City of Bergen
is a city of 250,000 inhabitants, situated on the mountaineous
western coast of Norway. A striking feature to many newcomers is
the city's abundance of green parks, tree-lined streets and lakes
and its spectacular setting between the mountains and the sea.
Bergen's annual rainfall of more than 2,000 mm makes it a rather
humid place, especially in the autumn. The winter is relatively
mild for a location at 60 degrees N, with only short and rare periods
of cold spells. Skiing conditions in Bergen are therefore unreliable,
but the nearby mountains offer stable snow conditions within easy
reach. The city lies at the entrance to the fjords, one of the
major geographical tourist attractions in Norway.
The city of Bergen has a long history in shipping, fishing and trade.
German Hanseatic merchants settled here in the early Middle Ages, giving
the city a certain "continental" touch. The historical links with Europe
are clearly visible in architecture, in shop front names, and may be
heard in many words in the local dialect.
Bergen is the administrative and educational centre of Western Norway.
The city has a remarkably dynamic cultural life. The close connections
between the composer Edvard Grieg and the city have contributed to an
active involvement in music, and the city has a symphony orchestra of
high international standard. The Bergen International Music Festival,
held each year at the end of May, is of real importance. Many famous
orchestras, ballet companies and theatre ensembles have participated
over the years. The theatre where Henrik Ibsen was once director lies
in the heart of the city. The city sports a wide variety of cafes, pubs,
bars and restaurants, offering specialities from all over the world.