New main exhibit: Under Ground
Bryggens Museum's new 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.
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.