Bergen (Norway)

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coat of arms map
Coat of arms of the municipality of Bergen
Bergen (Norway)
Basic data
Commune number : 4601
Province  (county) : Vestland
Administrative headquarters: Mountains
Coordinates : 60 ° 23 ′  N , 5 ° 20 ′  E Coordinates: 60 ° 23 ′  N , 5 ° 20 ′  E
Surface: 464.71 km²
Residents: 283,929  (Feb 27, 2020)
Population density : 611 inhabitants per km²
Language form : neutral
Postal code : 5003-5099
Railway connection: Bergensbanen
Mayor : Marte Mjøs Persen  ( Arbeiderpartiet ) (2015)
Location in the province of Vestland
Location of the municipality in the province of Vestland

Bergen [ ˈbærgən ] is with 283,929 inhabitants (as of February 27, 2020) the second largest city in Norway , a municipality in the province ( Fylke ) Vestland and its administrative center. The greater Bergen area has around 440,000 inhabitants.

The port of Bergen ( UN / LOCODE NO BGO) is one of the busiest seaports in Europe, from which Hurtigruten ships depart. The city is the starting point of the Bergensbane . In terms of culture, there is the well-known theater Den Nationale Scene and the Grieghalle .


Bergen is a port city and is located on the Inner Byfjord on the west coast of Norway. The city is also known as the “gateway to the fjords”. The highest point in the municipality is Gullfjellet (987 m). With around 2548 mm of precipitation on 248 rainy days a year (as of 2005), the city is the “rainiest city in Europe”.

"De Syv Fjell"

Bergen is also known as Syvfjellsbyen (City of Seven Hills) in Norway . This nickname is said to go back to the poet Ludvig Holberg , probably based on the Seven Hills of Rome . The actual number of hills surrounding the city is controversial, partly because five of them (Ulriken, Fløyfjellet, Rundemanen, Blåmanen and Sandviksfløyen) are all part of the same massif. Even the Storavarden on the neighboring island of Askøy is counted occasionally on the seven hills.

On the annual 7-fjellsturen (7-hill tour), which is organized by the local branch of the Norwegian Trekking Association , the following 7 hills have been climbed, counterclockwise, since 1981:

Lyderhorn (396 m), Damsgårdsfjellet (317 m), Løvstakken (477 m), Ulriken (643 m), Fløyfjellet (400 m), Rundemanen (568 m), Sandviksfjellet (417 m).


The city is characterized by Bryggen, which runs along the natural harbor Vågen , or formerly Tyske Bryggen (Norwegian for Landungsbrücke / Kai or German quay), which are old trading facilities of the Hanseatic League . The Marienkirche and other buildings also date from this time .

After several devastating city fires (1702, 1855, 1916), which were favored by the typical Norwegian timber construction, the city issued ordinances that no longer allowed the construction of wooden houses in the city area. The Bryggen harbor district , which was not spared several times during the city fires, was rebuilt according to original plans after each destruction. The profile is therefore still the same today as it was in the 12th century. For this reason, Bryggen was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979 as an example of Hanseatic architecture in Norway .


City structure
district Residents % Area km² %
Arna 13 210 4.9 99.71 22.4
Bergenhus 39 707 14.8 25.41 5.7
Fana 40 087 15.0 150.99 33.9
Fyllingsdalen 28 973 10.8 17.94 4.0
Laksevåg 39 362 14.7 29.96 6.7
Ytrebygda 26 722 10.0 38.45 8.6
Årstad 39 047 14.6 14.11 3.2
Åsane 39 796 14.9 68.82 15.2
not assigned 1 046 0.4
total 267 950 100 445.39 100


The building stone of Augastad to the east points to Iron Age traces .

According to information in the King's Sagas , Bergen was founded in 1070 as Björgvin ("mountain meadow") by King Olav Kyrre . From the 12th century it was the Norwegian coronation city; later it was replaced in this function by Trondheim .

