Bremen is a lot of fun

Bremen Travel Blog

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Hotel Hilton Bremen

I had been looking forward to visit Bremen for a long time and you could like many people I know wonder why. The reason for me was quite evident; I had been passing by Bremen numerous of times and even stayed in the outskirts but I had never visited the city center that also is a UNESCO site. This time I was again heading for my favourite Brussels but I had decided to stay one night in Bremen city centre. I was driving to Brussels because I had a meeting for work during Monday and I was travelling with my friend Gert. I had booked a hotel near the city center as possible because it was there that I was going to spend my time. The traffic down was quite calm and I was in Bremen just 5 hours after I left my office.

Bremen Town Hall

The Hilton Bremen was located almost next to the river and only 200 meter from the Town Square or the Am Markt as it is called. Our hotel was located on Böttcherstrasse 2 but the entrance was actually in Wachtstrasse and as we were driving we went directly into the parking garage under the hotel from the Wachtstrasse. The parking was quite large but the parking spaces for the cars were quite small but I managed to squeeze my car in between a couple of cars and we took the elevator to the reception area. I had booked a twin room for us and I was given a room to the second floor. The reception area was quite small but the center of the ground floor was pretty nice, as they had a huge bar and restaurant area under a bright glass roof. The girl in the reception that by the way spoke a perfect English found my reservation quite fast and they had even registered that I was a member.

Corner of the Town Hall
The member thing didn't result in anything but a nice letter that told a little about the hotel and its offering.

The room was nice but a bit small; I guess I have gotten spoiled by travelling a lot in USA this year where all the rooms are huge. There were two nice single beds, a little desk with a flat screen and an armchair. The room wasn't facing anything interesting and since it was only second floor there were not much light in the room. The room was in a soft yellow tone and the bathroom was small but had what you needed. I was as such not impressed with the room but it worked well and we were not going to spend much time there anyway. One thing that I found quite annoying was that there were no free Wi-Fi and the one that you could hook up to was Telecom and they charged 22 € for 24 hours, which I found was too much, so ended up with dropping it completely.

Bremen Cathedral

My friend took a cup of coffee in the room while I had been trying to get to the internet but we were not going to hang out in the room so we quickly finished all our things and left the hotel heading for Am Markt and the Town Hall, which I personally had looked forward to. Sometimes you just walk by a place and then you back up to see what you almost missed. It was exactly like this when I walked by the immensely little bar named Spitzen Gebel that was situated in a little alley next to the neighbouring hotel. The name of the bar referrers to the pointy shape of the late Gothic pointed gables, which actually was the thing that caught my eye between the large neighbouring houses.

The little house looks like the last standing survivor of the Middle Ages and it is actually the last remaining medieval town house of this Hanseatic city.

Riders of the Town Hall
Barely this fact should result in that all tourist at least walk by the place once during their stay in Bremen. The house looks quite cute amongst its neighbouring large and modern houses, even though the other houses completely squeezed the little house. I could see from the distance that it was a pub because they had a sign outside the entrance stating that they were serving the wonderful Haake Beck, which is a great Pils. As it was my first stay in Bremen I headed for the other sights first but I decided that I would come by later, which I naturally did.

We headed for Am Markt and it turned out to be a stunning place. The square houses some of the most spectacular sites in Bremen and the sun didn't make it more dull. To me the most impressive was the fabulous Town Hall, which along with the Bremen Roland statue was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2004.

Riders of the Town Hall
The Town Hall of Bremen is the seat of the President of the Senate and Mayor of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and it is one of the most important examples of Brick Gothic architecture in Europe. In July 2004. The old town hall was built between 1405 and 1409 but from 1595 to 1612, they renovated the structure and created the new façade, which overlooks the market.

The new facade was built in the style of the Weser Renaissance, and it features architectural elements based on masters of the Dutch Renaissance. Exactly 100 years ago the Town Hall had constructed an extension at the back of the building in the style of the Neo-Renaissance. One of the most remarkable things was that this magnificent build avoided destruction during WWII, because the citizens of Bremen succeeded in protecting the building from the bombs largely by boarding up the outer walls.

The Bremer Ratskeller
The WWII was otherwise hard on Bremen because in all more than 60% of the city was destroyed. The city hall has since then been restored several times, most recently in 2003.

Opposite the square the Chamber of Commerce is located, which is a quite new building that doesn't fit into the marvellous square. Another building that was quite remarkable on the square was Bremen Cathedral, with its 99 meter twin towers that are referred to as the north tower and the south tower. The towers were constructed flanking the main entrance portal on the west front of the church between 1215 and 1253. During the Middle Ages the towers had eight bells, but now there are only 4 left in the towers. The oldest surviving bell is the Maria Gloriosa, which was cast in 1433 by the famous bell maker Ghert Klinghe.

