is the capital of the state of Bremen
in NW Germany, on the Weser River. Known as
the Free Hanse City of Bremen (German: Freie Hansestadt Bremen),
it is Germany's largest port after Hamburg and is a commercial and
industrial center trading in cotton, wool, tobacco, and copper.
Traffic and transport facilities are well equipped and offer a lot of
opportunities for private initiative and business. The cities of Bremen
and Bremerhaven with their cultural heritage and their close location to
the north sea are of high standard in living and leisure.
The state of Bremen. (1994 pop.
674,300), 156 sq mi (404 sq km), was formed in 1947 by combining Bremen
and Bremerhaven. Founded in 1827,
Bremerhaven today enjoys an enviable reputation among the seaports of
the world. The
largest German city on the North Sea coast has remained in the forefront
of marine technology. While computers
direct the handling of containers
on the world's largest quay and leading-edge technologies are harnessed
to the task of building ships, Bremerhaven is also the home port of
Germany's windjammer fleet. Its maritime museum tells the thrilling
story of ships and sea travel down the ages, and a series of magnificent
old lighthouses stand as monuments to the city's proud maritime past.
Today Bremerhaven ranks as the largest fishing
port of Europe, one of the continent's leading traditional
shipbuilding complexes, a major seaport for world trade, a centre for
scientific research, and an increasingly attractive and dynamic regional
a population of over 120,000.
The city's products include ships,
aircraft, steel, machinery, electrical equipment, textiles, beer, and
foodstuffs, particularly roasted coffee. In recent years Bremen has
employed about half its workforce in commerce, transportation, and the
service sector. The shipyard that was once its largest employer closed
Bremen is Germany's oldest port city.
It joined the German Empire in 1871. After World War I, there was
a short-lived (1918–19) socialist republic of Bremen. The city was badly
damaged by bombs during World War II, but
numerous historic monuments remain, including the Gothic city
hall (1405–9); the statue of Roland, the medieval hero, which was
erected in 1404 as a symbol of the city's freedom; the cathedral (begun
1043), a blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles; and two noted
churches—the Liebfrauenkirche (13th cent.) and the Johanneskirche (14th
cent.). The city has a major art museum (Die Kunsthalle) and a
museum of overseas ethnology.