Before my first trip to Bergen I knew that the wooden houses painted in bright colors along the Bryggen are part of Unesco World Heritage List. It’s easy to understand why they are among the most photographed attractions in the world.
What I didn’t know is that Bjørgvin, the ancient name of the city, means “the meadow among the mountains”, or something along those lines. According to the legend, the romantic nickname was forged in 1070 by king Olav Kyrre, who founded the city nestled between the fjord and the mountain. After 200 years, another king commissioned the building of Håkonshallen, the royal palace. At that time, Bergen was the capital of Norway and one of the most important trading centers of the Hanseatic League.
Now Bergen covers an area of about 180 square miles: too big for just one day.