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Bryggen is the historic harbour district in Bergen, one of North Europe’s oldest port cities which was established as a centre for trade by the 12th century. In 1350 the Hanseatic League established a “Hanseatic Office” in Bergen. They gradually acquired ownership of Bryggen and controlled the trade in stockfish from Northern Norway through privileges granted by the Crown. The Hanseatic League established a total of four overseas Hanseatic Offices, Bryggen being the only one preserved to this day.

Bryggen has been damaged by a number of fires through the centuries and has been rebuilt after every fire, closely following the previous property structure and plan as well as building techniques. Bryggen’s appearance today stems from the time after the catastrophic fire of 1702. The most recent fire was in 1955. The buildings are made of wood in keeping with vernacular building traditions and the original compact medieval urban structure is preserved with its long narrow rows of buildings facing the harbour, separated by narrow wooden passages.

Only around a quarter of the original buildings that existed in Bryggen remained after demolitions at the turn of the 19th century and fires of the 1950s; the property is comprised of these remaining buildings. The preservation of the buildings commenced on a larger scale in the 1960s and had made major progress by 1979, the year of inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

You can read more about Bryggen on the UNESCO website here.

ISO 400, 1/250 sec at f/9, focal length 28mm.

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1985 W: 431 N: 7647] (30475)
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