 40 minute ride, and we then settled in for the long, dark evening.Read more