During the construction of the church Friedrichskirche in the 18th century, the Duchy Oldenburg belonged to the Kingdom of Denmark. Accordingly, it was named after the Regent Friedrich V. (1723-1766). This very location was at the heart of the flourishing of the maritime wealth of the region. Inside the church, there is a ship´s model of the in Elsfleth based barque "Aeolus". The vessel war built in 1872 in the nearby Eylers-Werft in Hammelwarden. Additionally, the cemetery is dotted with numerous tombstones which attest to the maritime history of the region and its residents. Notable among them is the gravesite of Rear Admiral Carl-Rudolph Bromme, known as Brommy, the Commander of Germany´s first Imperial Naval Fleet. The lyricist and honorary citizen of Brake, Georg von der Vring, also has his last place of rest here.
The Tomb of the Admiral
Following his death on the 9th of January 1860, Carl Rudolph Bromme, better known as “Admiral Brommy“, was buried in the family plot of the Family Gross. Barely eight years prior to that, the rear admiral of the first Pan-German Navy had married Caroline Gross, the young daughter of a merchant family in Brake. As he was buried, Bromme was cloaked in the flag of his flagship, a flag which Brake´s maidens – among them his subsequent wife – had given to him as a present.
The memorial which decoratively encompasses the gravesite was built a few years later. On the 22nd of September 1897 – as the naval policy of the Emperor Wilhelm II. unleashed a wave of enthusiasm throughout the nation – the memorial was inaugurated. The inscription beneath the medallion, which contains Brommy´s image, consists of a text from the “Marshland” poet Herrmann Allmers:
Karl Rudolf Brommy rests in this grave,
The first German Admiral of the Fleet.
Remember the valiant and the brave,
Bright shining hopes and moments of defeat,
And then the change of course by God´s hand.
Returned at last
Georg von der Vring, a further famous son of Brake, also has his last place of rest in the Cemetery Hammelwardener Friedhof. On the east side of the church, almost directly adjacent to Admiral Brommy, the gravesite of von der Vring can be seen. Actually, the gravesite in which his son Peter von der Vring from the first marriage buried is somewhat modest and has been supplemented by a memorial plaque. This was commissioned by the Society Von-der-Vring-Gesellschaft and cites the words of the poet himself (translation: Dr. Michael Dudley):
Above all, I enjoyed living,/
In gardens, beneath the rainy veil,/
With good friends along the trail,/
Reaching up and thriving./
They fell, I remained alone/
And lived, molested by no one,/
A life which belongs to none,/
A life even I could not own.
The friends lost in the First and Second World Wars were definitely among his topics, and their deaths followed him up until his own suicide on the 1st of March 1968 in Munich. Nevertheless, his “City on the River” remained constantly in his heart, even though he had departed it at 14 years of age.
Experiences in the museum
On the second floor of the Borgstede & Becker House, the Maritime Museum of the Oldenburgian Lower Weser puts on display the reconstructed study writer Georg von der Vring used in Munich, using original furniture, books, and fixtures. On the walls hang pictures von der Vring painted alongside his literary activity.
You can find more information on Georg von der Vring at the "House Suhren" station.
Maritime Museum - "Haus Borgstede & Becker", Breite Straße 9, 26919 Brake - 2nd floor
House Suhren, Schulstraße 14, 26919 Brake
The Maritime Museum of the Oldenburgian Lower Weser is one of the leading institutions in the research of life and work of Carl Rudolph Bromme. At Borgstede & Becker House you can see several pieces of furniture and paintings from the family’s private collection. If you are curious about Brommy��s lyrical and musical work, you can read up and listen at a media station.
You can find more information on Admiral Brommy at the "Brommy-Villa" station.
Maritime Museum - "Haus Borgstede & Becker", Breite Straße 9, 26919 Brake - 1st floor
"Brommy-Villa", Mitteldeichstraße, 26919 Brake
Additional information and offers
Culture Call: For this station, there is a CultureCall available, provided by BrakeVereins. Click the logo to reach the entry, or call one of the following numbers and select Station 23.
German: +49 4401 / 102-102
Low German: +49 4401 / 102-103
Guided church tours: There are regular guided tours of the Friedrichskirche and additional churches. For more information, contact Brake Touristinformation at +49 4401 / 19433.