Bryggen, also known as Tyskebryggen, is a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the Vagen harbour in Bergen, Norway. Bryggen has since 1979 been on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites.
The city of Bergen was founded around 1070 within the original boundaries of Tyskebryggen. Around 1350 a Kontor of the Hanseatic League was established there, and Tyskebryggen became the centre of the Hanseatic commercial activities in Norway. Today, Bryggen houses museums, shops, restaurants and pubs.
Bergen was established before 1070 AD.
One of the earliest pier constructions has been dated to around 1100.
Around 1350 an office of the Hanseatic League was established there. As the town developed into an important trading centre, the wharfs were improved. The buildings of Bryggen were gradually taken over by the Hanseatic merchants. The warehouses were filled with goods, particularly stockfish from northern Norway, and cereal from Europe.
In 1702, the buildings belonging to the Hanseatic League were damaged by fire. They were rebuilt, and some of these were later demolished, and some were destroyed by fire. In 1754, the operations of the office at Bryggen, ended "when all the properties were transferred to Norwegian citizens".
Throughout history, Bergen has experienced many fires, since, traditionally, most houses were made from wood. This was also the case for Bryggen, and as of today, around a quarter dates back to the time after 1702, when the older wharfside warehouses and administrative buildings burned down. The rest predominantly consists of younger structures, although there are some stone cellars that date back to the 15th century.
Parts of Bryggen were destroyed in a fire in 1955. A thirteen-year archaeological excavation followed, revealing the day-to-day runic inscriptions known as the Bryggen inscriptions. The Bryggen museum was built in 1976 on part of the site cleared by the fire.