Bergen (Norwegian Nynorsk and Bokmål: /ˈbærɡn̩/, /-æɾɡ-/; Norwegian Bergensk: usually /ˈbæʁɡn̩/; British English: /ˈbəːɡən/; American English: /ˈbɜɹɡn̩/, /-ɡən/) is a city and municipality in Hordaland on the west coast of Norway, on the peninsula of Bergenshalvøyen. The city was established before 1070 AD. Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland.
The area covered by the municipality is , and it consists of eight boroughs.
The city is an international centre for aquaculture, shipping, offshore petroleum industry and subsea technology, and a national centre for higher education, tourism and finance. Natives speak the distinct Bergensk dialect. The city features Bergen Airport, Flesland, the Bergen Light Rail and is the terminus of the Bergen Line; Bergen Port is Norway's busiest.
Gitte Hansen's 2004 Ph.D. dissertation proposes that "Bergen was founded as a handelsknutepunkt [a crossroads for trading] sometime during the 1020s or 1030s". Later, in a 2004 NRK article, she said that "A king decided at the start of the 11th century, that here a city ought to be." Furthermore she said that king Olav Kyrre "was not the first [king] to start building a city [in Bergen].
In 1068 the Diocese of Bergen was established.
Around 1100 the export (through Bergen) of dried cod from the northern Norwegian coast started, eventually becoming the principal export traded from Bergen.
Before the year 1110, Munkeliv Abbey was built.
In 1163 the city's cathedral, the Christ Church, was the site of the first royal coronation in Norway.
In 1181 the Birkebeiner defeated their opponents in the Battle of Bergen. "[The present-day neighbourhood] Engen was the battlefield in 1181 during the battle between king Sverre's men and bondehæren [the farmers' army]", according to the encyclopedia Bergen byleksikon.)
After the 1181 Battle of Bergen
The city was granted monopoly in regards to trade from the North of Norway, by king Haakon Haakonsson (1217-1263). Stockfish was the main reason that the city became one of North Europe's largest centres for trade at the time.
In 1281, a sixth coronation was held at Christ Church—the last one held there.
Bergen was Norway's most important city in the 13th century.
In 1343 (or in the 1350s) "the first Hanseatic commercial settlement was established in Bergen", according to Natascha Mehler. German merchants formed a colony -- protected by the Hanseatic League. Sources vary about whether it "was not an isolated German ghetto, but operated in vibrant interaction with its surroundings", or it was "separated from the Norwegian bysamfunn [city community]". This Kontor was located at Bryggen in Bergen. The Hanseatic merchants lived in their own separate quarter of town, where Middle Low German was spoken, enjoying exclusive rights to trade with the northern fishermen who each summer sailed to Bergen. During this century the Hanseatic merchants acquired monopolistic control over the trade in Bergen.
By the late 14th century, Bergen had established itself as the centre of the trade in Norway.
In 1560, the Kontor at Bryggen came under the legal jurisdiction of the authorities of Norway.
From around 1600, the Hanseatic dominance of the city's trade gradually declined in favour of Norwegian merchants (often of Hanseatic ancestry).
In 1630 the Hanseatic League was dissolved, but the Kontor continued operating.
In 1665, the city's harbour was the site of the Battle of Vågen, where an English naval flotilla attacked a Dutch merchant- and treasure fleet supported by the city's garrison.
In 1754, the operations of the Kontor at Bryggen, ended.
Until 1789, Bergen retained its monopoly to mediate trade between Northern Norway and abroad.
The website dagsdato.no has said that on 23 September 1814 the city had chosen representatives for the extraordinary [session of] Norway's parliament, but sogneprest Jonas Rein was not chosen.
In the 1830s, Oslo (the capital) surpassed Bergen as Norway's most populous city.
In 1882 the city's phone company was established.
In 1897 a trolley service started operating.
In 1900 utility services for electricity started.
In 1909 the rail line to Oslo opened—the Bergen Line.
In 1917 the pier Skoltegrunnskaien opened.
World War II
During World War II, Bergen was occupied on the first day of the German invasion on 9 April 1940, after a brief fight between German ships and the Norwegian coastal artillery. On 20 April 1944 the Dutch cargo ship Voorbode anchored off the Bergenhus Fortress, loaded with over 120 tons of explosives, blew up, killing at least 150 people and damaging historic buildings. The city was subject to some Allied bombing raids, aiming at German naval installations in the harbour. Some of these caused Norwegian civilian casualties numbering about 100.
On the morning of 8 May 1945, Wehrmacht's superior officer in Norway announced that he would follow orders to capitulate.
After World War II
9 July 1974 saw an accident on Ulriksbanen, which led to the largest rescue operation in the municipality, since World War II. Four people died.
From county to municipality
Bergen was separated from Hordaland as a county of its own in 1831. It was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The rural municipality of Bergen landdistrikt was merged with Bergen on 1 January 1877. The rural municipality of Årstad was merged with Bergen on 1 July 1915. The rural municipalities of Arna, Fana, Laksevåg, and Åsane were merged with Bergen on 1 January 1972. The city lost its status as a separate county on the same date. Bergen is now a municipality, in the county of Hordaland.
From 1831 to 1972, Bergen was its own county. In 1972 the municipality absorbed four surrounding municipalities, and at the same time became a part of Hordaland county.
In 1772 Hospitalssognet—relating to St. Jørgens Hospital—consisted of Solheim, Kronstad, Landås and all of Årstad, according to a map from that year.
In 1170 or 1171, the first great fire occurred.
In 1198, the Bagler-faction set fire to the city in connection with a battle against the Birkebeiner faction during the civil war. In 1248, Holmen and Sverresborg burned, and 11 churches were destroyed. In 1413 another fire struck the city, and 14 churches were destroyed. In 1428 the city was plundered by German pirates, and in 1455, Hanseatic merchants were responsible for burning down Munkeliv Abbey. In 1476, Bryggen burned down in a fire started by a drunk trader. In 1582, another fire hit the city centre and Strandsiden. In 1675, 105 buildings burned down in Øvregaten. In 1686 a new great fire hit Strandsiden, destroying 231 city blocks and 218 boathouses. The greatest fire to date happened in 1702 when 90 percent of the city was burned to ashes. In 1751, there was a great fire at Vågsbunnen. In 1756, a new fire at Strandsiden burned down 1,500 buildings, and further great fires hit Strandsiden in 1771 and 1901. In 1916, 300 buildings burned down in the city centre, and in 1955 parts of Bryggen burned down.
1918 campaign to revert to former name