Bremen is a commercial and industrial town in northwestern Germany on the River Weser. Along with the port town of Bremerhaven it makes up the State of Bremen. Bremen was an older settlement, occupied prior to the advancement towards the River Weser by troops of Charlemagne in the 8th century. Bremen was raised to the status of a diocesan town under Charlemagne in 787 AD, and two centuries later, Emperor Otto I granted Bremen market privileges. Because of its location 37 miles from where the river flows to the North Sea, the people of Bremen have always had a close association with ships and the sea and in the 12th century its ships dominated the southern portions of the North Sea. In 1646 the city gained the official status of a free and independent entity and had grown into one of the most powerful centers of international trading. Bremen became part of the German Alliance in 1815 and a state of the New German Empire in 1871. During the years of the Third Reich Bremen lost its independence. In 1923 Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG, a civil and military aircraft manufacturer was established in Bremen and along with the shipyards and oil production facilites was a major target of Allied bombers during World War II.
The Hauptbahnhof of Bremen
The Hauptbahnhof of Bremen is the most important rail station in the state of Bremen and was built from 1886 to 1891. The number of tracks were expanded in 1907. The station has undergone extensive remodeling due to war damage and modernization, but still maintains its late 19th century appearance. The statues on the outside of the building depict the coat of arms of Bemen and Hannover, the original destination points of the rail line and other railway-related symbolisms.