The ancient city of Bergen in Norway is well known for its classic architecture of wharf commonly known as Bryggen which has been center of commercial activities for centuries. This old city was founded in 1070 and it is no doubt a marvelous emblem of a medieval district. During the later middle Ages, Bryggen remained a strong hub for lively exercise of trade and commerce. The classic structure of parallel houses in a row has remained an exceptional attraction for the viewers for the last eight centuries.
All the buildings on Bryggen were constructed in long rows having a common passageway. Actually they were warehouses and big dwelling places and they were used to store the goods especially fish from north Norway and edible grains imported from Europe. In each building there was a dock area with a storing chamber. The possession of these Bryggen properties was retained by hanseatic merchants for a long time and the traditional use of Bryggen buildings was carried on till the end of nineteenth century. But ultimately, when modern ways of communication were adopted by the traders the conventional use of Bryggen was ended.
Bryggen properties have faced many losses throughout their history, especially fire damages due to their wooden structure. In 1702 the most part of the administrative buildings were destroyed from fire and new wharf warehouses were built. However a few buildings dating back to 15th century still exist. In 1955 again Bryggen was ransacked by a huge fire and when this area was excavated, many ancient artifacts, handicrafts and precious items of medieval times were discovered.
Today, Bryggen houses comprise of hotels, restaurants, gift shops, pubs and museums. A museum is built over the remains of the first settlement of Bryggen. The items displayed in Bryggen’s Museum reflect the glorious history of Bryggen commercialism. Bryggen in Bergen was protected under the Cultural Heritage Act in 1927 and also has been designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO.