Experience Historical Bryggen
The characteristic wharf, Bryggen, stands in the heart of Bergen. These well-known buildings are not only the pride of the city, but also one of the most popular attractions in Norway. Whether it is summer or winter, this historical area is a lively place to visit and a must-see for anyone visiting. Along the streets and alleyways are craft shops and restaurants nestled together. With roots all the way back to the year 1000, this is a historical gem just waiting to be explored.
Historically, Bergen was one of the largest trading cities in Northern Europe and an economic hub. The majority of the buildings still standing were erected after a big fire in 1702. Today, a total of 61 protected houses remain, which is just a quarter of the original wharf. Step back in Norwegian time into a UNESCO world heritage site where a whisper of its historical past still lies in the air.
Travel back in timeBryggen used to be known as the Hansa or German Wharf, names that reflect its former purpose. Between 1360 and 1754, this was an important base for German traders, or Hanseats. These traders dominated the market in Northern Europe for centuries and established themselves in Norway after Black Death had ravaged the country.
One of the best-kept structures in the wharf area is Finnegaarden. Here you will get a unique insight into the period when the Hanseatic League dominated the city. It is said to have been the largest and grandest stows of the German Office. Today, it is as a museum that showcases how life used to be for league members. Here, you can walk the same floors as traders once did with the original interior and furnishings surrounding you. The complex called Schøtstuene is also worth visiting; a collection of reconstructed buildings that once worked as a dining and meeting place for the German traders.
Survival against all oddsThe survival of Bryggen has been threatened many times during its history. Besides large fires, it was almost destroyed during World War II after a large explosion. A large ship transporting ammunition went up in flames and caused damaged to the roof of the buildings. The blast from the explosion lifted the whole structure from its fundament, making it extremely unstable. In spite of these setbacks, Bryggen has been saved and rebuilt on each occasion and is now protected.
Along this wharf, you can relive the city’s past, whilst enjoying a nice walk or a meal at one of many eateries. The venerable buildings also house a maze of small alleyways sprinkled with some of Bergen’s unique shops and galleries. Local artists thrive and there are many unique pieces of art, which make the perfect souvenirs. The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Bergen stands next to Bryggen and is the ideal starting point for exploring this historical trading area.