Bremen for all faiths
Cosmopolitan Bremen welcomes people of every faith. The Hanseatic city offers places for contemplation, religious and cultural events, high-quality musical performances and magnificent architecture.
Welcoming everyone through its doors, St. Peter's Cathedral is a haven of peace and tranquillity. The public is invited to attend the regular church services, workday lunchtime prayers and organ recitals. St. Peter's Cathedral is the oldest church in Bremen and is where the diocese was founded. The Lutheran cathedral has over 11,000 members, making it the largest Protestant parish in Bremen. Visitors to this monumental building, whose history dates back more than 1,200 years, can admire religious artefacts and exquisite burial objects in the cathedral museum. Guided tours explain the history of the diocese, tell the story of the cathedral's construction and reveal the secret of the mummies in the lead cellar. St. Peter's Cathedral Bible Garden provides an oasis of calm in the bustling city centre and includes many plants that are mentioned in the Bible.
On the Schlachte Embankment, the bells of the Protestant St. Martin's Church ring Joachim Neander's well-known hymn 'Praise to the Lord, the Almighty'. Neander preached at St. Martin's, where his composition had its very first performance. St. Martin's is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Bremen and plays host to the 'Hour of Church Music', a free monthly organ recital by students from Bremen University of the Arts.
The 12th century Protestant Church of Our Lady, whose parish dates back almost 1,000 years, is adjacent to Bremen's town hall and is the second oldest church in the city. Its stained-glass windows, designed by the French painter Alfred Manessier, create a remarkable effect inside the church and attract many visitors. The Church of Our Lady also has a famous boys' choir, which performs at church services and gives concerts in Germany and abroad.
Situated near the Weser river in the middle of the old quarter, St. Stephen's Church is a place for cultural experimentation and spiritual exploration. Organising exhibitions, theological talks about plays, cultural church services, films and concerts, St. Stephen's is anything but boring. St. Stephen's choir was founded in 1884, making it one of the oldest choirs in Bremen.
The Roman-Catholic St. John's Provost Church is Bremen's last remaining abbey church and serves as the principal Catholic church in the city centre. It was built by the Franciscan order in 1225 and today holds masses, prayers and other services in six languages.
Right at the heart of the Schnoor quarter and not far from St. John's Church is a Bridgettine convent, a place of tranquillity and contemplation. Established in 2003, this convent is home to an international community of nuns from Mexico, India, Italy and Poland who offer hospitality for guests. The small convent garden and the chapel, which is flooded with natural light, provide a place of retreat and rejuvenation for visitors and locals alike.
Bremen's Jewish community is served by the city's synagogue. It is one of the largest Jewish communities in Germany with almost 1,100 members. The synagogue has an affiliated Jewish kindergarten as well as a community centre, which includes a prayer room, club room, library, classrooms, offices and a ritual bath.
The Fatih Mosque was Bremen's first mosque. It has the largest Muslim community in Germany and is the country's third largest mosque. Besides group tours of the mosque, the community also offers prayers in Turkish and a monthly sermon in German.
The Al-Fadilah Mosque is located near the train station. Guided tours are available for school groups and a Friday sermon is held in German and English. The mosque also offers various classes for children, lessons about Islam in German and Turkish and a Koran recitation class for women.
Objects representing Buddhist culture are displayed in Bremen's Rhododendron Park, where the green science centre botanika offers fascinating facts about religions of the Far East. The botanika's greenhouses contain authentically recreated landscapes featuring a thundering waterfall, a stunning Himalayan mountain world, a mani wall, prayer wheels, a Chinese tea pavilion, a Zen meditation garden and a giant Buddha statue. The tall Enlightenment Stupa at the entrance to the botanika's Himalayan world is regarded as a source of spiritual energy and draws many Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Lama Ole Nydahl gave his blessing for the construction of the only Stupa to have been built in a public space in Germany. Filled with ritualistic and blessed objects, the Stupa was consecrated in a ceremony conducted by Lama Kalsang and Lama Ngödrup.