A brick façade within the style of the Weser Renaissance makes Bremen Town Hall one of many northernmost Renaissance masterpieces to be found in mainland Europe. Behind the façade lies an impressive late Gothic manifestation of civic pride. The rectangular construction is adorned with medieval statuary, together with life-size sandstone sculptures of Emperor Charlemagne and the seven electors, 4 prophets, and 4 wise men. The frieze above the constructing’s arcade is an allegory of human history.
ROLAND POLAND’S STATUE
This 33-ft (10-m) tall statue of Roland has been a fixture of Bremen’s Market Square for some 600 years. A Christian knight and nephew of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor, Roland symbolizes the town’s independence. His gaze is directed towards the cathedral, the residence of the bishop, who typically sought to limit Bremen’s autonomy. Roland’s sword of justice symbolizes the judiciary’s independence, and its engraved motto confirms the emperor’s edict, conferring city rights on Bremen. The statue was carved in 1404 by a member of the Parler household, a well known clan of architects and sculptors. It was the prototype for 35 similar statues in different German cities.
Bremen’s Gothic Town Hall owes a lot of its splendor to its magnificent façade. Having been fully reworked by the architect Ludervon Bentheim in 1595-1612, this façade is considered an impressive example of Weser Renaissance structure, the predominant style all through the Weser area of northern Germany between 1520 and 1630. Nobles who had toured Italy returned home impressed by the Renaissance architecture that they had seen and tried to copy it in their very own designs. The decorative gables and frieze alongside the arcade are both typical of this style, as are the richly sculptured projecting oriels.
To the west side of the Town Hall is the doorway to the Ratskeller. One of the oldest wine cellars in Germany, it has been serving wine since 1405. At the moment, more than 650 wines will be sampled right here, all of that are from German wine-growing areas and a few of that are saved in decoratively carved wine casks.