Bergen ranks first of the Norwegian ship-owning centres, having risen to this position from fifth in 1879. The trade, however, is exceeded by that of Christiania. The staple export trade is in fish and their products: other exports are butter, copper ore and hides. The principal imports are coal, machinery, salt, grain and provisions. The manufactures are not extensive, but the preparation of fish products, shipbuilding, weaving and distillery, with manufactures of paper, pottery, tobacco and ropes are carried on. Bergen is an important centre of the extensive tourist traffic of Norway. Regular steamers serve the port from Hull and Newcastle (about 40 hours), from Hamburg, and from all the Norwegian coast towns. Many local steamers penetrate the fjords, touching at every village and gaard. Bergen is the nearest port to the famous Hardanger Fjord, and is the starting-point of a remarkable railway which runs through many tunnels and fine scenery towards Vossevangen or Voss. In 1896 a beginning was made with the continuation of this line through the mountains to connect with Christiania. In the first 50 m. from Voss the line ascends 4080 ft., passing through a tunnel 5796 yds. long.
Bergen (formerly Björgvin) was founded by King Olaf Kyrre in 1070-1075, and rapidly grew to importance, the Byfjord becoming the scene of several important engagements in the civil wars of subsequent centuries. The famous Hansa merchants maintained a failing position here till 1764. The town suffered frequently from fire, as in 1702 and 1855, and the broad open spaces (Almenninge) which interrupt the streets are intended as a safeguard against the spread of flames.
See Y. Nielsen, Bergen fra die äldste tider indtil nutiden (Christiania, 1877); H. Jager, Bergen og Bergenserne (Bergen, 1889).
BERGEN-OP-ZOOM, a town in the province of North Brabant, Holland, situated on both sides of the small river Zoom, near its confluence with the East Scheldt, 38½ m. by rail E. by N. of Flushing. It is connected by steam tramway with Antwerp (20 m. S.) and with the islands of Tholen and Duiveland to the north-west. Pop. (1900) 13,663. The houses are well built, the market-places and squares handsome and spacious. It possesses a port and an arsenal, and contains a fine town hall, with portraits of the ancient margraves of Bergen-op-Zoom, a Latin school, and an academy of design and architecture. The remains of the old castle of the margraves have been converted into barracks. The tower is still standing and is remarkable for its increase in size as it rises, which causes it to rock in a strong wind. The church contains a monument to Lord Edward Bruce, killed in a duel with Sir Edward Sackville, afterwards earl of Dorset, in 1613. There are numerous tile-works and potteries of fine ware; and a considerable trade is carried on in anchovies and oysters caught in the Scheldt. A large sugar-beet industry has also sprung up here in modern times.
Bergen-op-Zoom is a very old town, but little is known of its early history beyond the fact that it was taken by the Normans in 880. In the 13th century it became the seat of Count Gerhard of Wesemael, who surrounded it with walls and built a castle. By the end of the 15th century it had become one of the most prosperous towns of Holland, on account of its fisheries and its cloth-trade. In 1576 the town joined the United Netherlands, and was shortly afterwards fortified. In 1588 it was successfully defended against the duke of Parma by an English and Dutch garrison commanded by Colonel Morgan, and in 1605 it was suddenly attacked by Du Terail. In 1622 the Spaniards, under Spinola, made another attempt to take the town, but were forced to abandon the enterprise after a siege of ten weeks and the loss of 1200 men. Towards the end of the 17th century the fortifications were greatly strengthened by Coehoorn, and in 1725 they were further extended. In 1747, however, the town was taken by the French, under Marshal Löwendahl, who surprised it by means of a subterranean passage. Restored at the end of the war, it was again taken by the French under Pichegru in 1795. The English, under Sir Thomas Graham, afterwards Lord Lynedoch, in March 1814 made an attempt to take it by a coup de main, but were driven back with great loss by the French, who surrendered the place, however, by the treaty of peace in the following May.
