Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway in Vestland county on the west coast, with almost 300,000 inhabitants. The city occupies most of the peninsula of Bergenshalvøyen and is surrounded by mountains; its centre is on Byfjorden (the city fjord). It has Norway’s busiest port, both for trade and tourism.
It was founded, according to tradition, by king Olav Kyrre in 1070 and named Bjørgvin. In the 13th century, it was Norway’s capital and became a trading post of the Hanseatic League, dominating trade in the Baltic region and northern Europe’s coasts. It was Norway’s largest city until the 1830s and until 1789 had exclusive rights to mediate trade between Northern Norway and other countries. The quays that date from this period, Bryggen, are well preserved and the city’s main sights.