In 787 Charles the Great founded the first German bishop town on the coast on the Weser estuary. Half a millennium later Bremen was in full bloom: it joined the Hanseatic League and became one of its most important trading centers. From this time stems the marketplace with Roland, a ten-meter-high statue which symbolizes the freedom of the city. Behind this statue is the Town Hall, a Renaissance building with a magnificent facade. Today the beautiful old town – the Schnoor quarter with houses from the 15th to 18th century – is a trendy bohemian district.