Tromsø, Norway

Our ship docked in the center of the central business district of Tromsø, Norway, known as the “Gateway to the Arctic” and a springboard for historic Arctic expeditions_

Our ship docked in the center of the central business district of Tromsø, Norway, known as the “Gateway to the Arctic” and a springboard for historic Arctic expeditions – after we left Tromsø, we sailed north on our ship for a 12-day expedition to Svalbard, only 600 miles south of the North Pole

 

Known as the “Gateway to the Arctic”, Tromsø, Norway, has long been a springboard for historic Arctic expeditions.  Mixing old and new, the city proudly displays its traditional Sami (Norway’s indigenous people) culture and Norwegian history alongside bold modern architecture.  Despite its location well above the Arctic Circle, the Tromsø area has been occupied for over 11,000 years.  The first church dates to about 1250, although its official city charter wasn’t granted until 1794.  Like many other explorers who used Tromsø as a springboard to head to the Arctic, after we left Tromsø, we sailed north on our ship for a 12-day expedition to Svalbard, only 600 miles south of the North Pole.

 

The fisherman statue in Stortorget Plaza in the center of Tromsø, Norway; across the water is Ishavskatedralen (Arctic Cathedral) – a city landmark to Tromsø, like the Opera House is

The fisherman statue in Stortorget Plaza in the center of Tromsø, Norway; across the water is Ishavskatedralen (Arctic Cathedral) – a city landmark to Tromsø, like the Opera House is to Sydney

 

A close-up of the central business district of Tromsø, Norway; Stortorget Plaza is the open plaza on the right side of the photograph near the water, just to the left of the purple mode

A close-up of the central business district of Tromsø, Norway; Stortorget Plaza is the open plaza on the right side of the photograph near the water, just to the left of the purple modern building, with the city hall above it, to the left

 

The central district of Tromsø, Norway, has several large parks with a nice collection of contemporary statues

The central district of Tromsø, Norway, has several large parks with a nice collection of contemporary statues

 

Wall art in the central business district of Tromsø, Norway

Wall art in the central business district of Tromsø, Norway

 

A traditional Norwegian-design home in central Tromsø, Norway

A traditional Norwegian-design home in central Tromsø, Norway

 

The Kafe (coffee house) has a nice public garden in front for patrons to enjoy, Tromsø, Norway

The Kafe (coffee house) has a nice public garden in front for patrons to enjoy, Tromsø, Norway

 

From the pier we hiked up through the city to a forested park and hillside lake that reminded us of many hikes and lakes in the state of Maine in the US; Tromsø, Norway

From the pier we hiked up through the city to a forested park and hillside lake that reminded us of many hikes and lakes in the state of Maine in the US; Tromsø, Norway

 

Radhaus (city hall) in the center of Tromsø, Norway

Radhaus (city hall) in the center of Tromsø, Norway

 

The old Catholic church in the center of Tromsø, Norway

The old Catholic church in the center of Tromsø, Norway

 

The Tromsø, Norway, Bibliotek (city library)

The Tromsø, Norway, Bibliotek (city library)

 

We walked across the Tromsøbrua (bridge) that connects the central business district with the residential district where the Ishavskatedralen (Arctic Cathedral) sits on a knoll, Tromsø

We walked across the Tromsøbrua (bridge) that connects the central business district with the residential district where the Ishavskatedralen (Arctic Cathedral) sits on a knoll, Tromsø, Norway

 

Ishavskatedralen (Arctic Cathedral) is a landmark city building that is frequently compared to the Opera House in Sydney and is characterized by its bright white and triangular architect

Ishavskatedralen (Arctic Cathedral) is a landmark city building that is frequently compared to the Opera House in Sydney and is characterized by its bright white and triangular architecture, Tromsø, Norway

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Bodø, Norway

A panorama of the city center of Bodø, Norway, located just north of the Arctic Circle; it is the second-largest in North Norway and is the gateway to Norway's true north

A panorama of the city center of Bodø, Norway, located just north of the Arctic Circle; it is the second-largest in North Norway and is the gateway to Norway’s true north

 

“Bodø, located just north of the Artic Circle, is the largest urban area and city in Nordland county, and the second-largest in North Norway.  The 1,395-square-kilometre (539 sq mi) municipality is the 62nd largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway.  Bodø is the 16th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 51,022.” — Wikipedia

 

Our ship, the one on the right, is dwarfed by the rugged peaks on the islands surrounding Bodø, Norway

Our ship, the one on the right, is dwarfed by the rugged peaks on the islands surrounding Bodø, Norway

 

We hiked up though a local forested park on the north side of Bodø, Norway, to the ridge at the 500-plus feet elevation where we could look back (south) at the city (see photograph, abo

