Bergen, Norway

Bryggen (Norwegian for the Wharf), is a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the fjord coming into Bergen. Bryggen has since 1979 been on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites. The name has the same origin as the Flemish city of Brugge.

The city of Bergen was founded in 1070. The area of the present Bryggen constitutes the oldest part of the city. Around 1360 a Kontor of the Hanseatic League was established there, now documented in a museum. As the town developed into an important trading centre, the wharfs were improved. The buildings of Bryggen were gradually taken over by the Hanseatic merchants. The warehouses were filled with goods, particularly fish from northern Norway, and cereal from Europe.Throughout history, Bergen has experienced many fires, since, traditionally, most houses were made from wood. This was also the case for Bryggen, and as of today, around a quarter dates back to the time after 1702, when the older wharfside warehouses and administrative buildings burned down. The rest predominantly consists of younger structures, although there are some stone cellars that date back to the 15th century.

Parts of Bryggen were destroyed in a fire in 1955. This enabled a thirteen-year archaeological excavation to take place, revealing amongst other things the hitherto unimagined wealth of day-to-day runic inscriptions known as the Bryggen inscriptions. This area was used for the construction of Bryggen museum containing archeological remains, plus some old-style wooden houses, these being the six leftmost houses on the panoramic picture below. Controversially, a brick hotel was also raised on the premises, which is seen behind these six houses.

Today, Bryggen houses tourist, souvenir, and gift shops, in addition to restaurants, pubs and museums.



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Founded: 14th century
Category: Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Norway


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Teodor Zhelyazkov (5 months ago)
If there is no bunch of tourist, it's nice place to visit and to imagine what it was like to live in this area hunderets years ago. The place was destroyed by major fires few times , but fortunately it is fully restored and it still has the original design.
Viktorie (6 months ago)
I recommend to visit either morning around nine or in the evening, when there are no crowds. It's still sunny in the evening, so it's possible to get good photos without loads of tourists.
Anthony Gillham (9 months ago)
I really enjoyed looking around the old buildings. There are a lot of character and kind of sums up a very beautiful piece of Nordic culture. Each little building has its own name as well as build story, they all have individual stores where you can buy all manner of stuff so would recommend as a lovely couple of hours for shopping and chilling in a very small and beautiful city.
Steven Cheng (11 months ago)
It is very beautiful even when we visited in the winter time which we experienced all types of weather, we had rain, shower, snow, hail, high winds and a very brief of sunshine within 48 hours while we were here! Many bars, restaurants, coffee shops to enjoy! Those wooden houses show their charms no matter in the day time or night!
Alessandro Balocco (16 months ago)
This beautiful medieval wharf brings you back in time. Walking between the wooden building is a very nice experience. If you are visiting Bergen you will definitely need to visit it and I believe you won't regret it.
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