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World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers



Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen, is a reminder of the town's importance as part of the Hanseatic League's trading empire from the 14th to the mid-16th century.

Several fires, the last in 1955, have ravaged the beautiful wooden houses of Bryggen but its main structure has been preserved. Many of the remaining 58 buildings are now used as artists' studios.

Map of Bryggen


  • Cultural

Visit July 2002

There's not much left of the special wooden houses: during the ages a large number of them burnt down, and the remaining ones are now mainly used as souvenir shops - open 7 days a week and catering to the American and Japanese visitor, selling trolls and knitted stuff.

July 2002

For an experience of what has been, there are two must-sees: the Schøtstuene and the Hanseatic Museum. The Schøtstuene is a small wooden building that served as an assembly room for the Hanseatic merchants. They came here to eat, drink, meet and teach their pupils. The dining/meeting hall with its large fireplace is especially worthwhile to take a look at.

July 2002

The Hanseatic museum, a few doors away also in a traditional building, shows how a Hanseatic merchant lived in the 18th century. His own rooms were nicely decorated, in contrast to those of the boys that were still in training. They could even be locked up in their beds at night by their supervisor!

July 2002

Community Reviews

Michael Turtle Australia - 26-Jan-16

Bryggen by Michael Turtle

Very pretty old wharf but, yes, very touristy. It's a bit better out the back. If you just pretend everyone isn't there, though, you can still get good look at the buildings and how they all fit together. It's quite interesting.

There seem to be a lot of sites related to the Hanseatic League, I have realised. Here's yet another one to add to my list! :)

Read more from Michael Turtle here.

Clyde Malta - 07-Sep-12 -

Bryggen by Clyde

I visited this WHS in May 2010. The colourful leaning wooden houses along the Bryggen harbour were the highlight of my visit. I ate a delicious whale steak with cranberry sauce in one of the very good restaurants there (registered in the whale husbandry programme). Great place to visit!

John booth New Zealand - 03-May-10

I found the tourist kitsch of the waterfront over the top, especially the Tongan bar. But I did find some less touristed sites like the King Haakon's Hall, the Maria church, Rosenkranz Tower and the fort as well as the backside of Old Bryggen along Bryggestredet.

Ingemar Eriksson Sweden - 13-Jul-08

As already written, Bryggen is very touristic. I agree that the backside is more intresting, and while in the area, do go uphill and explore the old town there. I found that part of Bergen more intresting to explore.

Stephen Brooker UK - 24-Apr-08

We visited the Bryggen, in some of the worst weather I have ever experienced on holiday. As such my abiding memories of this site are quasi-kitsch gift shops and sitting warm and cosy in a bakers drinking a cuppucino whilst watching a tallship depart the harbour.

Yet once you look beyond the current uses of the buildings, the structures themselves are a fascinating time capsule and given the fragility and suseptability to fire of such buildings a remarkable survival.

Perhaps not a site one would go to see in issolation, but when coupled with the grandeur of the West Norwegian Fijords well worth a visit.

Joyce van Soest The Netherlands - 27-Dec-05

Bryggen by Joyce

When visiting the city of Bergen it is hard not to see Bryggen: the small area of old wooden houses. I first walked by and took a quick peek, but later on I found out the backside of the houses are actually more interesting since you can see the wooden structures better that way.

Klaus Freisinger Austria - -

The area around the port of Bergen is called Bryggen and recalls the city´s glory days as part of the Hanseatic League. As stated above, a fire destroyed much of the old city, but what remains is still very interesting and a must-see sight when you´re in Norway. The walk along the very long harbor road is pleasant (at least on the hot summer day when I was there and the breeze from the sea cools you off) and there´s always a chance to go see a museum or visit the interesting aquarium.

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Site Info

Full name: Bryggen

Unesco ID: 59

Inscribed: 1979

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 3  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 1979 - Inscribed 


The site has 1 locations.

  • Bryggen


The site has 12 connections.


Human Activity


  • Built in the 14th century: 1350 Hanseatic League, bears the traces of social organization of space going back to the 14th century (AB ev)


WHS on Other Lists

World Heritage Process

  • Inscribed on a single criterion only: iii. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared


210 community members have visited Bryggen.