Thursday, August 27, 2015

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 209

Bremen, Germany

This 1982 color postcard, published by Gunter Reinhardt of Bremen, shows part of the Marktplaz of Bremen, Germany including the statue of Roland (1404) the protector of the city seen in the foreground.  He is holding the sword of justice and a shield decorated with an imperial eagle.  Another statue in the square, not visible on the card, is of the Town Musicians, a donkey, dog, cat, and rooster from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.  Following World War II the facades of the buildings in the marktplaz were the first buildings in Bremen to be restored by the citizens.

As the third largest city in Northern Germany, Bremen is a major port and commercial and industrial city situated on the River Weser.  Bremen with neighboring Bremerhaven comprised the state of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.  The Hanseatic League was formed in the 14th century as an international trade and defensive confederation of merchants and guilds originally formed for protection from raids and piracy.

 The city’s stone walls were first constructed in 1032 or about the time trade began with Norway, England and northern Netherlands.   Like many of the older European cities this one had a Prince-Archbishop; however, the city was recognized as a political entity with its own laws.  This meant that property within the boundaries were not subject to feudal overlordship.  Even some serfs could and did acquire property.  

Bremen declared neutrality during the Thirty Years’ War; nevertheless, the city reinforced its fortifications as protection.  For more interesting history, pictures, and information about Bremen and the Hanseatic League, see:

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