Ever since the intrepid King Olav Kyrre sailed into the harbor and founded the city in 1070, Bergen has attracted people from all quarters of the world. Some came and went, others decided to make Bergen their home. Bergensers traveled abroad and learned and so Bergen became a melting-pot of cultures and Norway’s most international city.
A Hub of Commerce, Seafaring and Craftsmanship
Bergen grew up around its colorful harbor — it was the hub of commerce, seafaring and craftsmanship. We became the north’s largest city, Norway’s first capital city and the seat of royalty.
So important was Bergen by the 13th century that the Hansas – the German medieval guild of merchants – opened one of their four European offices on the wharf called Bryggen. Bryggen stays the same, its contour just as it was in the 11th century, untouched by shifting times. It has become a symbol of our cultural heritage and has gained a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Bergen has become a World Heritage City. Today Bergen is Norway’s second largest city with its 230 000 inhabitants.
The Door to the Fjords
The fjords are Scandinavia’s tourist attraction Number One – and Bergen opens the door to a virtual kingdom of fjords. It is one of the reasons why Bergen is one of Europe’s most visited cruise ship harbours. The sea has carved itself through and across Norway’s long coastline and has given us nature in many facets. Here waterfalls tumble down the mountainsides, eternal snows glitter on the mountain tops, bright grass softens the fjord edges. In spring, blossoming fruit trees throw a lacy carpet over the landscape.
Bergen has a lot for its visitors. Please go to visitnorway.com for more information about what Bergen has to offer.