My Herring dinner
(I just love that the bell makers name was Klinghe). The other bells were removed and melted down for the war effort in World War II. In 1951 two bells, "Hansa" and "Felicitas", were donated to the cathedral by former residents living abroad. In 1962 a prominent Bremen family donated a fourth bell, the 7000 kg "Brema," which hangs in the south tower as the only one.

After having walked around the different squares for a while looking at the magnificent buildings we decided to get something to drink and eat. I would have loved to go down and eat in basement of The Bremen Ratskeller but it was only their outdoor service was open so we took that one and it suited also the best while there still were some sun. The Bremen Ratskeller is actually the council wine cellar of the Town Hall of Bremen.

Holy Socks
Since the Town Hall was erected in the year 1405, German wines were stored and sold there. With its history over 600 years the Ratskeller of Bremen is the oldest wine cellar of Germany, and furthermore the oldest wine barrel of Germany, a wine from Rüdesheim which is dated 1653, is stored here. We on the other hand went for their beer that also was great; it was served in cold stoneware cups, which kept the beer cold for quite some time. We had a quick look at their menu and decided to go local for our dishes. I went for a cold herring plate because I didn't feel great hunger while my friend took Lapskovs, which is quite tasty but extremely heavy as its main part is mashed potatoes with beetroots and meat. We had a couple of beers there and decided to go somewhere indoor because it was getting colder.
Inside a bar

On the west side of the square and next to the outdoor place we were hanging out, the famous sculpture The Town Musicians of Bremen by Gerhard Marcks was displayed. The sculpture is commemorating a folktale recorded by the Brothers Grimm and the funny thing is that despite the title of the fairy tale, the characters never actually arrive in Bremen. We left the statue after some nice shots including a guy with holes in his sock kneeing in front of it. The first place we headed for was Beck's Bistro Am Markt that turned out to be a nice place to hang around in. It was primarily a restaurant inside but we only went for a beer there before we headed on.

The next place that we entered was the Spitzen Gebel that we had passed just after we left the hotel and by just stepping in to it we almost stepped straight into the bar; the place was just as small as it looked from the outside.

The local parliament
Inside we were met by two smiling women; the boss or owner, who was named Martina Prawitt and her young bartender Tina and both of them were ready to serve us. The bar allows smoking, which is rare but also gives it some authenticity because you almost never find places like this any more. The atmosphere was great and people were really happy and some of them have had quite a lot to drink but there were only smiles in the air. After a couple of beers there we decided to head back again to the Böttcherstrasse that looked quite special.

Böttcherstrasse was something special with its shows and magnificent brick and tile work on the buildings. Böttcherstrasse is only about 100 meters long, and it is famous for its unusual architecture and ranks among the city's main cultural landmarks and visitor attractions.

Modern art entering the old part of town
Most of its buildings were erected between 1922 and 1931, primarily as a result of the initiative of Ludwig Roselius, a Bremen-based coffee-trader, who charged Bernhard Hoetger with the artistic supervision over the project. The street and its buildings are a rare example of an architectural ensemble belonging to a variant of the expressionist style. Several of the houses can be classed as Brick Expressionism.

The history of Böttcherstrasse goes back to the Middle Ages because it was an important link between the market square and the Weser river. It was traditionally inhabited by coopers (Böttcher). In 1902 Ludwig Roselius under pressure from the previous owners, bought the house at 6 Böttcherstrasse, which today is the Museum im Roselius-Haus and made it the headquarters of his company.

Night in Bremen
He later bought other lots in the street throughout the years and in the years after World War I, further offices like the HAG-Haus and the Haus St. Petrus. The houses were built of the then typical materials, brick and sandstone. In contrast to these buildings, in 1926, Ludwig Roselius had the Paula-Becker-Modersohn-Haus built, to serve as a museum dedicated to the painter Paula Modersohn-Becker. The building's external walls have relief-like decorations, its internal rooms follow principles of organic architecture.

In 1931 the Haus Atlantis was completed, with its distinctive style and materials (glass, steel and concrete). The house was a further striking contrast to the other structures and at time he also erected The Robinson-Crusoe-Haus. In 1944, large proportions of Böttcherstrasse were destroyed but by 1954, the Kaffee HAG company had restored most of the facades to their original state.

Colored glass windows
In 1979, Ludwig Roselius jr. sold the Kaffee HAG company, along with Böttcherstraße, to General Foods. Two years later, he bought Böttcherstraße back and since then, it has been privately owned. In 1989 renewed severe damage to the building fabric was noticed and The Sparkasse Bremen bank bought the whole street and all its buildings, except Haus Atlantis and the restoration was not completed before 1999. In 2004 ownership passed to a foundation Stiftung Bremer Sparer Dank and it is now administrated by Böttcherstrasse GmbH, a limited company and subsidiary of Sparkasse Bremen.

