King Olaf III built the city in 1070 and it was the capital of Norway in the 12th and 13th centuries. It was a leader in trading and was part of the Hanseatic League during the 14th century. With the exception of historical landmarks scattered throughout Bergen, the city is very much a modern cosmopolitan one today.
Many of the buildings in Bergen suffered damage during the German occupation and allied bombing raids in World War II. The older, historical buildings were destroyed, but those that remain are open to the public. They include the Fantoft Stave Church, which is a replica of the 1150 original, King Haakon’s Hall from 1261, and St. Mary’s Church from the 12th century. King Haakon’s Hall has undergone two restorations to conserve the Gothic building and it is still used today for coronations, weddings, and state occasions.