We hiked up though a local forested park on the north side of Bodø, Norway, to the ridge at the 500-plus feet elevation where we could look back (south) at the city (see photograph, above) and north to the numerous surrounding islands and distant mountains

 

On the shore of the guest port on the south side of the central district of Bodø, Norway, is the stiking, new Stormen Bibliotek (Stormen city library)

On the shore of the guest port on the south side of the central district of Bodø, Norway, is the stiking, new Stormen Bibliotek (Stormen city library)

 

“Bodø, the northernmost point of the staggeringly beautiful Kystriksveien Coastal Route… is the gateway to Norway’s true north.  It’s also the northern terminus of Norway’s railway system and a jumping-off point for the Lofoten Islands.  The town centre, rebuilt after being almost completely levelled by WWII bombing, is unexciting architecturally.  The city’s main charm lies in its backdrop of distant rugged peaks and vast skies. Dramatic islands that support the world’s densest concentration of white-tailed sea eagles – not for nothing is Bodø known as the Sea Eagle Capital – dot the seas to the north.” — www.lonelyplanet.com

 

A close up of the new Stormen Bibliotek (Stormen city library), Bodø, Norway

A close up of the new Stormen Bibliotek (Stormen city library), Bodø, Norway

 

One of four identical old port buildings overlooking the harbor (Småbåthavna) in Bodø, Norway

One of four identical old port buildings overlooking the harbor (Småbåthavna) in Bodø, Norway

 

What appears to be an old fortification (left) on Lille Hjertøa island and two 19th century farm buildings, Bodø, Norway

What appears to be an old fortification (left) on Lille Hjertøa island and two 19th century farm buildings, Bodø, Norway

 

The striking, austere structure of Bodø Domkirke (Bodø Cathedral), completed in 1956, has a freestanding tower and spire, dedicated to those from the city who died during World War II

The striking, austere structure of Bodø Domkirke (Bodø Cathedral), completed in 1956, has a freestanding tower and spire, dedicated to those from the city who died during World War II (1940 – 1945), Bodø, Norway

 

Shaped like an inverted ship_s hull, the walls of the nave of Bodø Domkirke (Bodø Cathedral) are clad with multicolored tapestries and the large crucifix is hung in front of an elabo

Shaped like an inverted ship’s hull, the walls of the nave of Bodø Domkirke (Bodø Cathedral) are clad with multicolored tapestries and the large crucifix is hung in front of an elaborate, large stained glass window; Bodø, Norway

 

An UpNorth Festival art project by the Spanish artist David de la Mano on the end of a modern building in the central district of Bodø, Norway; since 1993 he has developed art projects

An UpNorth Festival art project by the Spanish artist David de la Mano on the end of a modern building in the central district of Bodø, Norway; since 1993 he has developed art projects in public spaces – from sculptures, to installations and land art

 

The UpNorth Festival is a traveling art festival focusing on urban art.  Each year it changes its location within Northern Norway.  In 2016 the UpNorth Festival was held in Bodo.  Six artists painted walls within the city center – to make the art easily accessible for the inhabitants and tourists in Bodø.  We picked up a brochure on the festival art projects from the Tourist Information people which included a map of Bodø’s city center with each project marked on the map and a description of each piece of art.

 

An UpNorth Festival art project by the Belgium artist Dzia on the end of a building near the harbor just south of the central district of Bodø, Norway; Dzia is well known for his very d

An UpNorth Festival art project by the Belgium artist Dzia on the end of a building near the harbor just south of the central district of Bodø, Norway; Dzia is well known for his very detailed paintings and the use of bold, geometric lines that make his murals almost three dimensional and the animals look alive

 

Dusk, overlooking the harbor in Bodø, Norway, at 11-30 p.m. (the sunset was around 10-30 p.m. in the “Land of the Midnight Sun”

Dusk, overlooking the harbor in Bodø, Norway, at 11:30 p.m. (the sunset was around 10:30 p.m. in the “Land of the Midnight Sun”

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Geiranger and Geirangerfjord, Norway

A panorama of the deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord and the surrounding majestic, snow-covered mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and lush, green vegetation, Geiranger, Norway; phot

A panorama of the deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord and the surrounding majestic, snow-covered mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and lush, green vegetation, Geiranger, Norway; photographed at 1,500 meters (nearly 4,900 feet) elevation at the Dalsnibba utsiktspunkt (Dalsnibba outlook), south-south-east of the fjord

 

