Bergen’s total area 465.3 km2
Currency: Kroner (NOK)
|Distances to other cities in Norway:
Bergen is an international town with small-town charm and atmosphere. The inhabitants love to show off their beautiful and many-sided city. They are proud of Bergen’s shipping, trading and cultural traditions. The city with its 250,000 inhabitants is like a spectacular amphitheatre clambering up the mountainsides, overlooking the sea, embracing you. You can roam through living history in this modern city, the gateway to the wildest and loveliest fjords of Norway. Tradition, initiative and drive have made Bergen one of Norway’s most vigorous cultural cities. t is not merely by chance that Norway’s biggest cultural event, the Bergen International Festival, is held here each year, or that the town was chosen to be one of the European Cities of Culture in the year 2000. The old parts of town are living history, and the museums and galleries keep both art and the ancestral heritage alive. The Hanseatic wharf Bryggen, the Fish Market, the composer Edvard Grieg’s home at Troldhaugen, Rasmus Meyer’s art collection, the Aquarium and Old Bergen are just a few of the many attractions worth visiting.
Bergen was founded in 1070 by King Olav Kyrre. The town was favourably situated in relation to shipping traffic and was for a long time the country’s most important commercial, shipping and industrial town. Moreover, Bergen became a commercial and shipping town of European significance and for a while, during the Middle Ages, Bergen was also the largest of all the towns in the Nordic countries.Bergen is the only town in the whole of Scandinavia, which has followed a classical European pattern of development. In the twelfth century an economic breakthrough occurred in Lübeck, which was the first town on the Baltic to become a centre for international commerce. After a time, Lübeck also influenced circumstances in Bergen, which now became the natural geographical and economic centre for the Norwegian maritime empire. Trade with the north, importing grain and exporting fish, laid the foundation for growth during the first centuries.From the fourteenth century and for several centuries, the Hanseatic merchants dominated trade. The Hanseatic merchants established one of their four most important trading stations in Bergen, the "German Office" on the Wharf. During the period from the last half of the nineteenth century until the First World War, there was strong growth in trade and industry resulting in an increase in population, from 17,000 inhabitants in 1855 to 103,500 inhabitants in 1920 (Bergen Town). It was not until the beginning of the 1830s that the population of Oslo exceeded that of Bergen. The town has fallen prey to conflagrations throughout its entire history. Buildings of the Church and State were usually constructed in stone and could therefore be repaired after damage by fire. The homes of the citizens of the town, on the other hand, were wooden buildings and therefore had to be built up again from the foundations. The Hanseatic merchants were those most observant of tradition in relation to architecture. When the Wharf was rebuilt after the great fire of 1702 for example, only a few small changes were made.
It's harbour-front, Bryggen, was a scene of thriving activity for "the Hansas" up to the 18th century. Bergen's commerce still thrives, though nowadays much of it's economic life is centred on the North Sea Oil Industry. Today, the city has expanded to an area of 465 sq.km and a pupulation of approximately 240.000. We are a university city and have a major business and commerce college, as well as many other colleges for further education.