The Hanseatic Museum & Schøtstuene
The Hanseatic Museum celebrates the lives of German merchants who once used the building to trade stockfish and grains while a separate building just a few minutes walk away, the Schøtstuene, served as a multipurpose meeting point wherein the merchants ate, held meetings and even partied. One ticket gains you entrance to both, so there’s no point in not taking advantage.
The museum was home to the Hanseatic League, a group of merchants who created what was once essentially the center of commercial activity in Norway. The League was formed in 1350 and controlled the commercial trading market in the region through 1750. The museum still showcases the building’s interior from 1704, the only one on Bryggen to retain its aesthetics. Inside you’ll find exhibits detailing the weaponry, furnishinsg and other equipment central to the trade during this time.
While small, the museum contains a significant amount of information regarding how the merchants and their families went about their jobs on a day-to-day basis and how their efforts helped shaped the local economy for the ensuing years. It’s highly informative and the staff on hand is happy to answer questions. If you visit outside of Norway’s warmer months, be prepared to dress warmly as the temperature inside doesn’t seem to be well regulated.
Otherwise, The Hanseatic Museum and the accompanying Schøtstuene is a fantastic peek into one of the most important aspects of Norway and, specifically, Bergen’s history.