Finnegården in Bergen was built after the devastating fire in 1702, that left 90% of the city in ruins. This beautiful building house the Hanseatic Museum, showing the legacy of the powerful German merchants league that ruled the city from 1360 until it closed in 1754.
It is maybe the most original of all houses at the UNESCO Heritage site, but it is isolated from the row of wooden houses it once belonged to. Between the old Bryggen and Finnegården you will see a row of newer, and much larger stone buildings - called "nye Bryggen", buildings from the turn of last century. They have the same appearance, with gables facing Vågen, but Finnegården is completely dwarfed by the newcomers.
If it had been up to the city planners, there would have been a another large building as the once seen at Nye Bryggen replacing Finnegården, but this beautiful wooden merchant building was saved from demolition by Christian Koren Wiberg (1870-1945), the first director of the Hanseatic Museum. This museum is made up by furniture and artifacts collected from the different houses at Bryggen.
As the museum grew, more room was needed and an extension designed by Conrad Fredrik von der Lippe was built. He is also the creator of the neighbouring building Kjøttbasaren, or the meat hall.
Standing by Vågen in Bergen, you sense the age of this beautiful city. In my opinion, Bergen is the only truly medieval city remaining in Norway. Apart from the old churches and other remains, most of the present buildings have been built the last third centuries. The old age itself is felt through the building traditions and the ancient street pattern that criss-cross the old city centre hand has been preserved through all the fires that have ravaged the city.
More from Bergen
See map of Bergen and surroundings 2007-2009 here
More UNESCO World Heritage sites
The UNESCO World Heritage sites in Norway
Heritage Tourism on Susi's Blog
Lyon through 2000 years