The lordship of Bergen-op-Zoom appears, after the definite union of the Low Countries with the Empire in 924, as an hereditary fief of the Empire, and the succession of its lords may be traced from Henry (1098-1125), who also held Breda. In 1533 it was raised to a margraviate by the emperor Charles V., and was held by various families until in 1799 it passed, through the Sultzbach branch of the Wittelsbachs, to the royal house of Bavaria, by whom it was renounced in favour of the Batavian republic in 1801.
BERGERAC, a town of south-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Dordogne, on the right bank of the Dordogne, 60 m. E. of Bordeaux on the railway to Cahors. Pop. (1906) town, 10,545; commune, 15,623. The river is rendered navigable by a large dam and crossed by a fine bridge which leads to the suburb of La Madeleine. Apart from a few old houses in the older quarter by the river, the town contains no monuments of antiquarian interest. There is a handsome modern church built in the middle of the 19th century. Bergerac is the seat of a sub-prefect and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce and a communal college. Wine of fine quality is grown in the district and is the chief source of the commerce of the town, which is mainly carried on with Libourne and Bordeaux. There is trade in grain, truffles, chestnuts, brandy and in the salmon of the Dordogne. The town has flour-mills, iron-works, tanneries, distilleries and nursery-gardens, and it has manufactures of casks and of vinegar. There are quarries of millstone in the vicinity. In the 16th century Bergerac was a very flourishing and populous place, but most of its inhabitants having embraced Calvinism it suffered greatly during the religious wars and by the revocation of the edict of Nantes (1685). It was in 1577 the scene of the signing of the sixth peace between the Catholics and Protestants. Its fortifications and citadel were demolished by Louis XIII. in 1621.
BERGHAUS, HEINRICH (1797-1884), German geographer, was born at Kleve on the 3rd of May 1797. He was trained as a surveyor, and after volunteering for active service under General Tauenzien in 1813, joined the staff of the Prussian trigonometrical survey in 1816. He carried on a geographical school at Potsdam in company with Heinrich Lange, August Petermann, and others, and long held the professorship of applied mathematics at the Bauakademie. But he is most famous in connexion with his cartographical work. His greatest achievement was the Physikalischer Atlas (Gotha, 1838-1848), in which work, as in others, his nephew Hermann Berghaus (1828-1890) was associated with him. He had also a share in the re-issue of the great Stieler Handatlas (originally produced by Adolf Stieler in 1817-1823). and in the production of other atlases. His written works were numerous and important, including Allgemeine Länder- und Völkerkunde (Stuttgart, 1837-1840), Grundriss der Geographie in fünf Bückern (Berlin, 1842), Die Völker des Erdballs (Leipzig, 1845-1847), Was man von der Erde weiss (Berlin, 1856-1860), and various large works on Germany. In 1863 he published Briefwechsel mit Alexander van Humboldt (Leipzig). He died at Stettin on the 17th of February 1884.
BERGK, THEODOR (1812-1881), German philologist, was born at Leipzig on the 22nd of May 1812. After studying at the university of his native town, where he profited by the instruction of G. Hermann, he was appointed in 1835 to the lectureship in Latin at the orphan school at Halle. After holding posts at Neustrelitz, Berlin and Cassel, he succeeded (1842) K. F. Hermann as professor of classical literature at Marburg. In 1852 he went to Freiburg, and in 1857 returned to Halle. In 1868 he resigned his professorship, and settled down to study and literary work in Bonn. He died on the 20th of July 1881, at Ragatz in Switzerland, where he had gone for the benefit of his health. Bergk’s literary activity was very great, but his reputation mainly rests upon his work in connexion with Greek literature and the Greek lyric poets. His Poetae Lyrici Graeci (1843. 5th ed. 1900, &c.), and Griechische Litteraturgeschichte (1872-1887, completed by G. Hinrichs and R. Peppmüller) are standard