From the coastal town of Ålesund, Norway [see our previous blog post, Ålesund, Norway], our ship sailed a short distance to the southeast and entered the Sunnylvsfjorden, of which the Geirangerfjord (English: Geiranger Fjord) is a 15-mile long branch.  Norway’s visitor’s website has a poetic description of this spectacular natural environment:

“The deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord is surrounded by majestic, snow-covered mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and lush, green vegetation.  You would have to be exceptionally blasé if you failed to be impressed by this astounding creation of Mother Nature, emphasized by the will of man to maintain a foothold on the steep mountainsides and glean a living here.  Impressive waterfalls cast cascades of thundering water from almost vertical mountainsides.  The famous falls De syv søstrene (“the Seven Sisters”), Friaren (“the Suitor”) and Brudesløret (“the Bridal Veil”) tease the cliffs with feather‐light sheer veils of mist whose mission is to create a never‐ending display of changing rainbows to fill you with delight and wonder.” – www.visitnorway.com

 

We took a panoramic drive along the steep, winding roadway known as Ørnesvegen (Eagle_s Road), featuring 11 hairpin turns and some of Norway_s most famous vistas and stopped at the

From our ship, anchored in Geirangerfjord (in the lower right of the photograph), we rode in tender boats to a pier in the small village of Geiranger, Norway, at the eastern end of the fjord (center of photograph), where we took a panoramic drive along the steep, winding roadway known as Ørnesvegen (Eagle’s Road), featuring 11 hairpin turns and some of Norway’s most famous vistas and stopped at the Eagle Road viewpoint where this image was made at an elevation of 515 meters (1,690 feet)

 

From the Eagle Road viewpoint overlooking Geirangerfjord, the small village of Geiranger, Norway, and the snow-covered, rugged mountains fill the vista

From the Eagle Road viewpoint overlooking Geirangerfjord, the small village of Geiranger, Norway, and the snow-covered, rugged mountains fill the vista

 

The intrepid explorer and your blogger at the Eagle Road viewpoint, Geirangerfjord, Norway

The intrepid explorer and your blogger at the Eagle Road viewpoint, Geirangerfjord, Norway

 

A road sign on the Trollstigen mountain road that leads up from sea level at Geiranger, Norway, to the 1,500 meters (nearly 4,900 foot) elevation at the Dalsnibba utsiktspunkt (Dalsnibba

A road sign on the Trollstigen mountain road – opened in 1936 and a testiment to the superb engineering and construction skills of the Norwegians, using the simplest of tools from the 1930s — that leads up from sea level at Geiranger, Norway, to the 1,500 meters (nearly 4,900 foot) elevation at the Dalsnibba utsiktspunkt (Dalsnibba outlook), south-south-east of the Geirangerfjord, where we had the opportunity to take photos and hike around

 

A small vertical slice of the rugged mountain terrain visible from the viewpoint (“Skywalk”) at the top of Dalsnibba Mountain, Geirangerfjord, Norway

A small vertical slice of the rugged mountain terrain visible from the viewpoint (“Skywalk”) at the top of Dalsnibba Mountain, Geirangerfjord, Norway

 

Geirangerfjord and the twisting, winding Trollstigen mountain road viewed from the viewpoint (“Skywalk”) at the top of Dalsnibba Mountain, Geirangerfjord, Norway [“portrait” (ver

Geirangerfjord and the twisting, winding Trollstigen mountain road viewed from the viewpoint (“Skywalk”) at the top of Dalsnibba Mountain, Geirangerfjord, Norway [“portrait” (vertical) photograph]

According to Wikipedia, Magdalene Thoresen, Henrik Ibsen’s mother-in-law, said of the area:  “This fjord is surrounded by some of the steepest mountains on the entire west coast.  It is very narrow and has no habitable shore area, for the precipitous heights rise in sheer and rugged strata almost straight out of the water.  Foaming waterfalls plunge into the fjord from jagged peaks.  There are, however, a few mountain farms here [some of which have been abandoned], and of these one or two have such hazardous access, by paths that wind around steep precipices, and by bridges that are fixed to the mountain with iron bolts and rings, that they bear witness in a most striking way to the remarkable powers of invention which the challenges of nature have developed in man.”

