The bringer of light

Welcome to Böttcherstrasse. If you approach the “secluded high street of Bremen” from the market, the golden Bringer of Light will inevitably catch your eye.


Mounted directly above the entrance to Böttcherstrasse, Bernhard Hoetger’s bronze relief, created in 1936, depicts a youth falling from the sky and fighting off a three-headed dragon-like creature with his sword.

Today, the Bringer of Light, which was to make an important contribution towards the preservation of Böttcherstrasse prior to World War II, is probably the most photographed object in the entire street.

The house of the seven lazy brothers

The house acquired its present name after its restoration in 1954. Even at the time of the creation of Böttcherstrasse, the eponymous legend was already portrayed by the stone figures on the Aloys Röhr’s stepped gable and the Sieben-Faulen-Brunnen (Seven Lazy Brothers Fountain) by Hoetger. The brothers have always been a symbol of inventiveness and ingenuity.


Due to its location on the market place, Scotland and Runge conceived the present day House of the Seven Lazy Brothers as a “HAG house” at that time, to present coffee in its own “propaganda room”. Regional building materials such as brick and sandstone lend the building a down-to-earth character, while incorporating stylistic elements of Hanseatic Gothic and English country-house styles. Dormers, galleries and dwarf gables make for a varied façade design. The former coffee tasting room is the only originally preserved shop on the street and nowadays is home to the Bremen Tea Trader Shop. The Seven Lazy Brothers’ Shop, a Le Creuset Shop and the children’s clothing company Kaenguru are also located here.

Paula-Becker-Modersohn House

From an architectural point of view, along with the Atlantis House, this idiosyncratic building is one of the undisputed highlights of the street.


Built in 1927 by Roselius’ friend Bernhard Hoetger, it was the world’s first museum to be dedicated to a female painter. Roselius had acquired a collection of her paintings after her death and exhibited them in an appropriately exceptional building. The fact that Hoetger was actually a sculptor is evident in every facet of its design and makes the building a rare example of Expressionist architecture. Two towers, no visible roof, arched walls, organically shaped stairs, colourful paintings, surprising lighting effects and an artistically designed ceiling create the impression of a “walk-in sculpture”. It all makes for the ideal stage for combining down-to-earth craftsmanship and creative activity, for which Roselius had four small shops set up in the courtyard. Craftsmen produced their goods here in full view of their clientele. The Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum exhibits works by the artist, while the courtyard still houses workshops for high-quality craftsmanship. The Werkschau craft shop, Falk Goldsmiths, the Glaskunst glass art workshop, Boettcher 8 and the popular Bremer Bonbon Manufaktur are all situated here.

Roselius House

The house where it all began. Ludwig Roselius bought it in 1902 and, after renovating it in 1909, made it into the headquarters of his company and the regulars’ table where the “Lower Saxony Round table” met.


The building acquired its present use as early as 1928 with its conversion to a museum, which was to provide its creator with a setting for his collector’s passion. The perfect place for his works of art from the late Middle Ages, Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque periods. On the outside, the house was furnished with a decorative stepped gable by the architects Carl Eeg and Eduard Runge. The interiors were designed by the painter Ernst Müller-Scheessel, who thought far beyond the concept of a “local history museum for bourgeois Hanseatic merchant households” by designing each room in the style of a particular epoch in the history of art. In the meeting room, the visitor was offered the usual facilities in a setting that a Hanseatic family might have experienced. The grand hall staircase, on the other hand, embodied the style of the Renaissance with its coffered ceiling. Furthermore, a “gothic” room, created in 1934, embodied the gothic aesthetic with stained glass, sculptures and French choir stalls. Although the present-day Roselius House was completely destroyed during World War II, today you step into a faithful reconstruction.

St. Petrus house

A building that is perhaps only second to the Roselius House in clearly expressing the tradition of its architect: the love of his homeland is reflected in the design of the typically North German façade, while the Glockenspiel – the carillon – rings out folk songs and sea shanties.


