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Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 15th century
Date of Inscription: 2004
Location: Europe, Germany, Bremen (city-state)
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Description: On the marketplace of Bremen in northwestern Germany, rests the Town Hall as well as the Statue of Roland; having developed in the Holy Roman Empire in Europe, they are exceptional representations of civic autonomy and sovereignty. The old town hall was constructed in the15th century in a Gothic style, during a time preceding Bremen’s enlisting with the Hanseatic League. In the early 17th century the building was refurbished in the so-called Weser Renaissance style and in the early 20th century a new town hall was built beside the old one as a piece of a grouping that survived the bombarding of World War II. The statue dating back to 1404 stands 5.5m tall. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Bremen is a Hanseatic city-state in northwestern Germany. It is a port city, situated along the river Weser, about 60 km (37 mi) south from its mouth on the North Sea. Bremen is one of two towns belonging to the state of Bremen (official name: Freie Hansestadt Bremen1 (Free Hanseatic City of Bremen), referring to its membership in the medieval Hanseatic League), the other being Bremerhaven. Bremen is the oldest city state in the world. Many of the sights in Bremen are found in the Altstadt (Old Town), an oval area surrounded by the Weser River, on the southwest, and the Wallgraben, the former moats of the medieval city walls, on the northeast. The oldest part of the Altstadt is the southeast half, starting with the Marktplatz and ending at the Schnoor district. The Marktplatz (Market square) is dominated by the opulent façade of the Town Hall. The building was erected between 1405 and 1410 in Gothic style, but the façade was built two centuries later (1609–12) in Renaissance style. Today, it hosts a restaurant in original decor with gigantic wine barrels, and the wine lists boasts more than 600—exclusively German—wines. It is also home of the twelve oldest wines in the world, stored in their original barrels in the Apostel chamber. It is one of the most important examples of Brick Gothic architecture in Europe. In July 2004, along with the Bremen Roland, the building was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In front and to the side of the Town Hall stand two statues: one is the statue (1404) of the city's protector, Roland, bearing Durendart, the "sword of justice" and a shield decorated with an imperial eagle. The other is Gerhard Marcks's 1953 bronze sculpture Die Stadtmusikanten (Town Musicians) which portrays the donkey, dog, cat, and rooster of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale. The Bremen Roland is the best known of four statues of Roland to be found in Bremen, it is located in front of the town hall, facing the cathedral. The statue is 5.47 m tall, and stands on a 60 cm rostrum. A supporting column, crowned by a baldachin, brings the combined height to 10.21 m. According to legend, Bremen will remain free and independent for as long as the Roland stands watch over the city. For this reason, it is alleged that a second Roland statue is kept hidden in the town hall's underground vaults, which can be quickly installed as a substitute, should the original fall. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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