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

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User Reviews

Alvin Jonathan (2 years ago)
Excellent place to visit. This place is somewhat romantic. There are a lot of restaurants and shops nearby. The fish market is also located near the houses (keep in mind that the fish market is a tourist trap). It is better to visit this place early in the morning, otherwise it is too crowded.
Ibraheem Aziz (3 years ago)
This historical wharf is the tourist epicentre of Bergen, and it is stunning to see! The houses are beautiful and the scenery along the docks is really fun to take in. There are a wide variety of gift shops and tourist attractions along the wharf, and tourists of all stripes will enjoy the many attractions and amenities Bryggen has to offer. If you're ever in Bergen or are thinking of traveling to the area, it's a must-see!
Kateřina Peřinová (3 years ago)
I read everywhere that Bergen and especially his Bryggen must visit. It's everywhere on souvenirs. I was dissapointed. It's pretty tiny and except that the houses are colorful, there really is nothing interesting. in these cottages at the moment there are regular shops for tourists.
Mikayla Hillsley (3 years ago)
If you are visiting through bergen you cant miss this amazing old preserved town. The history the flows through this town is impeccable, there are great people in the community to talk to and amazing wide range of store to visit and bring great things home. I loved my visit here!
Dhamo (3 years ago)
The Bryggen in Bergen is the hallmark of the city. You can not miss seeing this building from in any part of the Bergen. Its beautiful to look at during any time or season of the year. The project of building restoration is a great effort. Its a UNESCO world heritage site. Must see place.
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Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

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