In 1360 a Hansekontor ( Tyske Bryggen ) opened in Bergen . Although Bergen is often referred to as a “Hanseatic City”, it was not a member city with equal rights, as cities in which Hanseatic offices were located were forbidden to become Hanseatic cities. In 1665, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War , English warships raided a Dutch merchant fleet in the port of Bergen. The battle in the Bay of Bergen ended with the defeat of the English, also thanks to the support of the Dutch by the Danish fortress garrisons.

Up until 1880, Bergen was Norway's most important port and largest city. On January 16, 1916, a large part of the town, which still consists of many wooden houses, was destroyed by a major fire.

In the 19th century leprosy was widespread in Norway and Bergen was one of the epidemic centers. Between 1850 and 1900 there were three leprosy hospitals in the city and the highest density of infected people in all of Europe. In 1873 the Norwegian doctor Gerhard Armauer Hansen discovered the pathogen Mycobacterium leprae in Bergen . The oldest leprosy hospital, St. Jørgens Hospital, which opened in the 15th century, treated leprosy patients until the 1940s and is now home to the Bergen Leprosy Museum and the Leprosy Archive, which is part of the UNESCO Memory of the World program .

During the Second World War , Bergen was occupied by German troops on the first day of the German invasion , on April 9, 1940 . The city was later damaged by Allied bombing. The German Air Force built to defend the city and the submarine -Hafens the nearby island of Herdla and the fortress Fjell festning out. On April 20, 1944, the explosion on the German ammunition transporter "Voorbode", which was lying on the quay in front of the Bergenhus Fortress, claimed numerous lives and caused severe damage to hundreds of buildings.

The city of Bergen formed its own province ( Fylke ) until 1972 , after which it was part of the Hordaland province until 2019 . It has been part of the Vestland Province since January 1st, 2020.


The Bergen City Assembly (bystyre) consists of 67 elected city councilors. Nine of them are paid full-time politicians : the mayor (ordfører) , his deputy (varaordfører) and seven chairmen of the municipal committees (komité) . In 2000 the proportional representation system was replaced by the parliamentary majority principle: The political majority in the city assembly elects the mayor and the city government ( byråd ) , consisting of the chairman of the city government (byrådsleder) and up to six other members (byråd) .

From 1971 to 2015, the local elections always resulted in majorities for the center-right parties, with the exception of 1991. Since 2015, a center-left city council made up of the Labor Party , KrF and Venstre , which since 2019 also includes the MDG, has governed .

Bergen has two town halls. The city assembly still meets in the old town hall from the 16th century.

Local election

The last local election took place on September 9, 2019:

Political party 2011 2015 2019
Høyre 24 15th 14th
Workers' part 19th 26th 13
Folkeaksjonen nei til mer bompenger 0 0 11
Miljøpartiet De Grønne 1 4th 7th
Sosialistisk Venstreparti 3 5 6th
Senterpartiet 1 1 4th
Rødt 2 2 3
Fremskrittspartiet 7th 6th 3
Venstre 5 4th 3
Kristelig Folkeparti 4th 4th 2
Others 1 0 1
total 67 67 67


year mayor year Vice Mayor
1989-1995 Bengt Martin Olsen (A), journalist 1989-1991
Arne Mikael Landro (KrF), lecturer
Ingmar Ljones (KrF), teacher
1995-1999 Ingmar Ljones (KrF), teacher 1995-1998
Ole-Jørgen Johannessen (A), university professor
Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen (A), IT engineer
1999-2000 Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen (A), IT engineer 1999-2000 Ingmar Ljones (KrF), teacher
2000-2001 Ingmar Ljones (KrF), teacher 2000-2001 Terje Ohnstad (A), metal worker
2001-2003 Kristian Helland (KrF), editor 2001-2003 Terje Ohnstad (A)
2003-2007 Herman Friele (H), director 2003-2007 Kristian Helland (KrF), editor
2007-2011 Gunnar Bakke ( Frp ), baker 2007-2011 Trude Drevland (H), nurse
2011-2015 Trude Drevland (H), nurse 2011-2015 Tor A. Woldseth (Frp)
2015– Marte Mjøs Persen (A) 2015–2019
Marita Moltu (KrF)
Rune Bakervik (A)

