Pre-reading Questions:1. What country is Bergen in?
2. What sea is Bergen facing?
Inscribed :1979 Criteria: C (iii)
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. Many 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.
Stiftelsen Bryggen (Bryggen Foundation)
Reading PassageThe label of the drinking water bottle on board the SAS flight says: "NORWATER- the natural water of the farthermost end of Norway."
Like the water, Norway is farthermost, and Norwegians like to go to the farthest mountains, rivers, forests and fjords. City life is a necessary evil for Norwegians to earn a living. Their real life is their weekend life in the small huts in the remote mountains.
Bergen, though, is unique. It has been Norway's most cosmopolitan port for more than 1,000 years and the people are friendly. Surrounded by seven hills it is the northernmost ice-free port (60°N Bergen is on the coast of Norway. Although it is further north than Scotland, The weather is surprisingly mild and there is plenty of rain. It benefits from the North Atlantic Drift - an ocean current that brings warm water across the Atlantic from the Caribbean. So winds from the sea are mild and moist with 300 days of rainfall a year.
The sea is rich with food. If you're ever in the open fish market, try the famous mixed soup of fish and seashells. Also, try the very hot grilled "fiskekakes", or fishcakes,. Like Japanese fishcakes, they're made from mashed fish meat, and they taste similar as well.
Founded in 1070, it was a center of commerce from the 13th to 15th centuries as a Hanseatic city.
(2)Bryggen, the old wooden houses from that time on the coast of the Bay of Vagen are well restored and preserved in spite of several fires and are on UNESCO's World Heritage List. They are painted in orange, strawberry and melon, which are fruit colors of the area.
Bergen is also the cultural center of Western Norway. Bergen`s Philharmonic Orchestra is excellent and the International Musik and Theatre Festivals in May and June attract many tourists from around the world. Lilacs and rhododendrons are then at their colorful best in the parks, narrow streets and house windows .Even during the busiest season, the city has a melancholic air common to any remote northern land. One feels the same melancholic air in the music of Edvard Grieg and the paintings of Edvard Munch. The harsh climate has strongly influenced the Norwegian character. Edvard Grieg, who was born in Bergen and lived in the suburb of Troldhaugen, composed many of his great works in his house facing the fjord.
Boats and ferries to Fjords start from Bergen. My favorite is Hardanger fjord. If you visit there in late May, white apple blossoms springing out of the mist on both sides of the narrow fjord will be a pleasant surprise. It is as if you were in a dream world.
(3)Here, Grieg composed Peer Gynt, taken from the famous play by Henrik Ibsen. The water on the fjord is as transparent and smooth as Grieg's melody, making Bergen a trip to remember.
Edvard Grieg 1843-1907
Edvard Munch 1863-1944
Henrik Ibsen 1828-1906
Sketches of the World
Welcome to Bergen
Lonely Planet - Destination Norway: Lonely Planet Press' guide to Norway, including pictures, maps, facts, when to go, events, and costs.
by Setsuko Watanabe, Aoyama Gakuin College of Economics
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