The former offered hearty country fare and was decorated accordingly – an example of this being the use of large wagon wheels as chandeliers. The “St. Petrus” establishment was glorious and elegant at the time, but did not survive World War II. Nor did its traditional elegance survive with its new operator, the Atlantic Grand Hotel; even though the Golden Hall, the Tent and the Scotland Hall above the Flett are still used today as they were then for special occasions, they are now all decorated in a contemporary style. The design of the façade, like so many other things in Böttcherstrasse, creates a connection between tradition and modernity: although the gable is still a strong reminder of typical Hanseatic architecture – arcades, dormers, bay windows and the large, small-paned windows are rather similar to the English country house style. The Gothic gable, which is visible from the market, also has a modern look since the familiar features have been deliberately enhanced to make it oversized. Today, in addition to the catering trade with its Ständiger Vertretung cult bar in the Flett restaurant, Bar Freytag and the St. Petrus Wine Purveyor, the house also offers space to creative media agencies.

The glockenspiel carillon house

A building that is perhaps only second to the Roselius House in clearly expressing the tradition of its architect: the love of his homeland is reflected in the design of the typically North German façade, while the Glockenspiel – the carillon – rings out folk songs and sea shanties.


The second oldest building in the street also has a different name today than at the time of its completion in 1924. The Bremen-America-Bank, built by Runge and Scotland in the midst of a period of inflation, made the connection between two neighbouring office buildings and was intended to mark Roselius’ re-entry into the American market. Today, the building houses Luca Rizzo Hairdresser, the Atlantis Cinema and the Möhlenkamp & Schuldt Design Studio. The eponymous glockenspiel was installed in 1934 and has been renovated twice since then. Mounted wooden panels rotate in the tower for a seven-minute-long performance of folk tunes. They were designed by Bernhard Hoetger and depict important Atlantic crossings from early Middle Ages to the present day. Another eye-catcher is the clock made of mosaic stones designed by Eduard Scotland, which adorns the façade of the building.


As far as Ludwig Roselius was concerned, the main character from the novel Robinson Crusoe was the epitome of Hanseatic drive and pioneering spirit.


Exactly the inspiring qualities he commemorated in the construction of the Robinson Crusoe House in 1931. The last house to be built on the street was constructed according to the plans of Roselius and Karl von Weihe and had two functions: While Kaba products were displayed on the ground floor, the Bremen Club used all the other rooms for meetings and events. Nowadays there are offices, apartments and Kinescope Film GmbH. However, the ground floor has remained faithful to the purpose for which it was constructed in the broadest sense. The Büchlers Beste Bohne private roastery sells and showcases exquisite coffee products. Six wooden panels by Theodor-Schultz-Walbaum along the staircase depict important stages of Crusoe’s adventures.

Atlantis house

Atlantis House is architecturally the most significant house and for Ludwig Roselius it was the most symbolic. If the Roselius House represents the traditional, the St. Petrus House the commercial, and the Paula-Becker-Modersohn House the artistic, then the Atlantis House reflects the utopian and at the same time ideological aspect of the street and its creator.


Nevertheless, the façade has looked significantly different since 1965 than it did on its construction by Hoetger in 1931. Commissioned with designing a new façade, the architect Ewald Mataré from Cologne, distanced himself from the original design. Roselius, with his many references to Nordic mythology in exterior design, had expressed his racial ideology inspired by Herman Wirth. According to Wirth, the entire occidental culture came from one of the Germanic peoples who had perished along with the island of Atlantis – a more than questionable theory. Hoetger, however, took up this idea in a state-of-the-art interior and exterior design. The use of glass, iron and concrete allowed for a new design language, which made a fitting transition to interior design in the Art Déco style. Climbing the spindle-shaped stairwell, flooded with light from the many glass blocks put in at the time, you still arrive at the Himmelsaal (sky room) with its parabolic glass roof, which represents the abstracted pattern of a tree of life. The house’s lower floors, which were used as club rooms, were constructed just as extravagantly. Today Atlantis House is part of the Radisson Blu Hotel.

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