The gateway to the fjords, the capital of umbrellas and rhododendrons. 260 000 people live in Bergen.
Main attractions: Bryggen Hanseatic Quarter, medieval Palace of King Haakon, Rosenkrantz Tower, Church of St. Mary, the Aquarium, the funicular Fløibanen, Troldhaugen - the museum villa of Edvard Grieg and Bergen's Fish Market.
Many trips to the fjords and glaciers begin from Bergen.
History of Bergen
Since the foundation of the city by King Olav Kyrre in 1070, Bergen has attracted people from all quarters of the world. Some came and left again, others decided to make Bergen their home. AlsoBergensers travelled abroad and so Bergen became a melting-pot of cultures and Norway’s most international city.
Bergen grew up around its colourful harbour – the center of commerce, seafaring and craftsmanship. At the end of the12th century Bergen became the north’s largest city, Norway’s first capital city and the seat of royalty. Growing importance of the city caused 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. Today Bergen is Norway’s second largest city with its approx. 260 000 inhabitants.
Culture in Bergen
In spite of its size, Bergen is an important center of Norwegian culture. The city has one of the world’s oldest symphony orchestras, the country’s first national theatre and a whole range of museums and institutions, which owe their existence to the generosity of merchants. Further, Bergen is a host of international festivals such as the annual Bergen International Festival which takes place every spring. It is therefore not surprising that Bergen became a European City of Culture in the year 2000.
Also, Bergen was the birthplace of the north’s first comic writer, Ludvig Holberg; Norway’s first major landscape painter, Johan Christian Dahl, and the hugely popular composer, though small in stature, Edvard Grieg. The dramatist Henrik Ibsen was not born in Bergen, but it was here that he entered the world of theatre. The painter, Edvard Munch, was not Bergen-born either, but it was a Bergen industrialist who ensured that the city now has a unique collection of Munch’s works.