 

Geirangerfjord and the twisting, winding Trollstigen mountain road viewed from the viewpoint (“Skywalk”) at the top of Dalsnibba Mountain, Geirangerfjord, Norway [“landscape” (ho

Geirangerfjord and the twisting, winding Trollstigen mountain road viewed from the viewpoint (“Skywalk”) at the top of Dalsnibba Mountain, Geirangerfjord, Norway [“landscape” (horizontal) photograph]

Glaciers (yes, small ones, but the snow does not melt during the summer) on the top of Dalsnibba Mountain, Geirangerfjord, Norway

Glaciers (yes, small ones, but the snow does not melt during the summer) on the top of Dalsnibba Mountain, Geirangerfjord, Norway

 

Our ship anchored in the center of the visible section of the fjord, Geirangerfjord, Norway

Our ship anchored in the center of the visible section of the fjord, Geirangerfjord, Norway

 

A close up of Geirangerfjord and the small village of Geiranger, Norway (tucked under the mountains and only partially visible, with the Ørnesvegen (Eagle_s Road), featuring 11 hairpi

A close up of Geirangerfjord and the small village of Geiranger, Norway (tucked under the mountains and only partially visible), with the Ørnesvegen (Eagle’s Road), featuring 11 hairpin turns, visible on the right side of the fjord in the sunlit area; the Eagle’s Road viewpoint is at the upper, leftmost section of the road overlooking the fjord

 

The rugged terrain atop Dalsnibba Mountain, Geirangerfjord, Norway

The rugged terrain atop Dalsnibba Mountain, Geirangerfjord, Norway

 

On the drive back down from Dalsnibba Mountain, we stopped by the lake and Djupvasshytta (Djupvatan Lodge) at 1,030 meters (3,379 feet) elevation to enjoy the legendary landscapes before

On the drive back down from Dalsnibba Mountain, we stopped by the lake and Djupvasshytta (Djupvatan Lodge) at 1,030 meters (3,379 feet) elevation to enjoy the legendary landscapes before continuing the drive to Geiranger, Norway

 

The road passing by Djupvasshytta (Djupvatan Lodge) at 1,030 meters (3,379 feet) elevation is way above the tree line, so the scenery here was pretty stark, yet beautiful with the contra

The road passing by Djupvasshytta (Djupvatan Lodge) at 1,030 meters (3,379 feet) elevation is way above the tree line, so the scenery here was pretty stark, yet beautiful with the contrasts between the residual snow, the weathered mountainside and the low summer vegetation in the meadows, Geirangerfjord, Norway

 

Situated at the head of the stunning Geirangerfjord, the small village of Geiranger is a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site with some of the deepest, narrowest and most beautiful fjords in the world.  Geiranger is in the process of being certified as a Sustainable Destination, a seal of approval given to destinations that work systematically to reduce the negative impact of tourism.  In addition to providing visitors with enjoyable experiences, Geiranger wishes to preserve the local nature, culture and environment, strengthen social values, and be economically viable.

 

A close up of the small village of Geiranger, Norway, photographed from our last viewpoint driving back down the winding Trollstigen mountain road from Dalsnibba Mountain

A close up of the small village of Geiranger, Norway, photographed from our last viewpoint driving back down the winding Trollstigen mountain road from Dalsnibba Mountain

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Ålesund, Norway

A panorama of the new harbor side of Ålesund, Norway, with Mount Aksla on the left (the white building on the crest is a restaurant and bar with spectacular views)

A panorama of the new harbor side of Ålesund, Norway, with Mount Aksla on the left (the white building on the crest is a restaurant and bar with spectacular views)

 

Ålesund is a sea port town on the northwest coast of Norway, at the entrance to the Geirangerfjord.  The city is spread over several islands, stretching into the Atlantic Ocean with the spectacular Sunnmøre Mountains as a backdrop.  It’s known for the Art Nouveau architectural style in which most of the town was rebuilt after a fire in 1904, as documented at the Jugendstilsenteret Museum.  With a population of around 50,000, Ålesund is the 9th most populous urban area in Norway.

 

A residential neighborhood climbing from the Aspevågen (sound) up the side of Mount Aksla, Ålesund, Norway

A residential neighborhood climbing from the Aspevågen (sound) up the side of Mount Aksla, Ålesund, Norway

 

Jugendstilsenteret (The Art Nouveau Centre of Norway) -- on the left – is a national interpretation center where visitors can learn more about the town fire, the rebuilding of the tow

Jugendstilsenteret (The Art Nouveau Centre of Norway) — on the left – is a national interpretation center where visitors can learn more about the town fire, the rebuilding of the town and the Art Nouveau style, Ålesund, Norway

 

The Brosundet channel separates the two main islands of Ålesund, Norway; the white and pastel buildings are all in the Art Nouveau architectural style in which most of the town was reb

The Brosundet channel separates the two main islands of Ålesund, Norway; the white and pastel buildings are all in the Art Nouveau architectural style in which most of the town was rebuilt after a fire in 1904

 

