Bryggen (the dock), also known as Tyskebryggen (Norwegian: [ˈtyskəˌbryɡːn̩], the German dock), is a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the Vågen harbour in Bergen, Norway. Bryggen has since 1979 been on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites. The city of Bergen was founded around 1070 within the original boundaries of Tyskebryggen. Around 1350 a Kontor of the Hanseatic League was established there, and Tyskebryggen became the centre of the Hanseatic commercial activities in Norway. Today, Bryggen houses museums, shops, restaurants and pubs. History[edit] Bergen was established before 1070 AD.[1] [Later] "in the Middle Ages, Bryggen encompassed all buildings between the road Stretet (Øvregaten) and the ocean from Holmen in the North, to Vågsbunnen in the South".[2] Within this area, the city was founded, according to the Sagas, says encyclopedia Store Norske Leksikon.[2] One of the earliest pier constructions has been dated to around 1100, says Store Norske Leksikon.[2] The existing buildings are of a much later date. "Only Schøtstuene and the buildings towards Julehuset [part of Holmedalsgården], are originals from 1702", according to guide Thomas De Ridder.[3] Around 1350 an office of the Hanseatic League was established there.[1][4] As the town developed into an important trading centre, the wharfs were improved. The buildings of Bryggen were gradually taken over by the Hanseatic merchants. The warehouses were filled with goods, particularly stockfish from northern Norway, and cereal from Europe. In 1702, the buildings belonging to the Hanseatic League were damaged by fire.[5] They were rebuilt, and some of these were later demolished, and some were destroyed by fire.[5] In 1754, the operations of the office at Bryggen, ended "when all the properties were transferred to Norwegian citizens".[2] Throughout history, Bergen has experienced many fires, since, traditionally, most houses were made from wood. This was also the case for Bryggen, and as of today, around a quarter dates back to the time after 1702, when the older wharfside warehouses and administrative buildings burned down. The rest predominantly consists of younger structures, although there are some stone cellars that date back to the 15th century. Parts of Bryggen were destroyed in a fire in 1955. A thirteen-year archaeological excavation followed, revealing the day-to-day runic inscriptions known as the Bryggen inscriptions.[6] The Bryggen museum was built in 1976 on part of the site cleared by the fire.

Panoramic view of Bryggen

Architectural heritage[edit] Bryggen was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, by Criterion (iii): Bryggen bears the traces of social organization and illustrates the use of space in a quarter of Hanseatic merchants that dates back to the 14th century. It is a type of northern “fondaco”, unequalled in the world, where the structures have remained within the cityscape and perpetuate the memory of one of the oldest large trading ports of Northern Europe. Notable houses at Bryggen include Bellgården (a 300-year-old building),[7] Svensgården, Enhjørningsgården, Bredsgården, Bugården,[8] Engelgården. The oldest and tallest building in the area is St Mary's Church. Streets include Jacobsfjorden.[9] Museums include Bryggens Museum and Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene. References[edit]

^ a b Bergen – historie ^ a b c d Bryggen i Bergen ^ - Bryggen er mer enn bergensere flest ser [- Bryggen is more than most Bergensers can see] ^ Bryggen at Retrieved 14 June 2016. ^ a b Det tyske kontor [The German kontor] ^ Aslak Liestol, 'The Runes of Bergen: Voices from the Middle Ages', Minnesota History, 40. 2 (1966), 49-58. ^ Setter sammen 300 år gammelt puslespill ^ Bryggen skal reise tilbake i tid ^ Velkommen som kremmer - Det kommer ingen ridder i skinnende rustning for å redde Bryggen. Du må redde den selv. [Welcome as a shopkeeper - No knight in shining armour will come to save Bryggen. You must save it yourself.]


Bergen harbour panorama

Bryggen by night

Play media

Short video of a walk through Bryggen

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Members of the Hanseatic League by Quarter

Chief cities shown in smallcaps. Free Imperial Cities of the Holy Roman Empire shown in italics.



Anklam Demmin Greifswald Hamburg Kolberg (Kołobrzeg) Lüneburg Rostock Rügenwalde (Darłowo) Stettin (Szczecin) Stolp (Słupsk) Stockholm Stralsund Visby Wismar


Brunswick Magdeburg

Berlin Bremen Erfurt Frankfurt an der Oder Goslar Mühlhausen Nordhausen


Danzig (Gdańsk)

Breslau (Wrocław) Dorpat (Tartu) Elbing (Elbląg) Königsberg (Kaliningrad) Cracow (Kraków) Reval (Tallinn) Riga (Rīga) Thorn (Toruń)


Cologne 1 Dortmund 1

Deventer Groningen Kampen Münster Osnabrück Soest



Bryggen (Bergen) Hanzekantoor

Bruges Antwerp2 

Steelyard (London) Peterhof (Novgorod)


Bishop's Lynn Falsterbo Ipswich Kaunas Malmö Polotsk Pskov

Other cities

Bristol Boston Damme Leith Herford Hull Newcastle Stargard Yarmouth York Zutphen Zwolle

1 Cologne and Dortmund were both capital of the Westphalian Quarter at different times. 2 Antwerp gained importance once Bruges became inaccessible due to the silting of the Zwin channel.

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World Heritage Sites in Norway


Rock Art of Alta Struve Geodetic Arc1 Vegaøyan – The Vega Archipelago


Røros Mining Town


Bryggen Urnes Stave Church West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord


Rjukan–Notodden Industrial Heritage Site

1 Shared with nine other countries

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Neighbourhoods of Bergen, Norway


Espeland Indre Arna Ytre Arna


Gyldenpris Kronstad Landås Løvstakksiden Minde Nattland Solheim Slettebakken


Eidsvåg Flaktveit


Bryggen Eidemarken Engen Fjellet Kalfaret Ladegården Marken Møhlenpris Nordnes Nygård Nøstet Sandviken Sentrum Skansen Skuteviken Strandsiden Stølen Sydnes Verftet Vågsbunnen Ytre Sandviken


Fanahammeren Nattland Nesttun Paradis


Bønes Nedre Fyllingen Traudalen


Alvøen Bjørndal Drotningsvik Godvik Gravdal Hetlevik Håkonshella Kjøkkelvik Loddefjord Loddefjorddalen Mathopen Olsvik Vadmyra