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The 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. Bergen lost its status as a separate county the same date.


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Bergen was the largest city in Norway until 1840 (when it was passed by Oslo). The city is divided into 8 boroughs: Arna, Bergenhus, Fana, Fyllingsdalen, Laksevåg, Ytrebygda, Årstad and Åsane.

The city is located on the south-western coast of Norway, in the county of Hordaland, with its center 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. The first to name them "the seven mountains" was Ludvig Holberg, inspired by the seven hills of Rome. Bergen is recognized as the unofficial capital of the region known as West Norway, and also recognized and marketed as the gateway city to the world famous fjords of Norway and for that reason it has become Norway's largest – and one of Europe's largest cruise ship ports of call. Furthermore, Bergen's inter-municipal harbour is by far Norway's largest port and also one of Europe's largest ports according to the inter-municipal company Port of Bergen,

Time magazine named the city one of Europe's 14 "secret capitals" (August 2004), where Bergen's capital reign is acknowledged within maritime businesses and activities such as aquaculture and marine research, with the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) (the second-largest in Europe) as the leading institution. Bergen is also the main base for the Royal Norwegian Navy (at Haakonsvern) and its international airport Flesland is the main heliport for the huge Norwegian North Sea oil and gas industry, from where thousands of offshore workers commute to their work places onboard the many oil and gas rigs and platforms.


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last updated:  20.07.2007