The Haus Seefahrt in the Bremen town part of Grohn is a foundation taking care of elderly, associated seamen, their wives and their widows. It is hosting, since 460 years, the annual "Schaffermahlzeit," which proceeds are being used to support the institution and its charitable work.
The foundation was regarded as "the oldest still-existent social funds in Europe," its establishment in the year 1545 approved and confirmed in a historical record. It is, till today, a legally responsible foundation, following non-commercial, charitable aims, which has been acknowledged again by the Senate of the Free Hanseatic town of Bremen in the year 2009.
The Schaffermahlzeit is a big, traditional banquet of merchants, shipowners and captains, associated in in the Haus Seefahrt. It is, however, not hosted in the foundation buildings anymore, but takes place each February in the upper chambers of the Bremen town hall.
An admission as a merchant member of the foundation is seen as one of the greatest honours a Bremen businessman can achieve.