10 Little Secrets You Need To Know About Bergen, Norway – North Sea 5

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Port of Bergen, Norway

Lying on Norway‘s southwestern coast in the county of Hordaland is the Port of Bergen. This is an international seaport and Norway‘s second largest port. It is also one of the most popular cruise destinations of Europe. Port of Bergen handles most types of cargo, break bulk, Ro-Ro, passenger, offshore containers and bulk liquids. There is also a military handling facility and research at the area, as well as fishing vessels. The Port of Bergen is sheltered by the islands of Askoy, Holsnoy and Sotra.

About Bergen:

It has been founded by King Olav Kyrre in 1070 A.D. with its original name, Bjoorvin. From there it has been Norway‘s first capital until the 13th century. During those times, it was the Hanseatic League‘s ( a union of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern Europe) most important trading hub. Thus, Bergen was the largest town in Scandinavia at that time. The German Hanseatic traders have gained control of Bergen‘s economy during the 14th century. Despite of being ravaged by fire two times (1702 and 1916), Bergen remained an important port on the west coast of Norway. These days, trade and seafaring still contribute a major chunk to Bergen‘s economy, aside from being a major university town.

Map showing Bergen.

We were in Bergen on a September day in 2001 with the Knock An for oil discharging, and well, it’s the home country of my employer, Mr. Olsen. When it comes to Bergen, it’s not only the city attractions but more on nature escapades. After all it’s not called the “city of seven mountains” for nothing. And of course it has the fjords, which make up the Norwegian coastline and it is one of the world’s most wonderful attractions. This city offers a perfect mix of nature, culture, history and intoxicating city life. So here are the 10 little secrets you need to know about Bergen, Norway.

The Allmenning City Squares

It has a unique type of city square called “allmenning”. In literal sense it means – commons or a space for all. A little secret you need to know about Bergen,Norway. The main allmenning is Torgalmenningen Square. It is a short walk away from the harbor and it’s right at the heart of Bergen‘s busy city center. A sailor’s monument, Sjomannsmonumentet stands at the north end of the square. This is a tribute of Norway‘s major contribution to seafaring since the Viking era. A popular meet up point, it is also surrounded by shops, restaurants and cafes.

It’s Famous Icon, Bryggen

The most instagramable sight in Bergen and it’s not just because they are fantastic. Bryggen was once the center of the Hanseatic League trading empire. A little secret you need to know about Bergen, Norway. This is the most iconic sight to greet you in Bergen. Hanseatic wharf which was carefully rebuilt following the 1702 fire is considered as a vital part of Bergen‘s cultural heritage which is also regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Take The Flooibanen To Flooyen

And because Bergen is Norway‘s city of 7 mountains, you can explore one that is close to the city center. A little secret you need to know about Bergen, Norway. Flooyen is the nearest where you can hike up for the best view of Bergen. And if walking is not your thing, take the funicular Flooibanen to the top in just 8 minutes.

Wooden sculpture at Flooyen’s summit.

Visit Fantoft Stave Church

Stave Churches, one of the little secrets you need to know about Bergen, Norway. They are unique expressions of Norwegian architecture. From a simple one to a dazzling construction, you can see examples of them all over Norway. The Fantoft Stave Church found in Bergen was built in 1150. But in 1992, a suspected arsonist and heavy metal musician gutted the heritage Church to the ground. After a careful reconstruction, Fantoft Stave Church as it exist today is still a breathtaking example of ancient Norwegian heritage.

Rainy Days And Mondays, Almost

Indeed, it is one of Europe’s rainiest cities. A little secret you need to know about Bergen, Norway. In average there is about 231 days of rainfall each year in this city, especially between September and October. Brace yourself, it’s not rain, rain, go away in Bergen.

Henrik Ibsen Has Been Here

Norway’s acclaimed author and playwright Henrik Ibsen has lived in Bergen as instructor at Det Norske Theatre (The Norwegian Theater). His earlier dramas were performed in this place. A little secret you need to know about Bergen, Norway. Ole Bull, Norway’s famous violinist discovered Ibsen‘s talent and who was also a co-founder of the Norwegian Theater.

Gamlehaugen, Renaissance Residence Of The Norwegian Royal Family In Bergen

It is the King‘s official residence in Bergen. A little secret you need to know about Bergen, Norway. Dates back to the Middle Ages, this stately Renaissance mansion has been the home of prominent people in Bergen especially Christian Michelsen, Norway‘s first Prime Minister. Following his death in 1925, it was bought by the state as the home for the Royal Family when they are in Bergen. All of the whole first floor is open to the public. You can also stroll or even have a picnic at the gardens then visit the royal stables and green house.

Tongue-Twister Dialect

A little secret you need to know about Bergen, Norway. It has the most difficult Norwegian dialect, well at least if you are a foreigner. It sounds like French.

The Red Deer Dilemna

They thrive in the city. A little secret you need to know about Bergen, Norway. Their number inside Bergen is so large which prompted the government to crack down their population through extensive hunting. They have become a pain in the neck in the residential areas where they eat roses and apples.

Walk Down Memory Lane At Gamlebergen

It’s an open air museum of old Bergen. A little secret you need to know about Bergen, Norway. Gamlebergen is a reconstructed small town which consist of 50 wooden houses that date back to the 18th-19th centuries. An old village where you can stroll around and take a peek inside the houses as they used to be in those times.

I bet these facts on Bergen will cause you to book your ticket when airline travel eases. While 2020 has grounded us to stay at home, it doesn’t mean that we should stop dreaming too. With the world slowly opening up its borders and starting to have the vaccine shot – who knows you will soon be traveling again?

Reference: Wikipedia