Visit Bergen, an adventure you can’t miss!
Bergen is the most picturesque city of Norway. From the famous Hanseatic Wharf of Bryggen on the city’s waterfront, clapboard houses painted every colour of the rainbow line the twisting cobbled streets and continue up the mountainside. Or, to be more precise, the mountainsides; for Bergen is backed by a spectacular natural amphitheatre of seven mountains. As a result, the view of the city from the sea is stunning. Just as breathtaking is the view of Bergen and the fjord-soaked west coast of Norway from the tops of the mountains.
Visit Bergen, known as ‘the gateway to the fjords’,
the city was established as a Viking harbour by King Olav Kyrre in 1070. Favourably situated, close to some major fishing grounds and in a sheltered harbour, it was Norway’s most important commercial, shipping and industrial town for a very long time. From the beginning of the thirteenth century, it was also the recognised capital of Norway.
In 1241, the Hanseatic League was established by a number of German cities, in order to promote monopolies and trade between the east and west of Northern Europe, at a time when Venice controlled the Mediterranean trade. In the fourteenth century, Bergen became one of the League’s four main bases.
While the city imported grain, it exported timber and salted fish, which was then in great demand in Europe. Today, Bryggen is the only Hanseatic Kontor (trading office), still in existence, hence its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite the gradual disintegration of the Hanseatic League in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Bergen retained its importance as a major trading centre and Nordic city; it was not until the 1830s that Oslo succeeded Bergen as the capital of Norway. Today, fishing and shipping are still important to the city’s economy, but so too are North Sea oil (discovered in the 1980s) and environmental and oceanographic research.
Bergen’s history as Norway’s main port and trading centre has left it with a colourful and cosmopolitan charm. Bergensers (as the locals are known) are very friendly and welcoming, and widely regarded as the most outgoing Norwegians. They are immensely proud of their tiny city, its history and traditions. Bergen was chosen as one of Europe’s three tidiest cities and, it was one of the nine European cities of culture in the last years.
Unfortunately, these attributes alone cannot change the city’s weather patterns. Although the peak tourist season is in summer, from May to September, it is not always sunny. Bergen endures one of the highest average annual rainfall counts in the whole of Europe. However, that should not ruin your visit Bergen, since the warmth of the Bergensers alone would ensure a good time.
Find your hotels in Bergen and enjoy that beautiful city