The Face of Bergen: Bryggen, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Wandering around Bergen, Norway you cannot help but notice the row of charming and colorful houses located on the harbor.

Not that charm or color is lacking in Bergen, it’s quite the contrary.

But this row of houses is so unusual. Distinctive, historic, enchanting.

People are congregated around the houses taking photos. There are a few restaurants out front with ample seating to sit, have food or drinks, and enjoy the vibrant space.

Bryggen is the famous pier of Bergen. It's the face of this iconic city, a major part of the cultural heritage of both Bergen and the country, and since 1979 has a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.


History of Bryggen

Bryggen, was founded in 1070 as a Viking settlement by King Olav Kyrre.

The city grew up around it’s colorful harbor.

It was a hub of commerce; bringing in people, cultures and crafts from all over this region of the world.

It soon became the North’s largest city and Norway’s first capital city.

It was so important that in the 13th century, the Hansas, the German medieval guild of merchants - opened one of their four European offices on the wharf called Bryggen to export dried cod back to Europe. 

Going for a walk in Bryggen is like taking a step back in time.

The oldest building date back from 1702, rebuilt then after one of the devastating fires reduced the city to ashes. But the building tradition probably stretches back 900+ years, past the Hanseatic League.

Today, some 62 buildings remain of this former townscape. The wooden buildings were constructed in close proximity to each other, creating a maze of alleyways to explore.

Bryggen has been a place of trade for a thousand years. Between the tall buildings merchants sold wares. Today the wares are different, but the spirit is intact.

Bergen is an international city with small town feel and charm. It offers its’ visitors a taste of living history and serves as a gateway to some of the most astonishing fjords in the world.

Contact Us to plan your trip to Bergen, Norway and beyond.

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