One thing that has to be stated to this Ludwig Roselius was that he was a sympathiser of National Socialism and he pursued Völkisch-Nordic cultural ideas, involving a belief in the irreplaceable value of the Nordic race.

Next bar
He aimed to have these ideas materialise in Böttcherstrasse. Although Roselius and Hoetger paid tribute to Hitler as the "Bringer of Light" on a relief at the entrance, the Führer rejected this variant of völkisch art in a Reichsparteitag speech on 10 September 1936, in which he dismissively referred to Böttcherstrasenkunst

Near the end of Böttcherstrasse there was a great bar named Die STÄNDIGE VERTRETUNG (StäV). The StäV was another wonderful place with loads of locals and with great ambiance and atmosphere. It is a place famed for sticking to the Rhenish culture, carnival, Rhenish specialities such as "Himmel un Äd" or Kölsch beer. I found the StäV to be a quite interesting place; (StäV) relates to the name « Ständige Vertretung » that is closely related to recent German history.

Another Sion beer
The West-German Federal Republic and the East German Democratic Republic didn't have regular embassies but "steady representations" (German: Ständige Vertretung) in Bonn and East-Berlin. As the wall came down there was a bitter fight between a old and new capital. Bonn lost and approximately 50.000 people from the Rhineland had to move to Berlin in 1998 so in short 40 years of Bonn were made history. This thrilling time is shown at the "StäV" and the pub is not an ordinary pub, but a political reading-book". The history of decades past is brought back. One of the more striking ways to illustrate the former times in the pub is by the pictures on the walls.
The speed of the bar

After having spent some beers and a carry wurst in there, we decided to head back to towards the hotel area so we went back again to the Spitzen Gebel for a couple of the last ones. We ended up having a bunch of the magnificent Haake Beck beer and at one point a couple told us that we could not have been in the bar without tasting the most famous drink in town "Sluk ut de lamp". We had no idea at the time what we were getting in on but we were always fresh especially after a handful of beers or more. It turned out that the stuff that was poured out of a lamp on the wall was some kind of a bitter like the horrible Danish Gammel Dansk. We are quite used to taste stuff like this but I think that for people who haven't tasted stuff like this since their 18th birthday will hate it.

Gert and I in the bar

The whole concept of "Sluk ut de Lamp" descends back from two different things that in some strange way ends up with a horrible bitter in a lamp. The beer distributor Adolf Ulbrich sold the house way back in 1913 to a company Vereinigten Klavierträger or in plain English "United piano carriers" as an office building. Because the piano movers were not allowed to drink any alcohol during their waiting time for their next transport, they came up a clever idea to cheat their manager. They rebuilt a normal lantern lamp into a bottle and filled it with sweet herb schnapps. Since then the movers were always ready for a drink and no one found out how they were able to have a constant relief and pleasure drinking snaps.

I have no idea how the wonderful snaps got turned into the strange bitter but I am pretty sure that it was not this that they had constructed their lamp or lantern for.

Hotel Hilton Bremen
Today's experience from the "Sluk ut de Lamp" is recipe from a Swedish doctor who's family has protected the secret recipe for many decades, and who's family members all became over 100 years old. The herb drink is today mixed exclusively for Spitzen Gebel - and don't worry I will not be the one producing it if I was given a copy of the recipe

