Harbor Area, Bergen
At the southeast end of Bergen's main harbor, Vågen, is the Market Square (Torget), with the quays where the fishermen land their catches in the early morning. The picturesque fish market is a fascinating spectacle (weekdays 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.). On the southeast side of the square is a statue (by John Børjeson) of the writer Ludvig Holberg, creator of the Danish-Norwegian comedy (b. Bergen 1684, d. Copenhagen 1754). Behind it is the Exchange. At the upper end of the Vetrlidsalmenning, which runs northeast from the square, is the lower station of the funicular (Fløybanen) up the Fløyfjell.
Along the east side of the harbor runs Bryggen (formerly Tyskebryggen, the "German Bridge"). Here once stood the houses of the German merchants, later increasingly replaced by stone-built warehouses in a style modeled on that of the Hanseatic period.
Of the old merchants' houses only the one at the south end of Bryggen, the early 18th century Finnegård, has been preserved in its original condition. Since 1872 it has housed the Hanseatic Museum, which gives an excellent impression of the interior of a Hanseatic merchant's establishment, with displays of weapons, domestic furnishings and equipment, mostly dating from the last days of the counting-house. The ground floor was used for the storage of goods; on the first floor were the merchant's office, dining room and bedroom, and on the second the sleeping quarters of the apprentices and clerks.
St Mary's Church
Northwest of the Bryggen Museum stands the twin-towered Romanesque and Gothic St Mary's Church (Maria Kirke; 12th and 13th C. pupit and altar 17th C). This was the church of the Hanseatic merchants from 1408 to 1766, and services were still held in German until 1868. In the churchyard are a number of German graves.
Opposite St Mary's church, at Øvregate 50 in Bergeb, are the Schøtstuene, the assembly rooms of the Hanseatic merchants, which were heated in winter.
Walk along Bryggen in Bergen's harbor district to the northwest, then by the Festningskai, on the north side of which is the old fortress of Bergenhus, formerly commanding the entrance to the harbor. At the south end of the fortress, on the quay, is the Rosenkrantz Tower, built by Erik Rosenkrantz in 1562-67 around an earlier 13th century structure; it was severely damaged by the explosion of a German munitions ship in 1944 but later rebuilt. Behind it is the Håkonshalle, begun in English Gothic style by King Håkon Håkonsson in 1247; thereafter it fell into disrepair and was restored in 1880-95 and again in 1957-61. Above the Bergenhus fortress are the walls of the Sverresborg, built about 1660 on the remains of a castle of King Sverre.
Old Bergen Open-Air Museum
To the north of Bergenhus fortress are the old districts of Skuteviken and Sandviken. In Sandviken is the Open-Air Museum of Old Bergen (Gamle Bergen), with old Bergen houses.The museum depicts Bergen's architecture and life in the 18th and 19th centuries with 35 wooden buildings.
On the Bontelabo, near the quay used by the ferries from Bergen to Iceland and the Faroes, can be found the interesting Fishery Museum (Fiskerimuseet), which tells the story of the Norwegian fishing industry.
In the northwest of Bergen, at the tip of the peninsula between Vågen and the Puddefjord, is Nordnespark (view), with the fine Bergen Aquarium, one of the largest in northern Europe.
Map of Bergen Attractions