Bergen has given a warm welcome to its visitors for more than 900 years. Bryggen has become a symbol of our cultural heritage and has gained a place on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The old Hanseatic wharf is architecturally unique and is perhaps one of the most familiar image in all of Norway.
Photo: Bergen Reiselivslag / Robin Strand - visitBergen.com
Ever since the intrepid King Olav Kyrre sailed into the harbour 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 travelled abroad and learned and so Bergen became a melting-pot of cultures and Norway's most international city.
Bergen grew up around its colourful harbour - it was the hub of commerce, seafaring and crafts-manship. 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.
Some of the Hansas chose to become Bergensers. And so have many others throughout the centuries. But 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.
Bergensers are proud of their city and of their city's traditions. They look after their past because it is a part of their living present. A city with its feet in the sea, its head in the skies and its heart in the right place - full of infectious enthusiasm, and happy to share it with visitors.
Welcome to Bergen, the old city with a young outlook!