Bremen

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Bremen

(brā`mən), city (1994 pop. 551,600), capital of the state of Bremen, NW Germany, on the Weser River. Known as the Free Hanse City of Bremen (Ger. 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. 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 in 1996. Bremen is Germany's oldest port city. It was made an archbishopric in 845, and under Archbishop Adalbert (1043–72) it included all of Scandinavia, Iceland, and Greenland. The archbishops held temporal sway over a large area between the Weser and Elbe rivers, but the city of Bremen itself remained virtually independent as its importance grew. In 1358 it became one of the leading members of the Hanseatic LeagueHanseatic League
, mercantile league of medieval German towns. It was amorphous in character; its origin cannot be dated exactly. Originally a Hansa was a company of merchants trading with foreign lands.
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. It accepted the Reformation in 1522, and in 1646 it was made a free imperial city. It stubbornly fought to preserve this status after the archbishopric had been assigned to Sweden by the Peace of Westphalia and later was ceded (1719) by Sweden to the elector of Hanover (George I of England). Bremen was occupied by France from 1810 to 1813. The city's overseas trade—from the late 18th cent. particularly with the United States—grew in the 19th cent., partly because of the founding (1827) of nearby Bremerhaven and the establishment (1857) of Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd), a large shipping company. The city 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 and a museum of overseas ethnology. The state of Bremen (1994 pop. 674,300), 156 sq mi (404 sq km), was formed in 1947 by combining Bremen and Bremerhaven.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bremen

 

a city, a large river port and seaport in the Federal Republic of Germany, on the Weser River, 133 km from the river’s confluence with the North Sea. Administratively, the city of Bremen and the city of Bremerhaven, which fulfills the functions of a forward port for passenger ships and large freighters for Bremen, together form the Land of Bremen. Its area is 404 sq km; within its boundaries the population is 755, 400 (1969); of this number the population of the city of Bremen proper is 606, 000.

In the economy of the city and the Land, industry, transport, commerce, banking, and insurance play the main role. Of the economically active population 41.1 percent is employed in industry; 30.9 percent is employed in transport, commerce, and banking; and about 1 percent is employed in fishing and farming (1969).

The city of Bremen is a large international transport center; six railroad lines and three Autobahns converge there. The city also has an airport. In the postwar period, connections with other regions of the country have been substantially improved. (There are new canals along the middle reaches of the Weser; railroad lines have been electrified to Hannover and further into the southern portion of the Federal Republic of Germany, to the Ruhr, to Hamburg, and to Bremerhaven; Autobahns have been constructed leading to Hannover and Osnabrück.) The port of Bremen occupies third place in freight turnover (over 14 million tons in 1969; including Bremerhaven, 20.5 million tons) after Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven. Imports arriving through Bremen include cotton, wool, jute, tobacco, coffee, grain, fruit, lumber products, petroleum, and ores. Exports consist of industrial products, coal, coke, and potassium salts. Part of the freight turnover is freight passing through Bremen destined for Austria and Switzerland.

The basic branches of industry are connected with Bremen’s port and foreign trade functions. One-fourth of the country’s shipbuilding capacity is concentrated in Bremen (the shipyards Bremer Vulkan and AG Weser); there are two aircraft plants (Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke), a large ferrous metallurgy plant with the overall cycle of production (Klöckner-Werke), and two oil refineries. There are also automobile industry enterprises (manufacture of trucks), general machine construction plants, electrotechnical plants, textile mills (wool and jute), and the food-processing industry (flour, rice, coffee, tea, and others). Bremen is also an important center of wholesale trade in cotton (the cotton exchange), tobacco (tobacco exchange), wool, jute, grain, and coffee. There are also specialized educational institutions in Bremen, including a construction and engineering school and a school of navigation.

O. V. VITKOVSKII

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bremen

1. a state of NW Germany, centred on the city of Bremen and its outport Bremerhaven; formerly in West Germany. Pop.: 663 000 (2003 est.). Area: 404 sq. km (156 sq. miles)
2. an industrial city and port in NW Germany, on the Weser estuary. Pop.: 544 853 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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