coat of arms

Blazon : “In red within a circular golden border , in it the inscription“ SIGILLVM: COMMVNITATIS: DE: CIVITATE BERGENSI ”(“ Seal of the City of Bergens ”) in silver majuscules, a silver gate castle growing out of golden Siebenberg with a black-grooved battlement wall on an ungrooved base central, pointed arch portal rising up between the battlements, inside the black banded silver, closed gate, with sideways rising stepped friezes, each surrounded by a black arched window, behind the battlements a central battlement tower with two smaller tinned side towers, each with a black round arched window. "

Town twinning

Bergen maintains town twinning and urban cooperation.

City partnerships:


Vestlandske Art Industry Museum, Nordahl Bruns gate, Bergen
Bergen Art Museum on Rasmus Meyers allé

Culture and sights

Monument by Leif Larsen ("Shetlands-Larsen") in the port of Bergen
Monument to Madam Felle by Kari Rolfsen in the Sandviken district .
Fish market in the port of Bergen

Theaters and museums




In Bergen, monuments have been set up for several well-known personalities, including the Ibsen memorial and the Holberg memorial . Several sculptures such as the Reclining Poet , the Homeless and Salome are set up in Bergen's public space .

Parks and natural monuments

Regular events

  • The bue corps (literally "arch corps" or archers' brigades) are classic youth organizations in mountains and organized by district. The somewhat military-style tradition is unique in Bergen and goes back at least to the 19th century.
  • Pepperkakebyen: a regular exhibition since 1991 in December of the world's largest gingerbread city
  • fish market

Picture gallery

The port district of Bryggen with the port-side facades of the former trading offices in typical rainy weather


Strandgaten shopping street in the city center
Downtown Bergen with the former stock exchange

From an economic point of view, Bergen is strongly influenced by Norwegian oil production. Due to the favorable geographical location at the level of the Norwegian oil fields ( Troll A and others), there are several supply facilities in the city area. a. Training centers for helicopter pilots.

Another economic factor is the extensive seaport and the associated shipyard and fish industry (aquaculture). Other branches of industry are mechanical engineering, steel production, textile and electrotechnical industries.


Bergen has a number of educational institutions, the most important of which are:

In Bergen, the Christi Krybbe skoler, founded in 1737, is the oldest still existing primary school in Norway.


View from Fløyen to Bergen

Bergen is connected to the Norwegian capital Oslo by rail via the Bergensbanen , which is one of the most beautiful railway lines in Europe and ends at Bergen train station . On the road there is the E 16 , which has no ferries but some very long tunnels, and the Reichsstraße 7, which crosses the Hardangervidda . The large suspension bridges Sotra Bridge to the west and the Askøy Bridge to the north lead to larger islands in the vicinity .

Bergen is the starting point for the Hurtigruten mail ships to Kirkenes (via Ålesund , Trondheim , Tromsø , Hammerfest ). In the port of Bergen, the number of cruise ship calls increased dramatically from 1990 (100 calls with around 46,300 passengers) through 2000 (172 calls with almost 100,000 passengers) to 2017 (307 calls with 534,221 passengers). There is also the Bergen-Flesland international airport with numerous national and international connections.

Local public transport in Bergen was implemented after the tram operation was discontinued in 1965 with trolleybuses ( Trolleybus Bergen ), city buses and suburban trains from Vy . The Bergen light rail has been in operation since June 22, 2010 , initially connecting the city center with the residential areas in the south. The Bergen light rail system now runs to Bergen-Flesland International Airport. There is also a funicular to Mount Fløyen , the Fløibane , and an aerial cableway to Mount Ulriken , the Ulriksbanen .


