The Roland of Bremen


The Bremer Roland was built in 1404 around the same time as the town hall. It is the oldest of approximately 50 Roland statues in German cities and was declared an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2004.

For the Bremish people, Roland has a very important meaning, because when it disappears and the city is not able to set it up again within 24 hours, the city will lose its freedom. There is a rumor that there is a second Roland statue, in the town hall’s cellar, for safety.
When Napoleon came to Bremen, the Bremish people, fearing that their Roland might be destroyed or stolen, claimed that he was the city’s patron, so that he was preserved to the city.
During the Second World War the Roland was walled, so that it would not be damaged.

The Roland looks to the cathedral of Bremen and not without reason. At the time of its construction the church in Bremen was almost omnipotent and so the people of Bremen tried to defend their city rights.

Anyone who visits the Roland in the fall gets to see a lot. In October, at the time of the Freimarkt, Roland receives a huge gingerbread heart. His birthday follows shortly afterwards on 5 November, when he gets a bouquet of flowers.

Look at Roland more specifically

On 1 April, the Bremer Senate used the term “LMR (Length Measurement Roland)” to describe the Bremer Elle as a valid length measure in science and technology and “the length measurement is only used in special applications in aircraft construction, space travel and underwater detection”. Of course this was a joke.

At the feet of the Roland you can see a lying figure without legs. The meaning is not quite clear, but there is the legend that this is the cripple, to which the Bremen citizens owe their Bürgerpark.



Roland announces the market rights of the city of Bremen by his sign. On which you can read the following:

„Vryheit do ik ju openbar / d’ karl vnd mēnich vorst vorwar / desser stede ghegheuen hat / des danket god’ is mī radt“

Which means:

„I show you the freedom/ Karl  and some princes really/ gave to this city/ thank God for this, is my advice”

The real head of the Roland can be found in the Focke Museum, because it does not tolerate the pollution of the city.