On the way to The District in Bremen, our guide of “Bremen erleben” took a little detour with us and led us to the Schnoorviertel. I immediately fell in love with this corner of Bremen.
The Schnoor is a quarter near the old town of Bremen. The quarter got its unusual name from the shipbuilding industry. Ropes were formerly made in a section of the district. In Low German, Schnoor (Snoor) simply means “rope”.
Schnoorviertel – some history
A Franciscan monastery was built on the edge of the Schnoorviertel in the 13th century. Early mentions of the district from this time can be found thanks to the monastery.
Haus Schnoor 15 (1402) and the Schnoor 2 (1401) are the oldest houses in the Schnoor. There are still some houses from the 17th and 18th century, which are preserved in their original state. Unfortunately, many houses are no longer preserved and you will now find replicas based on historical models.
Fishermen and boat builders originally lived in the Schnoor. The Balge, a side arm of the Weser River, ran directly through the residential area and thus offered perfect conditions for their work. In the Middle Ages, the river was gradually silting up and got finally filled up in the 19th century. Today only a street name serves as a reminder.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Schnoor was a residential area for poorer people. The properties were extremely small, the streets narrow and angled and whoever had enough money preferred to simply move to the outskirts of Bremen to acquire a bigger space.
Luckily, the Bremer Schnoorviertel was hardly damaged in the Second World War. Many of the buildings are now under monument protection. Necessary construction work is controlled by the State Office for Monument Preservation and thus a coherent cityscape was preserved. The development plan also maintains a balanced ratio between business and housing.
The Schnoorviertel today
A stroll through the small streets of the Schnoorviertel reveals a colourful mix of crafts, galleries, cafes, restaurants and small museums. Something new can be discovered behind almost every window: from the year-round Christmas shop to beautiful craftsmanship, to mouth-watering cake.
In the summer months, you can even go shopping on Sunday. I could have gone from one shop to the next for hours.
In the Schnoorviertel you can find beautiful small houses and alleys, which make you forget the hustle and bustle of the city.
Some of the streets are so narrow and angled that they do not offer enough space for 2 people at the same time. If you are not careful here, you will unwittingly wander back to the same spot you have just passed or find yourself outside the Schnoor.
Some houses are beautiful and lovingly restored half-timbered houses. All the houses in this area are quite narrow in width, but the properties are elongated. That means that many houses only have one or two rooms per floor. Every last inch of the property was utilised. Patios were attached to the upper floors and staircases were left out completely. The only way to get to the upper floor was with a ladder from the street.
Today, the whole area is pedestrianised, even residents cannot drive their cars through it.
A really nice corner of Bremen which I would definitely visit again.
On the “Bremen erleben” website I found a small video tour through the Schnorrviertel.