city town german river weser
BREMEN, one of the three free cities of the new German empire, is situated on the River Weser, about 50 miles from the sea and 60 S.W of Hamburg. The latitude of the observatory is 53' 4' 36" N., and the longitude 8° 48' 54" E. The city consists of three parts - the old town (Alt Stadt) and its suburban extensions ( Vorstadt) on the right bank of the river, and the new town, dating from the Thirty Years' War, on the left. The river is crossed by three bridges, of which the last was built in 1874-5. The ramparts of the old town have long been converted into beautiful promenades and gardens, but both the old and the new town are still surrounded with moats. The area of the whole city is great in proportion to its population, the houses in general being built to contain only one family. The public buildings, situated chiefly in the old town, comprise the following : - the cathedral, erected in the 12th century, on the site of Charlemagne's wooden church, and famous for its Bleikeller, or lead-vault, in which bodies may be kept a long time without suffering decomposition ; the church of St Ansgarius, built about 1243, with a spire 400 feet high ; the leathhaus, a building of the early part of the 15th century, with a celebrated underground wine-cellar ; the town-house, formerly the archiepiscopal palace, and converted to its present uses only in 1819; the Schiitting, or merchant's hall, originally built in 1619 for the guild of cloth-traders ; the exchange, completed in 1867; the theatre ; the town library ; the high-school, a, quite recent erection ; and the new post-office buildings. St Rembert's church and the colosseum may be mentioned in the Vorstadt ; and the barracks in the new town. At the head of the monetary establishments stands the Bremer Bank, which was founded in 1856 as a private speculation, and is only allowed to issue notes to the amount of its realized capital. Seven other banks were in operation in the beginning of 1875. There are in the city eighteen public and thirteen private schools, the former including a navigation and an industrial school, and the latter an institution for the extension of female labour.
New waterworks, constructed by an English company on the left side of the river, were opened in 1872, and supply the city with water of a good quality from the Weser ; large fire-brigade establishment has also been founded in imitation of a similar institution at Berlin ; and an extensive park, the Barger Park, has been laid out in the old Burger Weide, or meadows. Railway communication is rapidly increasing, and a central terminus for all the lines is proposed. The most important of those already open connect the city directly with Hanover, with Oldenburg, with Bremerhaven, with Hamburg, and with Minden. The manufactures of Bremen are of considerable extent and variety, the most important being those of tobacco, snuff, and cigars, though they have somewhat declined since the formation of the empire. In 1872 no fewer than 2500 people were employed throughout the state in preparing cigars alone, while the making of cigar-boxes occupied 250 more. The shelling of rice is also largely carried on, and there are sugar-refineries, soap-works, shipbuilding-yards, sail-cloth factories, a large iron foundry, distilleries, asphalt-works, and colour-factories. In the extent of its foreign trade Bremen is one of the chief cities in Germany, and as a port of emigration it is only rivalled by Hamburg. It deals largely with the United States, Great Britain, British India, and Russia. Its principal imports consist of cotton, tobacco, coffee, rye, rice, coals, iron goods, petroleum, glass, hides and skins, silk, wool, linen, and dyes, and its exports of many of these articles in a manufactured nautical association, the German Life-Boat Institution, and the enamber of commerce.
As early as 788 Bremen, tnen a mere fishing village, was made the scat of a bishopric by Charlemagne ; and in 858 it was raised to an archbishopric by Ansgarius, archbishop of Hamburg, who had been driven from that city by the Normans about 847. The importance of Bremen soon increased ; and its citizens took an active share in the more remarkable movements of the thne, such as the Crusades, the establishment of the Teutonic Order, and the founding of Riga. In 1283 they joined the Ilanseatie League, and in 1289 formed a treaty with Gisalbert, their archbishop, by which he agreed to confine himself to the spiritual affairs of his diocese, leaving secular concerns to the civic authorities. In the course of the 14th century, there was much intestine conflict in the city, and in the 15th it had to defend its commerce against the pertinacious hostility of the Frisian pirates ; but from both perils it issued with increased vigour. About 1522 the archbishop and most of the inhabitants declared for Protestantism, in defence of which they took a foremost part, and had on various occasions to suffer severely. The city was twice besieged by the imperial forces in 1547. At the peace of Westphalia (1648) the archiepiscopal diocese was secularized and raised to a grand duchy, which was ceded to Sweden. In a war between Denmark and Sweden in 1712 it was conquered by the former, and in 1715 it was purchased from that power by Hanover along with the duchy of Verden. The transfer was confirmed by the diet of 1732, and the district now forms part of the Hanoverian province of Stade. The city of Bremen had meanwhile had its civic rights more or less thoroughly recognized during these vicissitudes. In 1806 it was taken by the French, and from 1810 to 1813 it was the capital of the department of the Mouths of the Weser. Restored to independence by the congress of Vienna in 1815, it subsequently became a member of the German confederation, and in 1867 joined the new confederation of the North German States, with which it was merged in the new German empire. It has now one vote in the federal council, and sends a representative to the imperial diet. The freedom of its port is secured, and in compensation it pays an aversum of 250,000 thalers to the customs union.
The territory of Bremen has an area of 63,400 English acres, about 5000 acres being occupied by the towns of Bremen, Bremerhaven, and Vegesaek, and about 1200 by the bed of the Weser. Of the remaining area about two-fifths are arable land and two-fifths meadowland, the extent of woodland being very slight. The soil is for the most part sandy, though here and there marshes or bogs occur. Of the population, which in 1873 was 130,871, 88,146 were inhabitants of Bremen the city, 12,129 of Bremerhaven, and 3843 of Vegesack, and 26,753 of the rural districts. With the exception of about 2800 Roman Catholics and 271 Jews, the inhabitants are Lutherans or Calvinists of various denominations. According to the constitution of 1849, modified by various enactments in 1854, the senate, which is the executive power, is composed of eighteen members, elected by the "burgherslnp" ou presentation by the senate. Of these, ten at least must be lawyers, and five merchants ; and two of the number are nominated by their colleagues as burgomasters, who preside in succession, and hold office for four years, one retiring every two years. The burghership consists of 150 (formerly 300) representatives chosen from the citizens for six years. Sixteen are elected by those of the inhabitants of the city who have attended a university, 48 by the merchants, 24 by the manufacturers and artisans, and 30 by the other citizens ; of the remaining representatives 6 arc furnished by Bremerhaven, 6 by Vegcsack, and 20 by the country population The revenue in 1873 amounted to £545,531, and the expenditure was £1,094,222, so that the deficit was £548,691. The total debt at the end of the year was £3,676,733 The territory and city are still outside the limits of the customs union. In the whole state there were in 1870 forty-five public and thirteen private schools, with a total attendance of 12,794.