TAMH: Trading Ports

Centuries - 16 | 17

Bergen in the 17th century

(Bergen, Norway)

Tayside's import of timber from Bergen declined through the 17th and early 18th century as did Scotland's trade with Norway (the Skottahandelen) generally. Partly this was due to a shortage of oak and Scots pine and these giving way to stone in Scottish building construction. Another reason was the success of Stavanger in imposing a trade ban in 1717 on Scots and other foreign skippers sailing up the fjords to trade directly and, consequently, avoiding Stavanger's custom duties. The inner harbour in the Bryggen area of Bergen was the important area for shipping until the late middle ages when the other side of the waterm the Strandsiden, began to be developed. Much of the wooden buildings of mediaeval Bryggen was destroyed in a fire in 1702 and mst of the buildings visible today were constructed after this fire. Nevertheless, there is still mediaeval architecture to be seen as is clear from this aerial view of the harbour from ca. 1950, and many other buildings were reconstructed in the place, and on the same foundations, as those destroyed by the 1702 fire. The Leprosy Museum, for example, is in a recreated 17th century leprosy hospital and the rebuilt Hanseatic House shows the life of a Hanseatic merchant in the city.

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