If you have read the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, I guess you have heard about this city in Northern Germany. The city is known as the hometown of an unusual musical band which comprises of a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster. Due to its close proximity to Hamburg, we travelled to Bremen to look for these special stars.

Tiếng Việt

Bremen’s history goes back to the first century when a string of settlements was established near today’s centre. In the course of time, the settlements transformed from a religious seat to a trade hub (marked by joining the Hanseatic League in 1260), and finally a free imperial city. Today, Bremen is one of Germany’s three states cities along with Berlin and Hamburg. At first glance, Bremen might not be a tourist magnet but the city does have several appeals.

1. Bremen Musicians

In the fairytale, the donkey, the dog, the cat and the rooster are on their way to Bremen to pursue their musician’s dream. But before they reach their destination, they find a cottage in the woods and decide to stay after chasing away the robbers who wreak havoc on the city. Nonetheless, the city considers itself to be the home of the would-be musicians. The unusual quartet is honorary Bremen citizens, and you certainly come across them wherever you wander in the historical centre. The most famous sculpture is made of bronze and located just outside the City Hall, but I prefer a more colourful version of them.

Bremen 2
Bremen Musicians. The little girl is just a fan of the band.

2. Schnoor

Aside from the four superstars, Bremen is also known for its charming Schnoor. This oldest quarter of the city takes its name from the fact that many of its teeny cottages were occupied to produce handicrafts associated with shipping, such as ropes (Schnur in German). Today, these buildings house pretty restaurants and cafés, arts, as well as crafts boutiques.

Bremen 3
Schnoor

3. Roland Statue & Böttcherstrasse

Standing at the heart of Bremen’s historical centre is a 5.5-metre high statue of the knight Roland. The figure is about 600 years old and a symbolic protector of the city’s trading rights and freedoms.

Bremen 5
Market Square and the Roland Statue

As soon as you turn into Böttcherstrasse, just south of the market square, you enter a whole world in the Expressionist style. Many of its red brick facades contain restaurants and cafés, handicraft shops and museums, as well as a carillon consisting of 30 Meissen porcelain bells. At the end of this 110-metre architectural masterpiece, you can find the Lichtbringer (Bringer of Light) – a striking bronze relief on the northern entrance of the street.

Bremen 1
Böttcherstrasse

4. Universum Science Center

In my opinion, if you only have time to visit only one place outside Bremen’s historical district, make it the Universum Science Center. The eye-catching “giant clam” is located on the ground of Bremen University, northeast of the city centre. With over 300 exhibitions indoor and outdoor, you can experience many scientific phenomena up close and with all your sense, from technology, human to nature. More information about the Universum can be found here.

Bremen 4
Universum Science Center

Practical Information

  • Most of Bremen’s major attractions are in the city centre (except the Universum) and can be explored by feet.
  • Take Tram 6 to reach the Universum. Station: Univesität. It takes around 15 minutes from Central Station. Bremen’s international airport is also connected to the centre by Tram 6.
  • One hidden gem of Bremen is the Himmelsaal (the Sky Hall) in the Radisson Blue. If the hall is not occupied, you can pay 2-3€ at the receptionist to get in. Unfortunately for us, there was a wedding banquet when we were there.

Những nhạc công thành Bremen

Nếu bạn đã đọc qua truyện cổ tích Grimm, chắc hẳn bạn đã từng nghe đến cái tên Bremen. Thành phố nằm ở phía Bắc nước Đức này chính là đích đến của một ban nhạc vô cùng đặc biệt bao gồm Lừa, Chó, Mèo và Gà. Trong câu truyện, những con vật này vì quá già yếu nên đã bị chủ vứt bỏ. Chúng tập hợp lại và quyết định cùng nhau đi đến Bremen để trở thành nhạc sĩ. Cũng như trong truyện, Bremen ngoài đời cũng là một thành phố của nghệ thuât. Mặc ở dù tầm cỡ nhỏ hơn so với các thành phố lớn như Berlin hay Hamburg, nhưng Bremen vẫn có một vài nét đặc trưng đáng để khám phá.