Well-known personalities born in Bergen include the violinist and composer Ole Bull , the poet Ludvig Holberg , the landscape painter Johan Christian Clausen Dahl , the writer and women's rights activist Amalie Skram , the leprosy researchers Daniel Cornelius Danielssen and Gerhard Armauer Hansen , the aviation pioneer and polar explorer Tryggve Gran , the biathlete Liv Grete Poirée , the musicians Kurt Nilsen and Sondre Lerche , the handball goalkeeper Kari Aalvik Grimsbø , the composer Edvard Hagerup Grieg , the music producer Alan Walker , the soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø and the new acoustic movement band Kings of Convenience . Moreover originate Varg Vikernes , founder of the music project Burzum, and the band Kakkmaddafakka of mountains. Furthermore, the brothers Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker, known by the stage name Ylvis , come from Bergen.



Climate table

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for mountains
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 3.5 3.8 6.0 9.0 14.1 17.0 18.2 17.9 14.6 11.3 6.8 4.6 O 10.6
Min. Temperature (° C) −0.5 −0.4 0.4 3.0 6.6 10.1 11.5 11.4 9.0 6.5 2.7 0.8 O 5.1
Precipitation ( mm ) 190 152 170 114 106 132 148 190 283 271 259 235 Σ 2,250
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 0.6 2.0 3.0 4.9 6.0 6.3 5.4 4.6 2.9 1.9 0.9 0.4 O 3.2
Rainy days ( d ) 20th 15th 17th 13 14th 11 15th 17th 20th 22nd 17th 21st Σ 202
Humidity ( % ) 78 76 73 72 72 76 77 78 79 78 78 79 O 76.3
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

See also


  • Mike Burkhardt: The Hanseatic mountain trade in the late Middle Ages. Trade - merchants - networks . (= Sources and representations on Hanseatic history; NF, vol. 60) Böhlau, Cologne et al. 2009, ISBN 978-3-412-20352-8 .
  • Turan Gizbili: The last days of the German merchants in Bergen. Transformation processes of the bourgeoisie from 1720 to 1780 . Kovač, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-8300-6608-8 . (Dissertation, University of Essen 2012)
  • Asbjørn Herteig, Arnved Nedkvitne: Bergen . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 1, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1980, ISBN 3-7608-8901-8 , Sp. 1952–1955.
  • Paal Kvamme: Bergen . (National geographic explorer). Gruner + Jahr, Hamburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-86690-019-6 . (Travel Guide)
  • Thomas Kohlwein: Bergen . Series: Europe exquisite. Wieser Verlag, Klagenfurt / Celovec 2019, ISBN 978-3-99029-365-2 .

Web links

Commons : Bergen  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Bergen (Norway)  - Sources and full texts
Wikivoyage: Bergen (Norway)  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. Statistisk sentralbyrå - Befolkning
  2. As of March 2020, population figures for the municipalities of Bergen, Bjørnafjorden, Askøy, Øygarden, Alver, Austreim, Vaksdal and Osterøy
  3. ^ Jan I. Eliassen: Bergen havn holder koken . In: Bergens Tidende of June 24, 2006, accessed October 17, 2012 (Norwegian)
  4. Historisk styrkeprøve Bergen og Hordaland Turlag, accessed on February 16, 2020
  5. ^ Leprosy Museum in Bergen
  6. Det gamle rådhuset. In: Bergen Byarkiv. Retrieved March 18, 2020 (Norwegian).
  7. Bergen commune. In: Retrieved September 10, 2019 (Norwegian).
  8. Rostock - home page. Retrieved September 17, 2019 .
  9. ^ Museum page (Norwegian / English) , accessed on August 27, 2019
  10. Pepperkakebyen. Bergen sentrum, accessed December 3, 2014 (Norwegian).
  11. Eckhard-Herbert Arndt: The port city of Bergen caps cruise calls · Popular western Norwegian city sets daily upper limit of 9,000 passengers and four ships. In: Daily port report from November 20, 2018, pp. 1 + 4