Architecture & History

ROBINSON-CRUSOE-HOUSE

The Robinson Crusoe House, 1931, was the last house on the street to be built. It was built according to the plans of Karl von Weihe and Ludwig Roselius. For Roselius, the character of Robinson Crusoe, in the novel by Daniel Dafoe, embodied a Hanseatic pioneering spirit and boundless energy.

The hall on the ground floor of the house was first used for exhibiting Kaba, a German cocoa product. The other rooms served as the home to ‘Club zu Bremen’ until all was destroyed in 1944. Although reconstructed in 1954, it is only in the stairway where the story of Robinson Crusoe can be admired in carved wooden panels by Theodor Schultz-Walbaum.

Today the Robinson Crusoe House comprises offices and apartments. In the Crusoe-hall on the ground floor you can find a café which is operated by private coffee roaster "Büchlers beste Bohne".

THE PANELS IN THE STAIRWELL

Ludwig Roselius admired pioneering spirit, ingenuity and drive. In Daniel Defoe's novel hero Robinson Crusoe he saw these characteristics combined and renamed the house Böttcherstrasse 1 after him.

In addition, he set the survivors in the great hall on the ground floor a monument: 6 large wooden panels, carved by Theodor Schultz-Walbaum, illustrate the more adventurous story in lush decorative paintings. The panels in the stairwell were mounted in 1954 after the reconstruction of the house, where they can even be seen today.

The panels are describing the history of Robinson Crusoe.

HOUSE OF THE 7 LAZY BROTHERS

The House of the 7 Lazy Brothers (“Haus der 7 Faulen”), 1924-27, was constructed as HAG House by Eduard Scotland and Alfred Runge. Until its partial destruction in 1944, it had been the advertising headquarters for Kaffee HAG and the main office of the German Labour Federation, Deutscher Werkbund.

After reconstruction in 1954, the house was renamed after Bremen’s fabled seven lazy brothers who would solve problems by using their brains instead of their brawn - only to find themselves scolded by their neighbours for being lazy because their resourceful way of doing things meant they did not have to do any physical labour! Here they are depicted by Aloys Röhr as large stone figures embellishing and buttressing the gable that faces the marketplace, in homage to the admirable and tireless imagination of Ludwig Roselius.

Located here today is a souvenir shop (7-Faulen-Laden), a tea shop (Tee-Handels-Kontor Bremen), The Remember Shop and a children's clothing store (Kaenguru).

House of the Glockenspiel

Two old warehouses were rebuilt in 1922-24 by Eduard Scotland and Alfred Runge for the Bremen-America-Bank, the company bank of Kaffee HAG.

Located here today are the Archive, the Böttcherstrasse administrative offices (Verwaltung der Böttcherstraße GmbH), the hairdresser Luca Rizzo, the art cinema Filmkunsttheater Atlantis, the Designbüro Möhlenkamp, and - of course - the famous chiming bells of the renown Glockenspiel.

Take a look on the beautiful details on the facade like the sitting hen (Gluckhenne, Alfred Horling) which looks back on the founding of Bremen, or watch the blue clock on tesserae.

The Glockenspiel

The thirty Meissen porcelain bells - blue on the outside and gold-plated on the inside - rang out for the first time in May 1934. In unique concert with these chiming bells was a rotating tower in the wall between the Glockenspiel and the Roselius Houses. On this tower were ten carved and painted wooden panels of well-known conquerors of the ocean. The motifs were designed by Bernhard Hoetger at the behest of Ludwig Roselius, who wanted to express once more on Böttcherstrasse the pioneering spirit and boundless energy of mankind.

After partial destruction of the bells during World War II, a second set was made and installed in 1954. These bells were all white. Following a comprehensive restoration in 1991 (which included the wooden panels), a third set of chimes - once again made of 30 Meissen porcelain bells - was restrung between the gables of the two houses.

Chiming times:
From January 1st to May 31st at 12 noon, 3pm, and 6pm.
From April 1st to December 31st every hour on the hour between 12 noon and 6pm.

Auf, Matrosen, die Anker gelichtet (Volkslied)
Steurmann, laß' die Wacht (Wagner)
Nordisches Seelied (Loewe)
Lustiger Matrosengesang (Volkslied)
Weserlied (Pressel)
Wenn ich ein Vöglein wär' (Brahms)
Die Gedaken sind frei (Volkslied)
Roland, der Ries', am Rathaus zu Bremen (Volkslied)
Wir wollen zu Land ausfahren (Volkslied)
Die große Sehnsucht (Schwarze)

The wooden panels

The panels sort by showed sequence :

  1. Leif "the lucky one", who discovered America in the year 1000 with his Viking mates in unmet sailboats and the Icelander Thorfinn Karlsefni, who attempted between  1000-1008 to colonize the lands discovered by Leif. He had to leave the country because of the Native Americans. His son Snorri was the first European who was born in the New World.
  2. The pirates Diedrick Pining and Hans Pothorst originating from Hildesheim who were in Danish service should have already discovered America in the year 1472. On the picture from the left a Native American warrior appears to them.
  3. Christopher Columbus was looking for a shipping route to India with his Spanish caravel "Santa Maria". Thereby he discovered America in October 1492 for the Europeans.
  4. Robert Fulton undertook in 1807 successful trials with the steamboat "Claremont" on the rivers of the United States. He was the first who brought the steam shipping to a practical and economic success. In 1819 the first steamship the "Savannah" crossed the Atlantic from New York to Liverpool in 25 days.
  5. Captain Paul King, crossed the North Atlantic during the first world war with the trade-submarine "Germany" twice and brought valuable cargo from America.
  6. Captain Sir John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown, British airmen who first crossed the Atlantic in June 1919 in a double-decker from west to east without landing. Major Scott managed the same route four-weeks later with the airship R 34 from Scotland to Mineola in New York and back again.     
  7. Charles A. Lindbergh, who beat the Atlantic with the first solo flight in May 1927 from New York to Paris with his monoplane "Spirit of St. Louis' in 33 1/2 hours. You can see the Eiffel Tower and some cheering people.
  8. Captain Hermann Koehl, Ehrenfried-Günther Freiherr von Hünelfeld and Colonel James C. Fitzmaurice, overcame the Atlantic Ocean on the difficult east-west route in April 1928 with the aircraft "Bremen".
  9. Ferdinand Earl of Zeppelin the inventor of the maneuverable airship, and Hugo Eckener first flew the German Airship ZR 3 safely over the Atlantic.
  10. The final panel shows the saying of Leif "the lucky one" on a scroll.

Paula-Becker-Modersohn-House

Paula-Becker-Modersohn-House was built 1926-27 by Bernhard Hoetger as an exhibition space with a sales room.

In the courtyard of the museum is the Artisans’ Yard, with the "Fountain of the 7 Lazy Brothers" by Bernhard Hoetger and workshops for arts and crafts. The workshops, an idea originating with Roselius, create and sell high quality handcrafts.

The building was destroyed in 1944, and reconstructed in 1954. In 1993 basic restoration work was carried out by the bank Sparkasse Bremen, and the building was given an additional storey.

Today it is the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, home to a comprehensive collection of paintings by this important modern artist.

Nowadays, the Artisans’ Yard accommodates a goldsmith (Goldschmiede), a glassblower, a candy manufactory, as well as the Albers Maritim Shop and the Arts and Crafts Shop.