1. Ban nhạc thành Bremen

Mặc dù ban nhạc đặc biệt không xuất thân từ Bremen. Nhưng 4 thành viên của ban nhạc đều được xem là công dân danh dự của thành phố này vì chúng đã có công đánh đuổi một băng cướp hoành hành ở trong khu vực. Khi đến Bremen, bạn sẽ tìm thấy Lừa, Chó, Mèo và Gà ở gần như khắp mọi nơi trong trung tâm thành phố, với đủ màu sắc và kích cỡ. Nhưng bức tượng nổi tiếng nhất về ban nhạc này có lẽ là tượng đồng của Gehard Marcks được đặt tại Marktplatz, bên cạnh tòa thị chính Bremen.

Bremen 2
Bremen Musicians. The little girl is just a fan of the band.

2. Schnoor

Một thắng cảnh nổi tiếng khác của Bremen là quận Schnoor. Schnoor là khu vực duy nhất ở thành phố Bremen không bị phá hủy trong Thế Chiến thứ 2. Khu vực này bao gồm những căn nhà nhỏ từ thế kỉ 16, 17 chuyên sản xuất dụng cụ đi biển như dây thừng, dây neo. Cũng từ đó mà khu vực này được đặt tên là Schnoor (Schnoor nghĩa là dây, chuỗi trong tiếng Đức). Ngày nay, Schnoor là một khu phố sầm uất với nhiều cửa hàng, hàng ăn và cáfe.

Bremen 3
Schnoor

3. Rohan & Böttcherstrasse

Khi đặt chân đến Marktplatz, một bức tượng cao 5.5m được đặt giữa quảng trường chắc hẳn sẽ thu hút tầm mắt của bạn. Đó là bức tượng Hiệp Sĩ Rohan, biểu tượng cho sự tự do về giao thương cũng như các quyền công dân khác. Cũng phải nói thêm rằng, thành phố Bremen tuy nhỏ nhưng nó là một bang độc lập (cũng như Berlin hay Hamburg).

Bremen 5
Market Square and the Roland Statue

Nếu bạn bước tiếp về phía Nam của quảng trường, bạn sẽ bước vào Böttcherstrasse – một thế giới của trường phái nghệ thuật biểu hiện (Expressionism). Con đường dài 110m với những dãy nhà bằng gạch đỏ là gallery của các tác phẩm theo trường phái này. Nổi bật nhất có lẽ là tranh điêu khắc Lichtbringer (tạm dịch là Người mang ánh sáng) ở cuối con đường này.

Bremen 1
Böttcherstrasse

4. Universum

Nếu bạn chỉ có đủ thời gian để thăm thêm một địa điểm ở ngoài trung tâm Bremen, hãy chọn viện bảo tàng khoa học tự nhiên Universum được đặt trong khuôn viên trường Đại Học Bremen, phía Đông Bắc thành phố. Trong tòa nhà mang hình dáng một chiếc UFO, bạn có thể tìm thấy hơn 300 triển lãm về sinh học, hóa học cũng như thiên văn và địa lí. Universum là một nơi vô cùng thú vị và bổ ích không chỉ cho trẻ nhỏ mà còn cho cả người lớn.

Bremen 4
Universum Science Center

Một số thông tin cần biết

  • Ngoại trừ Universum, phần lớn các thắng cảnh ở Bremen đều tập trung xung quanh trung tâm thành phố và bạn có thể đi bộ tham quan hết tất cả các điểm.
  • Bạn có thể đến Universum bằng Tram 6 từ ga trung tâm. Trạm: Universität. Mất khoảng 15 – 20 phút. Tram 6 cũng nối liền sân bay quốc tế Bremen và ga trung tâm.

