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Bryggen is a must-see attraction when you visit Bergen. Bryggen is today a part of UNESCO's World Heritage List and Bergen is a UNESCO World Heritage City.

The very first buildings in Bergen were erected by the harbour, and this area has for centuries been a lively and central part of the city.

Christmas spirit at Bryggen.|© Robin Strand

How old is Bryggen in Bergen?

Bryggen has been devastated several times by fire, and in 1702 the whole city was reduced to ashes. Quickly rebuilt on the foundations that had been there since the 11th century, Bryggen has been able to remain the same, and is today one of the most well known city areas from the Middle Ages in Norway.

The wooden buildings are constructed in close proximity to each other and share joint common backyards that date from the 1400 – 1500's. Today this area is a living historical part of Bergen and Bryggen with 61 preserved, protected buildings and several museums to view. Read more about the Hanseatic League and Bryggen in Bergen.

The museums at Bryggen

The museums at Bryggen tell the story of different eras in this part of Bergen. A visit here makes you relive the history of the area.

Bryggen Museum allows you to experience life in medieval Bergen. The museum is built over the remains of the first settlement at Bryggen, and the oldest buildings are from the 12th century. Displaying various archaeological findings in the ground, the museum also hosts temporary art displays and themed exhibitions.

If you wish to attend the Bryggen Guided Tour, which is a historic walk through Bryggen’s past, the meeting for pointing is at Bryggen museum located at Dreggsalmenningen 3.

Hanseatisk (Hanseatic) Museum displays the Hansa way of living. The German merchants were conducting business from their offices in Bergen from the era between 1350 and 1750. The museum opened in 1872 and visitors can explore the building, which was built in 1704. In fact, this is the only building at Bryggen that has kept and maintained the original interior.

On the opposite side of the road from the museum, you can see the old fish exchange named Schøtstuene, adjacent to Saint Mary’s Church. This used to be the assembly hall for the Hansa in wintertime and the museum consists of three assembly halls and one cook-house. The museum is located at Finnegården 1a.

The Theta Museum allows an insight to the history of the opposition in Norway during World War II and displays an interesting side to the history of Bryggen. The Theta group was established in May 1940 and their objective was to establish radio contact between the British government and the opposition in the occupied Norway. The main office was set up in a small room in Enhjørningsgården at Bryggen in Bergen.

In 1981, the Directorate of Cultural Heritage decided that the head office of the Theta group needed to be reconstructed. Hence, the head office was returned to its original state from the time just before it was discovered and destroyed by German occupation authority in 1942. The Theta Museum is located behind Enhjørningsgården at Bryggen.

Hotels and the best restaurants at Bryggen in Bergen

For those wanting to stay and dine in the heart of this historic part of the city, there are a number of hotels and places to eat. Both the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel and the Hanseatic Hotel can be found at Bryggen. The restaurant Bryggen Tracteursted is situated at the centre of Bryggen, and there are a number of cafes and places to eat at and around Bryggen.