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Freie Hansestadt Bremen


Glockenspiel mit Ozeanbezwinger

Carillon with Conquerers of the Ocean

Bernhard Hoetger

Bremen /  Glockenspiel mit Ozeanbezwinger   Bremen /  Glockenspiel mit Ozeanbezwinger


A unique monument to the "Conquerers of the Ocean", consisting of ten carved panels, is hidden in the picturesque Böttcher Straße in Bremen. The whole street and its buildings, which belonged to the coffee merchant Ludwig Roselius, were designed by the German sculpturer, painter and self-educated architect Bernhard Hoetger between 1922 and 1931. Hoetger was an expressionistic artist who lived from 1874 to 1949.
The panels belong to a set of porcellain chimes and are hidden in a rotating tower. It opens every hour from 12 to 6 p, to show the panels while the chimes are playing (January-March only 12h, 3p, and 6pm).
Carved by Hoetger in 1934, the ten panels honor pioniers of navigation and aviation who crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The panels show the discoverers' faces painted in gold, faces of native inhabitants in dark red, and their ships or plains in silver. In order of appearance, the panels are:

leif, karlsefni

Leifur Eiríksson - Leif Ericson (c. 970 - c. 1020), Norse explorer regarded as the first European to land in North America in 1000. He established a settlement at Vinland - identified with L'Anse aux Meadows on Newfoundland (Wikipedia).
Þorfinnur Karlsefni Þórðarson, Icelandic explorer; around 1010 he followed Leif Eriksson's discovered route to Vinland in a short-lived attempt to establish a permanent settlement there with his passengers and crew (Wikipedia).

pining, pothorst

Didrik Pining (c. 1430-1491), German privateer, nobleman and governor of Iceland and Vardøhus, and Hans Pothorst (c. 1440-1490). They are most notable because some have proposed that they may have landed in North America in the 1470s (Wikipedia: Pining and Pothorst).


Christopher Columbus (prob. Cogoleto, Republic of Genua, c. 1451 - Valladolid 1506), Italian explorer, who in Spanish service completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of America (see Background Information).


Robert Fulton (Little Britain, Pennsylvania, 1765 - New York 1815), American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing the first commercially successful steamboat (Wikipedia).


Paul König (Rohr 1867 - Gnadau 1933), captain of the German merchant-submarine Deutschland which made its maiden voyage in Juni 1916 from Bremerhaven to Baltimore (Wikipedia).

scott, brown, alcock

Arthur Whitten Brown (Glasgow 1886 - Swansea 1948) and Capitain John Alcock (Seymour Grove, Old Trafford, 1892 - Cottévrard near Rouen 1919), the crew of the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic in June 1919; Herbert Scott (London 1888 - Beauvais, France 1930), commander of R 34, the first airship to cross the ocean only two weeks later (Wikipedia: Brown, Alcock and Scott).


Charles Augustus Lindbergh (Detroit, Michigan 1902 - Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii 1974), American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist; made the first solo flight across the Atlantic in May 1927 (Wikipedia).

köhl - v. hünefeld

Hermann Köhl (Neu-Ulm 1888 - München 1938), Ehrenfried-Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld (Königsberg 1892-Berlin 1929), and James C. Fitzmaurice (Dublin 1898 - Dublin 1965), the crew of the first direct flight across the Atlantic from East to West in April 1928 (Wikipedia: Köhl, v. Hünefeld and Fitzmaurice).

zeppelin, eckener

Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin (Konstanz 1838-Berlin 1917), German general and later aircraft manufacturer; founded the Zeppelin Airship company Wikipedia
Hugo Eckener (Flensburg 1868-Friedrichshafen 1954), manager of the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin during the inter-war years, and also the commander of the famous Graf Zeppelin for most of its record-setting flights (Wikipedia).

Panel with a longer inscription, ascribed to Leif Eriksson:

"Ihr kennt nur Kenntnis,
ihr kennt nicht des
willens heissen trieb,
der kenntnis erst gebiert."

(You only know knowledge, you don't know the burning desire of will which only gives birth to knowledge).


Sources & Information


  • Columbus, Christopher
  • Eckener, Hugo
  • Eriksson, Leif
  • Explorer
  • Fitzmaurice, James C.
  • Fulton, Robert
  • Hoetger, Bernhard
  • Hünefeld, Ehrenfried-Günther von
  • Karlsefni, Thorfinnur
  • Köhl, Hermann
  • König, Paul
  • Lindbergh, Charles A.
  • Pining, Didrik
  • Pothorst, Hans
  • Scott, Herbert
  • Zeppelin, Ferdinand von
  • Locatie (N 53°4'29" - E 8°48'20") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

    Item Code: dehb004; Photograph: 18 July 2013
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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