62 comments

    1. I think the message behind the tale is: “Being old does not necessarily mean being useless”. The animals were cast off by their owner just because they are old. But at the end, they proved that they are not useless at all by chasing away the robbers. I must admit, it took me years to understand this story 🙂 The message is so well hidden.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Len, your lovely photos brought back memories of my stay here. I remember these colourful four of Bremen. It was inside the information centre if I am not wrong. They were all over town in some form or the other – in all kinds of souvenirs too. And the Schnoor was my favourite area to spend time over the wonderful pastries and coffee in the chocolate shops. Did you go to the Kaffeehaus Classico there? They had exquisite cakes that made me want to ransack the cake counter. I did a looong post on it. In the early days of blogging I used to write stupendously long ones but there is never enough to write about such beautiful places as Bremen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your memory indeed serves you well, my friend! I found the sculpture inside the information. There is even a public lounge where you can rest (something that Hamburg really needs haha). Unfortunately, I did not try any cáfe at the Schnoor because I spent too much time playing at the Universum and looking for the Himmelsaal 🙂 But exquisite cakes sound reasonable enough for a day-excursion. Thanks for the information!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You will want to try each and every one of them. There are some photos in my post of those beauties (https://thetravellingdiaryofadippydottygirl.com/2016/08/03/bremens-fancy/). Just to give you an idea (you have to scroll down the post a fair bit because I rambled a fair bit). The Himmelsaal is fascinating and the way the Glockenspiel chimes everyday is so special too. The chiming was a surreal experience for me. For those few odd minutes, people gathered almost entranced and left as abruptly when it stopped. Almost as if we were all bound by a thread of magic.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. In Indonesia, people at my age learned about Bremen in primary school. I remember the city was depicted as an important port for tobacco trade from Indonesia to European markets. It’s interesting to see how it actually looks today. The colors and comicality of four Bremen musicians somehow remind me of Niki de Saint Phalle’s statues at Paris’ Centre Georges Pompidou and the old city center of Duisburg in Germany. And the “giant clam” actually looks quite neat!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. There is still a debate until now about the shape of the building. Some said it is an UFO landing on the water (you cannot see the lake in my photo though), while other argue that it looks like a grinning whale. And of course there are those like me who call it a clam 🙂
      You are right! As a member of the Hanseatic League, Bremen was quite powerful in the past. Although the power is not there anymore, Bremen today is still a very important port. The Bremerhaven is the fourth-largest container port in Europe, just behind Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s one of those structures which can be wildly interpreted. 🙂 I wasn’t aware of the fact that Bremerhaven is the fourth largest container port in Europe. Now I’m really intrigued.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. This is so perfect because I am leaving today to Bremen. Thanks for the tips, there was a few that I hadn’t yet added to my plan. And I was going to skip Universum because it seemed more like place for children but if you recommend it I think I will go and see if I will like it 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You certainly will meet a lot of kids there 🙂 But if you have time to spare, Universum is a fun place to go. I remember there is a mini tornado which you can touch. And there is a dish where you can create a desert landscape by yourself. But if you only have time to visit the centre, you may check out this post of Dippy-Dotty-Girl: (https://thetravellingdiaryofadippydottygirl.com/2016/08/03/bremens-fancy/). She wrote a really good article about Bremen’s centre 🙂 Enjoy your time there!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It is quite compact. I think you need maximal 3 to 4 hours to see all the attractions in the city centre. It took me longer, because I was seduced by the exhibitions in the Universum 🙂 If you have time, the Bremerhaven is also an option.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Forgive my flippant pun. I’ve never been to Bremen. I was hinting at the clam-like shape of the building. Your post is great, by the way.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed. If I remember correctly, there are about 5 to 6 themes, ranging from physics, biology to astronomy. And you are encouraged to touch the exhibited objects 🙂

      Like

    1. True! There are many ways to interpret the peculiar architecture of this museum. If I remember correctly, a newspaper even called it the “grinning whale” 🙂

      Like

    1. The Evoluon is a real space ship 🙂 There is no other way to interpret its shape. The NEMO in Amsterdam is also interesting, their exhibitions are as interesting as those in Universum.

      Like

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