Bergen

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, and is located on the south-western coast of Norway. Its city centre is situated among a group of mountains known as "De syv fjell" (lit. The Seven Mountains). Bergen is an important cultural center in its region and was one of nine European cities honored with the title of European Capital of Culture in 2000. The main reason for Bergen's importance was the trade with dried cod from the northern Norwegian coast, which started around 1100 CE. By the late 1300s, Bergen had established itself as the center of the trade in Norway. The Saxon Hanseatic merchants lived in their own separate quarter of town, where Middle Saxon (“Middle Low German”) was used, enjoying exclusive rights to trade with the northern fishermen that each summer sailed to Bergen. Today, Bergen's old quayside, Bryggen is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites.