Founded by King Olav Kyrre in 1070. Bergen is one of the country’s oldest towns and probably its most interesting. In the 12th and 13th centuries, one of Norway’s most prosperous periods, it was the capital of the kingdom. Many Norwegian kings were crowned here and many are buried here. During the 14th and 15th centuries it was one of the cities, that controlled commerce in Northern Europe. Big passenger steamers provide exciting comings and goings. With its 208,000 inhabitants, Bergen is today Norway’s second largest dty, commerdally and characteristically a product of the sea. Complementing the various shipping lines and excellent road and rail connections is Bergen’s busy airport, which is also served by direct flights from New York, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Amsterdam.
With its fresh, green parks, its open squares, and treelined lakes, Bergen is meant to be explored by foot. A number of fine art galleries and museums await the wanderer induding the Bergen Aquarium with one of Europe’s most comprehensive collections of marine fauna. Bergen is also the educational and cultural capital of Norway’s West Coast. Today, Bergen’s historic charm is pleasantly rounded out by a cluster of excellent, cosmopolitan-style hotels and restaurants. And whether you come to absorb the historic quaintness and Hamlet-like calm and color that is so obviously a part of Bergen, or to explore its breathtaking surroundings of fjords, sea and mountains; this 900-year-old gateway to Norway and Scandinavia, will prove itself a most engaging host.