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City (pop., 2002 est.: city, 540,950; metro. area, 849,800), northwestern Germany. Located on the Weser River, it was established as a diocese in 787 by Charlemagne and was the seat of an archbishopric from 845. In the 10th century it became an economic centre of northern Germany, especially after entering the Hanseatic League in 1358. It joined the German Confederation in 1815 and the reconstituted German Empire in 1871. It suffered extensive damage in World War II; after the war Bremen, with nearby Bremerhaven (pop., 2002 est.: 195,863), became a state of West Germany. Today the state, covering 156 sq mi (404 sq km), forms an integral part of the German economy and serves as headquarters for many industries.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Bremen, visit Britannica.com.