Bergen (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈbærɡən] ( listen), historically Bjørgvin, is a city and municipality in Hordaland on the west coast of Norway. At the end of the first quarter of 2016, the municipality's population was 278,121, and the urban population was 250,420 as of 1 January 2015, Approximately 420,000 people live in the Bergen area. Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway. The municipality covers an area of 465 square kilometres (180 sq mi) and is located on the peninsula of Bergenshalvøyen. The city centre and northern neighbourhoods are located on Byfjorden, "the city fjord", and the city is surrounded by mountains; Bergen is known as the city of seven mountains. Many of the extra-municipal suburbs are located on islands. Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland and consists of eight boroughs—Arna, Bergenhus, Fana, Fyllingsdalen, Laksevåg, Ytrebygda, Årstad and Åsane.
Trading in Bergen may have started as early as the 1020s. According to tradition, the city was founded in 1070 by king Olav Kyrre; its name was Bjørgvin, "the green meadow among the mountains". It served as Norway's capital in the 13th century, and from the end of the 13th century became a bureau city of the Hanseatic League. Until 1789, Bergen enjoyed exclusive rights to mediate trade between Northern Norway and abroad and it was the largest city in Norway until the 1830s when it was surpassed by the capital, Oslo. What remains of the quays, Bryggen, is a World Heritage Site. The city was hit by numerous fires over the years. The "Bergen School of Meteorology" was developed at the Geophysical Institute beginning in 1917, the Norwegian School of Economics was founded in 1936, and the University of Bergen in 1946. From 1831 to 1972, Bergen was its own county. In 1972 the municipality absorbed four surrounding municipalities, and at the same time became a part of Hordaland county.
The city is an international centre for aquaculture, shipping, offshore petroleum industry and subsea technology, and a national centre for higher education, media, tourism and finance. Bergen Port is Norway's busiest in both freight and passengers with over 300 cruise ship calls a year bringing nearly a half a million passengers to Bergen, a number that has doubled in ten years. Almost half of the passengers are German or British. The city's main football team is SK Brann and the city's unique tradition is the buekorps. Natives speak the distinct Bergensk dialect. The city features Bergen Airport, Flesland, Bergen Light Rail, and is the terminus of the Bergen Line. Four large bridges connect Bergen to its suburban municipalities.
Bergen is well known for having the mildest winter climate, though with a lot of precipitation, of all cities in the Nordic countries. In December - March, the temperature difference between Bergen and Oslo can be up to 30 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that both cities are located at approximately 60 degrees North. The Gulf Stream keeps the sea relatively warm, considering the latitude, and the mountains protect the city from cold winds from the north, north-east and east.
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