“The Bremer Ratskeller”
Here you can contemplate on the past while having dinner.
The “Ratskeller” is a traditional guesthouse located the basement of Bremen’s city hall. It was placed under monumental protection in 1973.
With effect of 1342, a prohibition to serve was imposed to prevent that “ not any citizen can taste the wine, only the city council”, such as the wine-masters appointed by the city council. A city wine cellar was established for storing the merchant’s and gastronomist’s wines to ensure that prices and tax profits could be monitored. After the old “Rathaus” was built in 1405 the drink service was moved to its cellar facilities. Originally only one could only select from two types of wine: premium and regular
French soldiers plundered part of the Ratskeller’s inventory in 1805. After the World War II the American soldiers, who used the cellars as an officer’s club, did the same thing, prior to the regular guesthouse operation was resumed.
Today the entire “Ratskeller” belongs to the “Bremer Ratskeller GmbH”. With approx. 650 different wines, the “Ratskeller” features the largest selection worldwide (exclusively German wines). Approximately 1,200 alcohol selections are offered overall.
The entire “Rathaus” complex takes up to more than 5.000 m² and spreads underneath the new and old city hall, dome yard and the Liebfrauenkirchhof (church yard). The great hall (300 m²), also known as “historical hall” or “large pillar hall”, is the foundation of the old city hall, which was built in 1405 and represents the oldest part of the “Ratskeller”. A small area was initially located Vor dem Bacchus (in front of the Baccus) (80 m²) which served as a hallway from the big hall to the Bacchus – Keller, but in 1847 it was renovated to become the “great hall”. Bacchus – Keller (306 m²), which built as a wine cellar in 1602, was converted to a guesthouse. The Hauffsaal (109 m²)was named after the author Wilhelm Hauff in the 19th century, who wrote his well-known novel Phantasien zum Bremer Ratskeller – ein Herbstgeschenk für Freunde des Weines (Phantasies of the Bremen Ratskeller – an autumn gift for wine lovers) after visiting the Bremer Ratskeller in 1826.
The “Apostel –and Rosekeller”(both together approx. 80 m²) is used to store very old wines, which
are still suitable for the consumption, but only the cellarer and the current mayor in office are allowed to taste these wines. The “Senats –and Kaiserzimmer” (80 m²) initially were reserved as reception rooms for Senate guests, but now they can are available for booking. The “Zunftstube und alte Schatzkammer” (73 m²), connected to the “Baccus Keller” on the right side, was reserved for Bremen trades. The most valuable wines were formerly stored in the treasure chamber to the left side behind the Baccus Keller.
Photo Bremen Ratskeller um 1900 by Unknown is licensed under public domain