In pictures: Bryggen, the old heart of Bergen
Along the waterfront in the Norwegian city of Bergen is one of its most historic and beautiful areas – Bryggen. A row of colourfully painted shopfronts face the wharf, but down the narrow alleyways in between you’ll find a jumble of overhanging balconies and walkways. This is the oldest part of Bergen, which was first built on back in 1070. It became the base for the local Hanseatic League, a German guild of merchants, who turned the original buildings into warehouses and built a wharf – called a bryggen in Norwegian, giving the area its name. Fires razed the buildings to the ground more than once over the years but they were always rebuilt. The oldest still standing now date back t0 1702 but some are much younger – the latest fire was only in 1955. Today instead of storing fish they’re used for shops, art studios and restaurants.