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During the last decades, Bremerhaven's fish industry has changed radically. The once mighty trawler fleet has nearly vanished. Today fish import, processing and inland trade are the main activities. This was the background of the reshaping of Basin I, originally inaugurated in 1896. But a similar trend can be observed in many maritime cities around the world: former shipyard sites and port areas are given a new lease of life by becoming residential areas, shopping malls and cultural facilities. The main challenge for the planners and architects involved is in preserving the old architectural heritage as much as possible, and linking it with modern buildings in a suitable way. The expanding leisure-time economy has also paved the way for a new chapter in the history of Basin I. Starting in the early 1980s, many buildings were pulled down. Others were restored and found a new use. In late 1990, reshaping and rebuilding the surrounding area was commenced. The first section completed, its inauguration from July 11th to 12th 1992 was marked by special festivities.

The centrepiece is now the former shed no. IV (1906 to 1907); it now houses several firms, shops and restaurants. The former smokehouses Franke and de Haas are also preserved; the former East German museum trawler GERA (1961) reminds us of the history of the surrounding port area. The “pancake ship” HANSA is a former East German icebreaker which has been completely renovated and now serves as a floating restaurant. There are also new buildings such as the “Comfort” Hotel (114 rooms, six suites), opened in July 1995. The “Forum Fischbahnhof” followed in May 1996. This is a multi-purpose building, used for conventions, concerts and theatre. There is also a fish cooking studio, an aquarium (containing 150,000 litres of sea water), exhibition rooms, shops and a bistro. In summertime many open-air activities take place.

Link to the Shop Window Fishery Harbor:

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