Chokk says:
Thank you ;)
Posted on: Jul 30, 2012
trippin_jen says:
nice photos!
Posted on: Jul 30, 2012
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Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Bremen Town Hall
Bremen Town Hall
Corner of the Town Hall
Corner of the Town Hall
Bremen Cathedral
Bremen Cathedral
Riders of the Town Hall
Riders of the Town Hall
Riders of the Town Hall
Riders of the Town Hall
The Bremer Ratskeller
The Bremer Ratskeller
My Herring dinner
My Herring dinner
Holy Socks
Holy Socks
Inside a bar
Inside a bar
The local parliament
The local parliament
Modern art entering the old part o…
Modern art entering the old part …
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Colored glass windows
Colored glass windows
Next bar
Next bar
Another Sion beer
Another Sion beer
The speed of the bar
The speed of the bar
Gert and I in the bar
Gert and I in the bar
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Hotel Hilton Bremen
Bremen Town Hall
Bremen Town Hall
Bremen Town Hall
Bremen Town Hall
Bremen Town Square
Bremen Town Square
Bremen Town Square
Bremen Town Square
Decorations on a building
Decorations on a building
Corner of the Town Hall
Corner of the Town Hall
Next to the Cathedral
Next to the Cathedral
Bremen Town Hall
Bremen Town Hall
Front of the Town Hall
Front of the Town Hall
Altes Rathaus
Altes Rathaus
Riders of the Town Hall
Riders of the Town Hall
Riders of the Town Hall
Riders of the Town Hall
Riders of the Town Hall
Riders of the Town Hall
Long one!
Long one!
Next to the Cathedral
Next to the Cathedral
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
Mirror effect
Mirror effect
Rats Keller
Rats Keller
Riders of the Town Hall
Riders of the Town Hall
Riders of the dark
Riders of the dark
Riders of the dark
Riders of the dark
Horse fountains
Horse fountains
Riders of the dark
Riders of the dark
Out of the nose
Out of the nose
Rathause Corner
Rathause Corner
Street lamp
Street lamp
Bremen Cathedral
Bremen Cathedral
Bremen Cathedral
Bremen Cathedral
Sun in the window
Sun in the window
The Bremer Ratskeller
The Bremer Ratskeller
The Bremer Ratskeller
The Bremer Ratskeller
The Bremer Ratskeller
The Bremer Ratskeller
My beer
My beer
Gert in The Bremer Ratskeller
Gert in The Bremer Ratskeller
Gert getting a cold beer
Gert getting a cold beer
Knox
Knox
My Herring dinner
My Herring dinner
skipper lapskovs
skipper lapskovs
Back yard
Back yard
Bremer Ratskeller
Bremer Ratskeller
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
The Bremer Musikanten
Inside a bar
Inside a bar
Inside a bar
Inside a bar
Outside the bar
Outside the bar
Local flag
Local flag
On one building
On one building
Sparkasse
Sparkasse
Nightmare of the window cleaner
Nightmare of the window cleaner
Getting dark
Getting dark
Wine bar
Wine bar
Street lamp
Street lamp
On the wall
On the wall
Nice wall
Nice wall
NIce bar
NIce bar
My beer
My beer
The clean glasses
The clean glasses
Art in the window
Art in the window
Art in the window
Art in the window
Golden lady
Golden lady
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Kænguru
Kænguru
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Painted window
Painted window
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Colored glass windows
Colored glass windows
Colored glass window
Colored glass window
Colored glass window
Colored glass window
Colored glass window
Colored glass window
Night in Bremen
Night in Bremen
Inside the bar
Inside the bar
In the ceiling
In the ceiling
Nice large place
Nice large place
Football memories
Football memories
My beer
My beer
Willy Brandt laughing
Willy Brandt laughing
Memory wall
Memory wall
Light in the sky
Light in the sky
Close up
Close up
My Erdinger a little bit later
My Erdinger a little bit later
Alco shelfes
Alco shelfes
Pictures on the wall
Pictures on the wall
The local Indians
The local Indians
A Sion beer
A Sion beer
A German Carry Wurst
A German Carry Wurst
Mr Anker Jørgensen on the wall
Mr Anker Jørgensen on the wall
All the prime ministers
All the prime ministers
The menu
The menu
The entrance
The entrance
The UNESCO site in Bremen - The To…
The UNESCO site in Bremen - The T…
The Market Platz
The Market Platz
Cafe Classico
Cafe Classico
The town square
The town square
The lamp
The lamp
The lamps of the bar
The lamps of the bar
The last place again
The last place again
On the way back to the hotel
On the way back to the hotel
On the way back to the hotel
On the way back to the hotel
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
The Hilton Bremen
Bremen Sights & Attractions review
The mighty twin towers
Bremen Cathedral with its 99 meter twin towers that are referred to as the north tower and the south tower does look pretty impressive. The towers… read entire review
Bremen Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Great place with a fabulous local ambiance
Near the end of Böttcherstrasse there was a great bar named Die STÄNDIGE VERTRETUNG (StäV). The StäV was another wonderful place with loads of loc… read entire review
Bremen Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Nice place to hang out
We had been walking the city and had found great joy in walking the beautiful Am Markt and especially the magnificent Town Hall with its impressive fa… read entire review
Bremen Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Great location to feel the ambiance of the square
After having walked around the different squares for a while looking at the magnificent buildings we decided to get something to drink and eat. I woul… read entire review
Bremen Nightlife & Entertainment review
An original bar with some strange stuff being poured out of a lantern
Sometimes you just walk by a place and then you back up to see what you almost missed. It was exactly like this when I walked by the immensely little … read entire review
Bremen Hotels & Accommodations review
Great location
The Hilton Bremen was located almost next to the river and only 200 meter from the Town Square or the Am Markt as it is called. Our hotel was located … read entire review
Bremen
photo by: aloneinthecrowd