“In the night of 23 January 1904, the town was the scene of the Ålesund Fire, one of the most terrible of the many conflagrations to which Norwegian towns, once built largely of wood, have been subjected.  Practically the entire town was destroyed during the night, a gale aiding the flames, and the population had to leave the town in the middle of the night with only a few minutes’ notice.  Only one person died in the fire, the 76-year-old Ane Heen, but more than 10,000 people were left without shelter.  Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany had often been on vacation to Sunmøre.  After the fire, he sent four warships with materials to build temporary shelters and barracks.  After a period of planning, the town was rebuilt in stone, brick, and mortar in Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), the architectural style of the time.  The structures were designed by approximately 20 master builders and 30 Norwegian architects, most of them educated in Trondheim and Charlottenburg, Berlin, drawing inspiration from all over Europe.  To honor Wilhelm, one of the most frequented streets of the town is named after him.  The town has an unusually consistent architecture, most of the buildings having been built between 1904 and 1907.” — Wikipedia

 

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 - 1907, #1

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 – 1907, #1

 

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 - 1907, #2

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 – 1907, #2

 

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 - 1907, #3

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 – 1907, #3

  

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 - 1907, #4

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 – 1907, #4

 

Fiskerimuseet (the Fisheries Museum), Ålesund, Norway, is located in this sea house at the entrance to the old harbor; through the years the sea house has been used for fish processing

Fiskerimuseet (the Fisheries Museum), Ålesund, Norway, is located in this sea house at the entrance to the old harbor; through the years the sea house has been used for fish processing and the production of medicinal oil

 

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 - 1907, #5

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 – 1907, #5

 

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 - 1907, #6

A Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building in Ålesund, Norway, circa 1904 – 1907, #6

 

A building restored in the Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) style in Ålesund, Norway 1845 - 1907, #7

A building restored in the Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) style in Ålesund, Norway 1845 – 1907, #7

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Bergen, Norway

Founded more than 900 years ago, Bergen, Norway – with roots to the Viking Age and beyond – today is Norway's second largest city and lies clambering up the mountain sides, overlooki

Founded more than 900 years ago, Bergen, Norway – with roots to the Viking Age and beyond – today is Norway’s second largest city and lies clambering up the mountain sides, overlooking the sea on the west coast of Norway

 

“Bergen is Norway’s second largest city, and lies clambering up the mountain sides, overlooking the sea [on the west coast of Norway]…  It is the gateway to the Fjords of Norway.  On a Norwegian scale, Bergen is a large city, but one with a small-town charm and atmosphere.  Its passionately patriotic inhabitants are proud of their many-sided city and its history and cultural traditions.  Many are only happy to direct visitors to their favourite local attraction, coffee-shop or restaurant.

Around 10 percent of the population [which numbers about 275,000] in Bergen are students, which adds a fresh and youthful mood to the city’s vibe.  Alongside its offerings of museums, art galleries, cultural events and dining opportunities, as well as the possibilities offered by its accessible sea and mountains, this contributes to making it a lively and vibrant city.

Founded more than 900 years ago, Bergen has roots to the Viking Age and beyond.  As one of the main offices of the Hanseatic League, Bergen was for several hundred years the centre of prosperous trade between Norway and the rest of Europe.  Bryggen (“The Hanseatic Wharf”) is the most obvious remnant from this time [a UNESCO World Heritage Site], and is today home to many of the city’s restaurants, pubs, craft shops and historical museums.

Bergen is famous for the seven mountains surrounding the city centre, the Hanseatic Wharf, the fish market, and one of Norway’s biggest cultural events, the Bergen International Festival, which is held there each year.” — www.visitnorway.com

 

The inner harbor of Bergen, Norway -- Vågen Harbor -- is where the city was founded around 1070 A.D.; the long, brown-tiled warehouses on the right center of the photograph are a serie

The inner harbor of Bergen, Norway — Vågen Harbor — is where the city was founded around 1070 A.D.; the long, brown-tiled warehouses on the right center of the photograph (the eastern side of the harbor) are a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings famously known as Bryggen and our ship is docked at the pier (right-hand side) in the upper right hand corner of the photograph

 

Små Lungeren (Lake Lungeren), also known as Lille Lungegårdsvannet, viewed from the top of Mount Fløyen (we hiked up the 320 meters-1050 feet elevation trail, although there is a ve

Små Lungeren (Lake Lungeren), also known as Lille Lungegårdsvannet, viewed from the top of Mount Fløyen (we hiked up the 320 meters/1050 feet elevation trail, although there is a very popular tram) – the large building at the back of the lake are the four KODE Museums, where we had a delicious shared plates Norwegian luncheon with friends in restaurant Lysverket (in KODE 4)

 

Bergen residences viewed across Små Lungeren (Lake Lungeren) from the outside of KODE 2 Muesuem, Norway

