If you want to feel like Harry Potter and walk through the Diagon Alley, you should come to Bremen. We do not have this particular street, but we have the Schnoor and it looks very similar.
The buildings of the Schnoor are part of Bremen’s old town and between 200 and 400 years old and line up like pearls on a string. Because of that, this part of the city also has its name – “Snoor” is the Low German word for string (Schnur). This oldest district of Bremen has many small shops, cafes and pubs, but also theaters and museums can be found here.
If you ask me, where you can buy souvenirs from Bremen, I’d always send you to the Schnoor. Sure, you can find souvenirs in Bremen at almost every corner, but the most beautiful things are in the Schnoor. For example, there is a shop with paper models from the Bremen Town Hall, typical Bremen candy or witty motifs from Town Musicians of Bremen.
Apart from the fact that the Schnoor is a single great place to visit, you can discover a lot when you open your eyes. I’ve run so many times through the Schnoor, but still could not find everything I wanted to write about here.
In the Schnoor there are a few houses, which are worth looking for. These are the smallest hotel in the world and the smallest house in the Schnoor. Let’s start with the hotel. The wedding house (Hochzeitshaus) has existed in Bremen since the Middle Ages. At that time there were many wedding houses, because a couple, who wanted to marry in Bremen, had to prove that it could also afford an apartment here. For this purpose, wedding houses were rented for a short period to the people of the countryside, who wanted to be married in Bremen.
The smallest house in the Schnoor has only two rooms, the upper floor was previously only to be reached by a ladder from the outside.
Also in the Schnoor is the Institute for Low German Language. It is a state-subsidized institution of a club founded in 1973. Here is a special library for literature of the Low German language. Bookworms who understand this language should take a look.
Ebenfalls im Schnoor befindet sich das Institut für niederdeutsche Sprache. Es ist eine staatlich geförderte Einrichtung von einem 1973 gegründeten Verein. Hier befindet sich eine Sonderbibliothek für Literatur der Niederdeutschen Sprache. Leseratten, die diese Sprache verstehen, sollten mal einen Blick hineinwerfen.
The gentleman on the left side is Heini Holtenbeen (Jürgen Heinrich Keberle). About 150 years ago he was a very well-known Bremer, who spend much time in the Schnoor. His appearance and his usage of Low German made him famous. After losing his leg in an accident, everyone called him Heini Holtenbeen (Holzbein – wooden leg), although he had no wooden leg at all. He borrowed money from many bremish people, which he never repaid, therefore one of his most famous sayings was:
„Segg mal, kannst mi nich’n halwen Groschen lenen, ick schrief dat in min Hauptbook in.“ (Tell me, can you lend me half a penny, I’ll wirte it down in my journal.”)
Small and not easy to find is something I was looking for about half an hour. The last cat stone (Katzenstein) in the Schnoor. Most of these stones are stolen now , but this one is still there. These stones were placed in the interstices of the houses during the renovation of the buildings so that cats could slip through.