Bergen is a town and municipality in Western Norway and a former county (until 1972) on Norway's west coast, surrounded by "The Seven Mountains", and referred to as "Western Norway's capital". According to tradition, Bergen was founded by Olav Kyrre in 1070 with the name Bjørgvin, which means "the green meadow between the mountains".

Bergen has throughout its history been a leading international trading and shipping city, and was Norway's capital in Norway's heyday, later referred to as the Norwegian Empire. Bergen became the seat of Gulatinget from the year 1300. From approx. In 1360, the Hanseatic League had one of its head offices in Bergen, a trading business that was continued on Bryggen until 1899. Bergen was the seat of Bergenhus county and later the Bergen diocese. Bergen city became its own county (county) in 1831 and was incorporated into Hordaland county in 1972. Bergen was the largest city in the Nordic countries until the 17th century and Norway's largest city until the 1830s, and has since been Norway's second largest city.

Bergen municipality had 284,208 inhabitants per. 25 May 2020. The metropolitan region of Bergen and the surrounding area has about 420,000 inhabitants, which makes up 81 per cent of the inhabitants of Hordaland and 31 per cent of the inhabitants of Western Norway.

Bergen is a city of residence for a number of major players and institutions in culture, finance, health, research and education. The city is the seat of Vestland County Municipality, Gulating Diocese and Bjørgvin Diocese. Of the national state enterprises, the Directorate of Fisheries, the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Competition Authority, the Ship Registers and the Norwegian Navy's main base are located in Bergen.

Bergen is the center of marine, maritime and petroleum-related research environments and business clusters that are among the most complete and advanced in the world. Bergen also has a strong and versatile business community, especially in banking and insurance, construction, trade and services, high technology, mass media, the food industry, tourism and transport. Bergen has one of the Nordic region's busiest airports and one of Europe's largest and busiest ports, and is the starting point for Hurtigruten and the Bergen line.

The pier in Bergen is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and reminds of the city's historical connection to the Hanseatic League. Bergen's city coat of arms with a three - towered castle in silver standing on seven mountains in gold is based on the city's old seal, which is considered Norway's oldest. Bergen's city song is called "Views from Ulrikken".


Bergen is located on the Bergen Peninsula in Midthordland, which together with Nordhordland forms the region of Bergen and the surrounding area in Vestland county. The municipality has sea borders with Austevoll, Øygarden, Askøy, Alver and Osterøy, and land borders with Vaksdal, Samnanger and Bjørnafjorden. The municipality extends 34 km from Tellevik fort at Hordvik in the north to Korsneset fort at Krokeide in the south, and 25 km from Trengereid in the east to Drotningsvik in the west. The city center is located approximately in the middle of the municipality, by Byfjorden in the northern part of Bergensdalen.

Area and landforms
The landscape is very hilly with little cohesive lowlands, and both the city center and the districts are surrounded by mountains and sea. 50% of the area is higher than 160 meters above sea level. 40% of the area is covered by forest, 23.3% by densely populated areas, 4.4% by fresh water and 3.5% by cultivated land. The municipality's highest point is Gullfjelltoppen 987 meters above sea level on the border with Samnanger in the east. The bedrock consists mostly of Caledonian slides with Precambrian rocks and some slides with Cambro Silurian greenstones.

The municipal area can be roughly divided as follows: To the east is the Gullfjellet mountain massif. West of this is Arnadalen, and west of Arnadalen are the eastern Byfjellene, which stretches from the peninsula Åsane in the north to Fana in the south. West of these is Bergensdalen, and west of this again are the western city mountains. All these formations are oriented in a northwesterly direction. In the southern part of Bergensdalen is Nordåsvannet, which is connected to Sælenvannet and to Grimstadfjorden in the west. North of Grimstadfjorden are the areas Fyllingsdalen and Loddefjord, bounded by the western city mountains in the east, by the Raunefjord in the west, and by Byfjorden in the north. South of Grimstadfjorden is Ytrebygda, which is bounded by Fanafjorden in the south, and east of this is Kalandsvannet. Between Fanafjorden and Lysefjorden further south is Fanafjellet, all in an east-west direction. The city center is located at the northwestern end of Bergensdalen, by the Byfjord and the fjord arms Vågen and Puddefjorden, north of Store Lungegårdsvannet. The municipality has a coastline from northeast to southwest, and borders only in the southeast.

Bergen has a mild and humid coastal climate characterized by relatively small temperature changes throughout the year. The annual average temperature of 7.7 ° C is one of the highest in Norway. Due to its location between the coast and the city mountains, Bergen has an average of 213 days of registered precipitation annually, which qualifies for a 22nd place among 357 surveyed European cities. On January 21, 2007, a new rainfall record was set; by then, precipitation had been recorded for 84 consecutive days. The old record from 1975 was 59 days. The average annual rainfall is 2,250 mm. In comparison, Brekke in Gulen municipality is the wettest of the weather stations in Norway, with 3,575 mm of precipitation per. years in the normal period 1961-90.