Bergen residences viewed across Små Lungeren (Lake Lungeren) from the outside of KODE 2 Museum, Norway

 

A panorama of of Bryggen (the dock) -- a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the Vågen Harbor in Bergen, Norway -- since 1979 on the UNESCO list for Wor

A panorama of of Bryggen (the dock) — a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the Vågen Harbor in Bergen, Norway — since 1979 on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites

 

“The very first buildings in Bergen were situated at Bryggen, which has been a vibrant and important area of the city for many centuries.  Bryggen has been ravaged by many fires, the great fire of 1702 in particular.  It reduced the whole of the city to ashes.  The area was rebuilt on the foundations that had been there since the 12th century, which means that Bryggen is basically unchanged despite the passing centuries.  Bryggen is now part of our common heritage and has a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and the city of Bergen is a designated World Heritage City.  The world heritage site consists of the old Hanseatic wharf and buildings, and one of the best known urban areas from the Middle Ages in all of Norway.  In 1360, the German Hanseatic League set up one of its import and export offices at Bryggen, dominating trade for almost 400 years.  To stroll through the narrow alleyways and overhanging galleries is to step back into the mists of time and a bygone era.” –  www.en.visitbergen.com

 

The seventeen restored, extant Bryggen gabled, wooden warehouses, Bergen, Norway

The seventeen restored, extant Bryggen gabled, wooden warehouses, Bergen, Norway

 

A close up of several of the brightly painted Bryggen gabled, wooden warehouses, Bergen, Norway

A close up of several of the brightly painted Bryggen gabled, wooden warehouses, Bergen, Norway

 

“Around 1350 an office of the Hanseatic League was established there.  As the town developed into an important trading centre, the wharfs were improved.  The buildings of Bryggen were gradually taken over by the Hanseatic merchants.  The warehouses were filled with goods, particularly stockfish from northern Norway, and cereal from Europe.  In 1702, the buildings belonging to the Hanseatic League were damaged by fire.  They were rebuilt, and some of these were later demolished, and some were destroyed by fire.  In 1754, the operations of the office at Bryggen, ended ‘when all the properties were transferred to Norwegian citizens’.  Throughout history, Bergen has experienced many fires, since, traditionally, most houses were made from wood.  This was also the case for Bryggen, and as of today, around a quarter dates back to the time after 1702, when the older wharfside warehouses and administrative buildings burned down.  The rest predominantly consists of younger structures, although there are some stone cellars that date back to the 15th century.  Parts of Bryggen were destroyed in a fire in 1955.  A thirteen-year archaeological excavation followed, revealing the day-to-day runic inscriptions known as the Bryggen inscriptions.” — Wikipedia

 

19th and early 20th century brick and stucco buildings on eastern side of the Vågen Harbor in Bergen, Norway

19th and early 20th century brick and stucco buildings on eastern side of the Vågen Harbor in Bergen, Norway

 

The reindeer sausage tasted the best at the fishmarket at the eastern end of the harbor – we bought some to take home to our apartment on the ship, Bergen, Norway

The reindeer sausage tasted the best at the fish market at the eastern end of the harbor – we bought some to take home to our apartment on the ship, Bergen, Norway

 

Fish in Norway means cod and salmon – here is just a small section of one fishmonger_s selection of salmon at the fishmarket at the eastern end of the harbor – we bought several va

Fish in Norway means cod and salmon (and, formerly, sardines) – here is just a small section of one fishmonger’s selection of salmon at the fish market at the eastern end of the harbor – we bought several vacuum packed bags of sliced smoked salmon to take home to our apartment on the ship, Bergen, Norway

 

Also synonymous with Norway are trolls – here the whole side of an apartment building in Bergen celebrates the 2017 UCI (International Cycling Union) Road World Championships with a tr

Also synonymous with Norway are trolls – here the whole side of an apartment building in Bergen celebrates the 2017 UCI (International Cycling Union) Road World Championships with a troll; the 2017 UCI Road World Championships, held in 2017 in Bergen, Norway, were the 90th UCI Road World Championships

 

Beautiful painted homes from the 19th century in the Nordnes neighborhood atop the peninsula on the west side of the inner harbor (Vågen Harbor) of Bergen, Norway

Beautiful painted homes from the 19th century in the Nordnes neighborhood atop the peninsula on the west side of the inner harbor (Vågen Harbor) of Bergen, Norway

 

The view looking toward the east from the Nordnes neighborhood atop the peninsula on the west side of the inner harbor (Vågen Harbor) of Bergen, Norway; the steeple, dated “Anno 1761

