Bergen has given a warm welcome to its visitors for more than 900 years. Bryggen has become a symbol of our cultural heritage and has gained a place on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The old Hanseatic wharf is architecturally unique and is perhaps one of the most familiar image in all of Norway. Bergen grew up around its colourful harbour - it was the hub of commerce, seafaring and crafts-manship. We became the north's largest city, Norway's first capital city and the seat of royalty. So important was Bergen by the 13th century that the Hansas - the German medieval guild of merchants - opened one of their four European offices on the wharf called Bryggen.