Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway, a municipality, and a former county, in the county of Hordaland.
The Norwegian city of Bergen was separated from Hordaland as a county of its own in 1831. It was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The rural municipality of Bergen landdistrikt was merged with Bergen January 1, 1877. The rural municipality of Årstad was merged with Bergen July 1, 1915. The rural municipalities of Arna, Fana, Laksevåg and Åsane were merged with Bergen January 1, 1972. The city lost its status as a separate county the same date. Bergen was Norway's biggest city until the 1830s, when it was passed by Oslo.
The city is located on the south-western coast of Norway, in the county of Hordaland, with its centre situated between a group of mountains known collectively as de syv fjell ("the seven mountains"), although the number of mountains is a matter of definition. Bergen is host to part of the country's large oil industry, as well as deep sea operations. Its harbours is used by everything from small pleasure vessels to cruise ships and cargo vessels, and is the base of many of the country's fishing vessels.
Bergen is an important cultural centre in its region and was one of nine European cities honoured with the title European City of Culture in 2000.
Bergen has one university, the University of Bergen, and one university college, Bergen University College, with a total of 22,000 students and 3,600 staff.
Transport: Bergen has an international airport, Bergen Airport, Flesland, with direct flights to several European cities. The Bergensbanen railway line runs east to Voss, Geilo, Hønefoss and Oslo. The E16 road to Oslo passes through the Lærdalstunnelen, the longest road tunnel in the world. Public transportation is provided by the transportation company Tide, the result of a merger between Gaia and HSD. Among the fleet of buses are 8 trolleybuses (two of which are dual-mode buses). Local train transport to Arna is provided by Norges Statsbaner. There is a funicular (Fløibanen) and an aerial tramway (Ulriksbanen). The city's tram system was closed in 1965, although a museum line still operates on Møhlenpris. The construction of a modern light rail line connecting the city centre with Nesttun and Bergen Airport has been approved by Stortinget and is underway. Express buses go to all larger destinations in Norway.
The Norwegian coastal steamer service Hurtigruten originates in Bergen, running north to Trondheim, Bodø, Tromsø and Kirkenes. Passenger catamarans run from Bergen south to Haugesund and Stavanger, and north to Sognefjorden and Nordfjord. Car ferries connect to Hanstholm, and Hirtshals in Denmark, Lerwick, Scrabster, and Newcastle in the United Kingdom, Tórshavn on the Farœ Islands, and Seyðisfjörður on Iceland.
Bergen is home to Buekorps, a prominent feature in the Constitution Day celebrations in the city. Buekorps consists of a parade in the streets with wooden sticks shaped as guns or crossbows, sabres and even halberds, to a military snare sounded by several drummers. The performers are usually boys between 7 and 21 years of age, but older veterans can be seen. There are buekorps for girls and for both girls and boys as well. Buekorps are regarded with warmth by some, whilst others dislike it due to its militarised appearance or the dominant sound of the drumming.
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