By Alexandra Redisch in Bergen

At the old Sentralbadet (public swimming pool) in Bergen, you will no longer find the smell of chlorine, but rather the scent of gingerbread – and Christmas itself.

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This is the site of the largest gingerbread town in the world. Schools, kindergardens and students (and everyone else who wants to, really) contribute with their own home-made gingerbread houses and constructions to create Bergen city. There are miniature houses, ships, trains and people, complete with twinkling lights and a really Christmassy atmosphere.

It all began in 1991 and has grown steadily ever since, with thousands of people contributing each year, and you can visit the gingerbread town from mid-November to Boxing Day every year. Tickets are 90NOK for adults, 70NOK for students and free for children under 12. All proceeds go to charitable organisations such as Save the Children and the Children at Risk Foundation.

Gingerbread town Bergen Norway, Christmas 2016
Bergen city centre; the famous Bryggen is on the right hand side, and the town square Torgalmenningen is by the ferris wheel. Kjøttbasaren, the old meat market, is at the bottom right corner.

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…The UNESCO listed Bryggen on the left side.

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The iconic Norwegian-American ship that travelled across the Atlantic from 1918 to the 1960’s, the S/S Stavangerfjord.

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Traditional drying of fish (in this case Goldfish crackers, but you get the idea…)

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The medieval castle Håkonshallen, built in the 1200’s by the famous King Håkon Håkonsson.

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Gamlehaugen, the official residence of the King when he is visiting Bergen.

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Perhaps not geographically correct, but why not include the Moomin’s house, with the Moomin out for a lovely Christmas walk?

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You can buy gingerbread cookies and Christmas drinks here, and there is even a slide to make sure the kidlets burn off all that sugar.

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So, all that remains is to wish you all a merry Christmas – or, as we say in Norway (and we keep saying it until New Year’s Eve),

GOD JUL