Bryggen (The Wharf), Bergen (must see)
The Hanseatic League established itself in Bergen in 1350. They traded mostly cereal grains for stockfish. The town grew into an important center for international trade, and the buildings of Bryggen near the waterfront were, piece by piece, brought under the control of the Hanseatic merchants. The stockfish and the grains had found a home.
From 1702 until 1754 the Hanseatic league buildings were on fire, rebuilt, on fire, demolished, and on fire again. Finally the Hanseatic businesses in Bergen ended and the property at Bryggen was transferred to Norwegian citizens.
Bryggen suffered a fire again in 1955. In an archeological dig that followed, 670 ancient runic inscriptions were discovered carved mostly on pine chips or sticks. For a long time runes were thought to be used only for grave pronouncements or prayers.
These runes however, were concerned with more mundane day-to-day business. Such as: "Ast min, kyss mik." "My darling, kiss me." It is not known if the wish was granted. The inscriptions are at present held in Bryggens Museum in Bergen.
Hiding behind the classic Bryggen facades is a little world of alleyways, shops, galleries and studios. Local artists and designers have taken over the storage spaces for stockfish and grain. The rooms hold art, designs, jewelry, books and, wait for it, a cafe. Artists and designers are hiding in the narrow passeges among the houses.
The local artists want people to think of Bryggen not as some kind of museum where nothing happens, but a living thriving space for art.
Buildings at Bryggen that should be mentioned are Bellgarden (300 years old), Svensgarden, Ehnjorningsgarden, Bredsgarden, Bugarden, and Engelgarden. The tallest and oldest structure is Saint Mary's Church. Museums are Bryggen's Museum and Hanseatic Museum and Hanseatic Assembly Rooms.
Why You Should Visit
To get a feeling of the Hanseatic influence on the city.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Bergen. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Bryggen (The Wharf) on Map
Walking Tours in Bergen, Norway
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Flames leapt across the narrow streets. The compact wooden buildings were easy prey. In 1702 90% of the city was destroyed. Disasters continued through the years. Finally, in 1916, a new idea in prevention emerged. The way to stop a fire was to starve it.
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles