Bryggen (The Wharf), Bergen

Bryggen (The Wharf), Bergen (must see)

The Bryggen area originally covered all buildings between the sea and the Ovregaten road. The earliest pier is dated to about 1100 AD. The city of Bergen itself dates from before 1070. The existing buildings of Bryggen date no earlier than 1702. This is not surprising in a city so well acquainted with disastrous fires.

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.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Bryggen (The Wharf) on Map

Sight Name: Bryggen (The Wharf)
Sight Location: Bergen, Norway (See walking tours in Bergen)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Bergen, Norway

Create Your Own Walk in Bergen

Create Your Own Walk in Bergen

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bergen is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bergen Shopping Tour

Bergen Shopping Tour

Bergen is probably one of the oldest shopping destinations in the northern Europe. For centuries, since its formation, the city has been a very important commercial hub. Today Bergen features a variety of shops and markets scattered around the city. The fact that Norway being an expensive country should not deter you from checking out the best shopping options in the city. Follow this self-guided...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Bergen Introduction Walking Tour

Bergen Introduction Walking Tour

It is a wonder Bergen has had so many fires in its history, considering it has averaged 200 days a year of rain. So, why the fires?

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.

...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Bergen's Architectural Jewels

Bergen's Architectural Jewels

Surprising as it may appear, but the seemingly small city of Bergen for centuries had been the largest in all of the Nordic countries. It also remained so for Norway until the 1830s. Apart from being the country's former capital (back in the 13th century), Bergen is well-known primarily for its astoundingly beautiful cityscape, formed by the backdrop of mountains and serene waterfront, much...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles