Bryggens Museum

The exhibition Below Ground let you come closer to the everyday lives of the medieval people of Bergen and Western Norway.

Main exhibition: Below Ground

Bryggens Museum’s main exhibit uses thousands of artifacts and modern historical and archaeological research to let you come closer to the everyday lives of the medieval people of Bergen and Western Norway. Runic inscriptions with gossip, poems and spells tells us about faith and love, while ceramics from Europe and the Middle-East shows an extensive and international trade network. The new exhibit also displays the unique Guddal-garment – a nearly thousand year old find, which is one of extremely few relatively intact pieces of Norwegian medieval clothing.

Under jorden utstilling på Bryggens Museum

The history of Bergen and Bryggen’s Museum

Bryggen in Bergen has been a busy part of the city since the Middle Ages. Both the oldest wooden buildings and the thick cultural layers located below ground appear on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 1955 parts of Bryggen burnt down, and the 13 year archaeological excavation which subsequently took place uncovered hundreds of thousands of objects which give an insight into everyday life in the city in the Middle Ages. After the fire there was a heated discussion over the future of Bryggen, and many of the city’s inhabitants wanted to demolish the remaining wooden buildings. Fortunately public opinion changed, helped by the new and till then unknown stories of the city that was being unearthed. As a result – and with chief curator Asbjørn Herteig as the driving force – Bryggens Museum was established in 1976. The Museum houses archaeological material from Bergen and Vestlandet in the Middle Ages, where the rich finds from the Bryggen excavations and later archaeological research in the city take centre stage. Bryggens Museum is built over the remains of Bergen’s oldest buildings from the first half of the 1100s. These architectural remains are still an important part of the museum’s permanent exhibition, and give visitors the experience of life in Bergen in the Middle Ages.

Read more and buy tickets: Guided tour: Below ground – medieval finds at Bryggens Museum

Bryggen Guiding i Bergen

Bryggen Guiding – on foot (only in English)

Join the Bryggen Guiding Walking Tour and learn about Bergen’s earliest history.

The walking tour start inside Bryggens Museum, in the medieval exhibition. The walking tour then goes outside where we make a quick stop next to St. Mary’s Church to look at the nearby medieval ruins, before we continue in between the old wooden houses at Bryggen. This part of Bryggen is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We continue to the ruin of the medieval Wine Cellar and Town Hall which today lays hidden below a parking house. The tour ends in Schøtstuene, the assembly rooms of the German Office, where you will hear more about the Hanseatic merchants and their way of life.

The tour goes partly outside so make sure to have suitable clothing. Due to the cobblestone at Bryggen, and the staircases at Schøtstuene, the tour is not recommended for wheelchairs and strollers. Dogs are not allowed on the tour.

Duration 90 minutes. Meeting point Bryggens Museum.

The ticket includes entry to Bryggens Museum and Schøtstuene the same day.

Read more and buy tickets: Bryggen Guiding tour

Activities for children

Activity booklet: Join in on the drawing competition, puzzle and treasure hunt in the exhibition. Feel free to bring your own pencil. During the excavation at Bryggen, thousands of objects were found. From gold rings to dosets. But how did they actually end up in the earth in their time? Based on the objects that have been found, we have toyed with the idea of ​​how it all happened when the thing ended up in the ground many hundreds of years ago.