The view looking toward the east from the Nordnes neighborhood atop the peninsula on the west side of the inner harbor (Vågen Harbor) of Bergen, Norway; the steeple, dated “Anno 1761” is part of Nykirken, an 18th century church that was damaged during World War II in an explosion in 1944 and subsequently fully restored, reflecting the local architecture of the 18th century

 

A contemporary statue celebrating life on the quay on the western side of the inner harbor (Vågen Harbor) of Bergen, Norway; across the harbor are the Bryggen gabled, wooden warehouses

A contemporary statue celebrating life, on the quay on the western side of the inner harbor (Vågen Harbor) of Bergen, Norway; across the harbor are the Bryggen gabled, wooden warehouses

 

The northeastern side of the inner harbor (Vågen Harbor) of Bergen, Norway, with the tram stop and restaurant atop Mount Fløyen visible in the center top of the photograph

The northeastern side of the inner harbor (Vågen Harbor) of Bergen, Norway, with the tram stop and restaurant atop Mount Fløyen visible in the center top of the photograph

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

St. Swithun’s Cathedral (Stavanger Domkirke), Stavanger, Norway

Located in the center of the city, across from a large plaza at the end of the harbor, the Stavanger Cathedral, also known as St. Swithun_s Cathedral [Norwegian- Stavanger Domkirke], i

Located in the center of the city, across from a large plaza at the end of the harbor, the Stavanger Cathedral, also known as St. Swithun’s Cathedral [Norwegian: Stavanger Domkirke], is the oldest cathedral in Norway

Stavanger Cathedral, also known as St. Swithun’s Cathedral [Norwegian: Stavanger Domkirke], is the oldest cathedral in Norway.  The bishopric was established in Stavanger around 1125, at which time it is assumed that the City of Stavanger, Norway, was also founded.  Located in the center of the city, across from a large plaza at the end of the harbor, the Cathedral serves both the parish and the diocese of Stavanger.  Construction of the Cathedral was started around 1100 A.D. by Bishop Reinald, who may have come from Winchester, England.  The Cathedral was completed around 1150 A.D. and dedicated to St. Swithin as its patron saint.  Bishop Reinald brought to the Cathedral its most important relic, St. Swithun’s Arm.

The Cathedral was originally built as a Roman basilica in Anglo-Norman style.  After a fire damaged the Cathedral in 1272, it was rebuilt with the addition of a larger choir and vestibule in Gothic style (see photograph, below), an interesting juxtaposition of architectural styles.

The most notable feature of the interior is the Pulpit that is post Reformation and dates back to the 1650s, made by Andrew Smith.  The Pulpit spans the complete history of the Bible, starting with Adam and Eve (see photograph, below) at the foot of the stairs, finishing with the triumphant Christ crowning the top of the canopy.  Stavanger Cathedral has been in continuous use for 900 years and is well preserved. Its Middle Age ambiance is for the most part still intact.

 

The Stavanger Cathedral was originally built as a Roman basilica in Anglo-Norman style; after a fire damaged the Cathedral in 1272, it was rebuilt with the addition of a larger choir an

The Stavanger Cathedral was originally built as a Roman basilica in Anglo-Norman style; after a fire damaged the Cathedral in 1272, it was rebuilt with the addition of a larger choir and vestibule in Gothic style — an interesting juxtaposition of architectural styles, St. Swithun’s Cathedral, Stavanger, Norway

 

The most notable feature of the interior is the Pulpit that is post Reformation and dates back to the 1650s, made by Andrew Smith, Stavanger Cathedral, Stavanger, Norway

The most notable feature of the interior is the Pulpit that is post Reformation and dates back to the 1650s, made by Andrew Smith, Stavanger Cathedral, Stavanger, Norway

 

The Pulpit spans the complete history of the Bible, starting with Adam and Eve at the foot of the stairs, Stavanger Cathedral, Stavanger, Norway

The Pulpit spans the complete history of the Bible, starting with Adam and Eve at the foot of the stairs, Stavanger Cathedral, Stavanger, Norway

 

Scenes of the life of Jesus Christ carved on the Pulpit, Stavanger Cathedral, Stavanger, Norway

Scenes of the life of Jesus Christ carved on the Pulpit, Stavanger Cathedral, Stavanger, Norway

 

Angel wall lamp, Stavanger Cathedral, Stavanger, Norway

Angel wall lamp, Stavanger Cathedral, Stavanger, Norway

 

The Hiermann epitaph was carved and painted by Andrew Smith in 1664; it was made in memory of Jens Pedersøn Hiermann. The epitaph is very rich in imagery and perhaps the finest example

