Bryggen is the heart of Bergen’s history, and a World Heritage site. Although often crowded by tourists in summer season, you can still very well feel the atmosphere of the Hanseatic centuries.
The old wooden buildings are the remains of centuries hanseatic merchant activity, and the excavation site of the town’s early settlement.
The guided tours take you through the whole area, and also to Schøtstuene, the hanseatic assembly facilities and St. Mary’s Church.
Bergen town was established in the area between Stretet (today’s Øvregaten) and the sea in 1070 AD. The German Hanseatic Leage established itself in Bryggen in 1350, and controdominated the trade during four centuries until the last of their buildings was transferred to Norwegian citizens in 1754.
The Bryggen warehouses were filled primarily with stockfish from Northern Norway for export overseas, and with cereals imported to Norway.
The oldest buildings of today’s Bryggen date from 1702. Most of the buildings are from more recent times, due to the fact that these wooden buildings have been the victims of fire several times during the centuries. The last great fire was in 1955. Bryggen Museum is built in part of the area which was cleared in this fire.