Bergen Journals

Bergen's Natural, Cultural, and Historical Beauty

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A July 2004 trip to Bergen by Owen Lipsett

Torget Facing the Harbor Photo, Bergen, Norway More Photos
Quote: Nestled between seven hills and several fjords, at first glance Bergen resembles an oversized version of the beautiful fjord towns that cling to the most improbable and isolated places. This impression is only partially accurate - it also possesses an exceptional number of superb museums for a city its size.

Bergen's Natural, Cultural, and Historical Beauty

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Overview

Torget Facing the Harbor Photo, Bergen, Norway
Quote:
Founded in 1070, Bergen’s position adjacent to several of western Norway’s most important fjords made it an important port for trading Norwegian dried fish for goods from the British Isles and the European continent. Bergen served as Norway’s capital in the 12th and 13th centuries and remained Scandinavia’s most important trading port and an important member of the Hanseatic League, even after losing political primacy to Oslo. In the 19th century, Bergen became the crucible of the ideas of the Norwegian national revival, leading to the establishment of the first Norwegian national theater there. Bergen’s compact center contains an incredible number of sights bearing witness to its medieval, mari...Read More

Kunstmuseum

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Attraction | "Bergen Art Museum (Bergen Kunstmuseum)"

Kunstmuseum Photo, Bergen, Norway
Quote:
Most people, myself included, associate Bergen, the so-called "Capital of the Fjords," with natural rather than artistic beauty and think that Norwegian painting begins and ends with Edvard Munch. This superb museum, whose exhibitions are divided between three buildings, caused me to change these naive assumptions. It’s a far more interesting and extensive collection than I saw anywhere else in Scandinavia, and the very thoughtful manner in which it is curated, as well as the extensive explanatory notes provided in English, make a visit an educational as well as an enjoyable experience. Stenersen Collection, Rasmus Meyers allé 3: The collection donated by the Norwegian businessman and art...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 12, 2004

Kunstmuseum
Rasmus Meyers allé 3,7 & 9
Bergen, Norway

Bergen Fish Market

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Attraction

Bergen Fish Market Photo, Bergen, Norway
Quote:
Even if you don’t like fish, be sure to visit Bergen’s excellent fish market since the offerings are by no means limited to fish (or even to food for that matter!). If the smell seems a repellent contrast to the otherwise beautiful surroundings, it’s helpful to remember that the city owes its existence (like most towns in western Norway) to fish and its importance as a port where Norwegian dried fish were exchanged for other commodities. For all this history, however, the best reason to visit the market is to get an inexpensive lunch (or breakfast or early dinner). Take your time and compare the offerings since prices vary. In general, a salmon, shrimp, or langoustine sandwich should cost you a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 13, 2004

Bergen Fish Market
Torget
Bergen, Norway

Fjord Cruise

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Attraction | "Fjord Cruise From Flåm to Bergen"

Fjord Cruise Photo, Bergen, Norway
Quote:
I’ve often heard it said that sometimes a journey is more fascinating than its destination. While Bergen is too interesting and attractive a city to be overshadowed by anything but the seven mountains that surround it, the express ferry along the Sognefjorden is the most stunning journey I have ever taken, and so compelling that many people take the cruise for its own sake as a day trip. The approach to Flåm, a tiny village at the edge of Aurlandsfjorden, is exceptional in its own right – many people consider the rail journey from Oslo to Bergen the most beautiful in the world. The portion between Oslo and Myrdal, which passes across the tundra-like Hardangervidda plateau as well as innumerabl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 14, 2004

Fjord Cruise

Bergen, Norway

Medieval and Hanseatic Bergen

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Story/Tip

Bryggen Photo, Bergen, Norway
Quote:
Håkon's Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower Håkon's Hall was erected on the orders of King Håkon Håkonsson between 1247 and 1261. Its ceremonial "Stone Hall" was first used for the wedding and coronation of Håkon’s son, Magnus Lagabøte (the Lawmender), a powerful ruler who, as his name suggests, developed Norway’s first legal code. Unlike most medieval monarchs, whose courts consisted of groups of courtiers who moved between castles throughout their realms, Magnus largely held court at and around the Hall. Even more unusual, much of the business of the court, both written and oral, was conducted in vernacular Norwegian rather than Latin. The Hall slipped into disuse with the translation of...Read More