The Hiermann epitaph was carved and painted by Andrew Smith in 1664; it was made in memory of Jens Pedersøn Hiermann (Bishop Humble’s son-in-law), his wife Catharina Nicolaisdatter and their 5 children. The symbols are from the Old and the New Testaments. The epitaph is very rich in imagery and perhaps the finest example of such work in Norway; Stavanger Cathedral, Stavanger, Norway

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Stavanger, Norway

Situated on Norway_s southwestern coast, Stavanger_s city-center harbor is surrounded by historical buildings reflecting its past as a shipping, shipbuilding, and fish canning center

Situated on Norway’s southwestern coast, Stavanger’s city-center harbor is surrounded by historical buildings reflecting its past as a shipping, shipbuilding, and fish canning center for the country, along with the Stavanger Cathedral dating back to 1125

 

“Stavanger is a city in southwestern Norway. Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year the Stavanger Cathedral [in the center of town] was completed.  Stavanger’s core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city’s cultural heritage.  This has caused the town centre and inner city to retain a small-town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses, and has contributed significantly to spreading the city’s population growth to outlying parts of Greater Stavanger…  The city’s history is a continuous alternation between economic booms and recessions.  For long periods of time its most important industries have been shipping, shipbuilding, the fish canning industry and associated subcontractors.  In 1969, a new boom started as oil was first discovered in the North Sea.  After much discussion, Stavanger was chosen to be the on-shore center for the oil industry on the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, and a period of hectic growth followed.”– www.Wikipdeia.com

 

Restaurants and retail stores now occupy the ground floor of the older buildings along the east side of the harbor in Stavanger, Norway

Restaurants and retail stores now occupy the ground floor of the older buildings along the east side of the harbor in Stavanger, Norway

 

“There’s a reason this coastal town has been twinned with Houston and Aberdeen: it’s sometimes known as Norway’s ‘Oil City’ for its importance in oil exploration in the North Sea since the 1970s (Norway’s largest oil company, Statoil, is based here).  But while much of the outskirts are modern, you won’t find too many skyscrapers – Stavanger’s old centre has some of the most beautiful and best-preserved wooden buildings anywhere in Norway, many dating back to the 18th century.  It’s all very pretty, and in summer the waterfront comes alive in the best port-town style.” – www.lonelyplanet.com

 

Along the cobblestone streets of the Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) district are about 170 buildings (mostly private homes) from the late 18th century that are the best-preserved wooden

Along the cobblestone streets of the Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) district are about 170 buildings (mostly private homes) from the late 18th century that are the best-preserved wooden homes in Northern Europe, Stavanger, Norway

 

“The Norwegian Canning Museum [Norsk Hermetikkmuseum in Norwegian] is housed in an old cannery: it’s one of Stavanger’s most entertaining museums.  Before oil, there were sardines, and Stavanger was once home to more than half of Norway’s canning factories.  By 1922 the city’s canneries provided 50% of the town’s employment.  The exhibits take you through the whole 12-stage process from salting through to threading, smoking, decapitating and packing.” — www.lonelyplanet.com

 

This drawing for a sardine can label was on display at the Norwegian Canning Museum [Norsk Hermetikkmuseum in Norwegian], housed in an old cannery in one of the wooden buildings in the m

This drawing for a sardine can label was on display at the Norwegian Canning Museum [Norsk Hermetikkmuseum in Norwegian], housed in an old cannery in one of the wooden buildings in the middle of Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger), Stavanger, Norway

A room in the Norwegian Canning Museum [Norsk Hermetikkmuseum in Norwegian] displaying the turn-of-the-century (1900) and later equipment made for seaming sardine cans that were hand pac

A room in the Norwegian Canning Museum [Norsk Hermetikkmuseum in Norwegian] displaying the turn-of-the-century (1900) and later equipment made for seaming sardine cans that were hand packed (foreground) by numerous women on an “assembly line”, Stavanger, Norway

Two of the wooden homes in the Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) district, Stavanger, Norway

Two of the wooden homes in the Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) district, Stavanger, Norway

 

Valbergtårnet (Valberg Tower) was the watchtower for the city_s guards until the 1920s, Stavanger, Norway

Valbergtårnet (Valberg Tower) was the watchtower for the city’s guards until the 1920s, Stavanger, Norway

 

Shops in the Øvre Holmegate (Upper Holmegate) district that are painted in bright colors, Stavanger, Norway

Shops in the Øvre Holmegate (Upper Holmegate) district that are painted in bright colors, Stavanger, Norway

 

The view from our ship at dock in Stavanger, Norway, looking to the east where the islands are interconnected by numerous bridges

The view from our ship at dock in Stavanger, Norway, looking to the east where the islands are interconnected by numerous bridges

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.