MUSEUMS are always high on my list of things to do wherever I am in the world but a visit to Bryggens, while not an outright disappointment, certainly left me underwhelmed.
My hideous local council offices look more attractive than this museum's box-like building and the entrance fee -- from memory about £9-£10 -- was high for what was on offer.
By contrast, staff were extremely helpful and both told me about the museum and the best way to tour it.
That involves starting by descending to a series of displays where Bergen's origins are explained in quite a clever area set up around original wood foundation and building remains of early Bergen and its old tenements as well as the medieval town of Bergen from about 1300 when it was the national capital.
Commercial life is explored with sections on craftsmen's workshops such as goldsmiths and visitors can wander through cabinets displaying everything from barrels to a collection of human skulls.
It is interesting but hardly memorable and a slow walk up a ramp to higher areas where art and a shoe museum make their offering didn't vastly improve the offering.
Bergen is famous for its shoe making history but, again, this is not a mainstream subject and, while it was interesting to see examples of different footwear and read about its historical development, it was not an attention holder.
All too soon I had completed a tour of the museum, one of the fastest I have made anywhere, and it was almost with a feeling of guilt that I took my leave as if I was somehow doing the museum a dis-service by leaving too soon instead of the museum doing me a dis-service by making me feel short-changed.
There is no denying the historical content on offer in the building, but I have been to many far better museums hence my rating for the site as "poor". What it did it did well, but its range was very limited and could have offered so much more.
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