Bremen City Hall
Bremen’s city hall, one of the most important Gothic and Weser Renaissance buildings in Europe has been placed under monumental protection in 1973. Bremen’s natives lovingly call it “Das Schmuckstück der guten Stube (the jewel of the cosy quarters). It is the only European city hall from the late medieval age, which was never destroyed or modified.
Now the building serves as headquarters for the Senate, the Senate‘s President and the Mayor of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.
Around 1400 at the peak of city development, a new city hall building was planned, which was built in the style of a Gothic hall construction from 1405 -1410. In the 15th century extra cellar facilities (Senats- and Kaiserzimmer, Apostel- and Rosekeller) were added. In 1545 another two-storey oriel facing the dome tower was added on the North wall.
The old city hall was demolished after the Munich-based architect Gabriel von Seidl was awarded the planning contract and it was expanded with a three times as large but very understated backend extension made of clinker brick with a cooper roof until 1913.
The upper hall, which formerly served as the original space for city council- and court sessions, is the most important room at city hall. It is now used for concerts, celebrations and receptions. With its size (41 metre long, 13 metre wide and 8 metre high), it is one of the largest medieval profane halls in Northern Europe. In 2012, after almost 50 years in the „Übersee Museum“, the historic fish painting was returned to its former space at the North wall if the upper hall.
- The “Güldenkammer” (guild chamber) received its name from the leather wallpaper installed from 1618 – 1620.
- The “Gobelinzimmer” (tapestry room) was originally planned as mayor’s room by Gabriel von Seidl, but eventually it became a small reception and consulting room.
- The “Kaminsaal” (fireplace hall) is located right next to the “Gobelinzimmer” and is a comfortable area to relax with its high fireplace made of French marble and the black-brown parquet floors.
- Der Senate room, with a carpet featuring the Bremen crest, is the Senate’s conference space. They had to be renewed in 19988 due to wear and tear.
- The celebration hall, with a view of the flower market serves as the traditional New Year’s reception location for the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.
- In the “Wandelhalle” (change hall) visitors can look at the marble statue of Mayor Johann Smidt (1773 – 1853), which is located next to the entrance of the Senate’s President Office.
The Central tourist office in Bremen offers several tours of the city hall almost every day; booking is required, however.
In 2004 the entire ensemble, including the Bremer Roland statue, was declared a World Cultural Heritage by Unesco.