An ideal combination of nature and culture
Bergen has one of the world’s oldest symphony orchestras, the country’s first national theatre, a host of international festivals, and a whole range of museums and institutions. Bergen was the birthplace of the hugely popular composer Edvard Grieg. Now his home is open to the public and the Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen also hosts a number of concerts throughout the year.
Troldhaugen Home of composer Edvard Grieg. Photo: Dag Fosse
Aside from their commercial interests, Bergen merchants had a nose for culture. It was they who laid the foundations for Bergen to be the cultural city it is today. Also, Bergen was the birthplace of the north’s first comic writer, Ludvig Holberg; Norway’s first major landscape painter, Johan Christian Dahl, and the hugely popular composer, though small in stature, Edvard Grieg. The dramatist Henrik Ibsen was not born in Bergen, but it was here that he entered the world of theatre. The painter, Edvard Munch, was not Bergen-born either, but it was a Bergen industrialist who ensured that the city now has a unique collection of Munch’s works.
Bergen resounds with music and has some of the country’s best choirs, jazz musicians who improvise through the night, and operatic singers whose arias soar above the fortress walls of Bergenhus. Art can be created on pavement slabs, and even drain covers are turned into works of art – in a city which considers that culture is a part of the every day, and an important expression of Bergen’s variety of life.
It is therefore not surprising that Bergen became a European City of Culture in the year 2000.
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