Mountains, UNESCO & Germans – Bergen, Norway

Come meet Bergen – the second largest town in Norway with a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a surprising German history.

Bergen, norway

Quick. I’m going to name a European city and you tell me the first image that you associate with the city.

Denmark? The colourful row of buildings in Nyhavn.
Amsterdam? The narrow, crooked houses that overlook one of the many canals.
Hallsatt? The iconic shot with the Evangelical church overlooking the lake.

My point is, so much of European beauty and culture are linked to its buildings. Extra points if the buildings are colourful, overlook a body of water and make for an amazing postcard.

Bryggen Bergen Norway_2

Bergen is no different. It is second largest city in Norway after Oslo. Known as the Gateway to the Fjords, Bergen is surrounded by Norway’s insanely beautiful fjords and the dock is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. Want more proof? It’s also known as the city of 7 Mountains since (shockingly), the city is surrounded by seven mountains. You can actually hike up, take a cable car up to Mount Ulriksen (the highest one at 643m), or there’s a seasonal bus service. To get down, you can do the same, OR if you want to amp up your travel game, you can zipline down the mountain.

Bergen Norway_4

Look at me. I sound so wise (I mean generally I am – and humble, now that I think of it), but we spent most of our day at Bryggen, the wharf with the iconic row of wooden buildings, painted in varying shades of red, brown, white and green. Bryggen literally translates to mean “old dock”, and was also known as “Tyskebryggen” (German dock), as it was a main trading point of the German League of merchants (also known as Hanseatic League) from the 14th to the mid 16th centuries, making it one of the oldest port cities in Northern Europe. Stock fish was a major commodity as well as cereal.

Bergen Norway Bryggen

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, Bryggen has survived a number of fires over the centuries, most notable in 1702, each time being rebuilt in the same style and using the same materials as they once were. Some of the stone cellars dating back to the 15th century exist as well, and there is a Hanseatic Museum that you can visit to learn more about German operations in the city, which ended in 1754.

Bryggen Bergen Norway_3

Today, the buildings house various gift shops, bars and restaurants. It’s definitely worth spending a leisurely day strolling through this very walkable city. Stop at the popular Fish Market (near to Bryggen), and when you’re done, sit at one of the outdoor cafes and enjoy your seafood as the sun sets, the rays reflecting off the water, bringing to life the beauty of this Historical city.

Bergen Norway

Coordinates: 60.3975698, 5.3223606

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