Palaces, residences and their parks are all very well, but what about those towns and cities which were not royal seats? Bremen grew enormously in the mid-19th century, but there were few green spaces and the senate had no money. So the locals came together and created their own parks instead. Today, Bremen Bürgerpark is the largest privately financed municipal park in Germany. It remains one of the most accomplished landscaped gardens of the 19th century, and is generously supported by 2,600 association members and numerous benefactors. Wooded areas with grand old trees, spacious lawns, watercourses, fountains, bridges and lakes all combine to create a green canvas full of romantic charm. The geometric formality is broken up by an intricate network of paths offering constantly changing vistas. A series of streams and small lakes serve as havens of tranquility and add another dimension to the parkland scenery. The nature trail has 15 stopping points where people of all ages can learn more about plants, animals and their habitats. The park may be explored on foot, by bike or in a rowing boat. Its picturesque charm is enhanced by architectural features from around 1900, for instance the Meierei restaurant, a Swiss-style building. The café at Lake Emmasee has been serving coffee and refreshments since 1867. After the original building was destroyed in the Second World War, a new café was built and opened in 1960. Nearby attractions: Worpswede artists' village is situated close to Bremen in an area known as 'Devil's Moor'. Worpswede became a famous artists' community at the end of the 19th century and remains so to this day. There is also lots to see and do in Bremerhaven, including museums and exhibitions, an old and a new port, and a series of visitor attractions extending from the Zoo am Meer to the Maritime Museum. Just a short hop from Bremen's old quarter, the Kunsthalle art gallery displays an important collection of art and has acquired a fine reputation for its special exhibitions.
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