Eiffel towers, Ferris wheels and even a cable car can be seen in the world’s largest gingerbread city in Norway. The concept is a bit reminiscent of the miniature wonderland in Hamburg. However, there is one crucial difference: everything is edible here. Here you can find out how the idea for this very special Christmas project came about and where exactly you can visit it.
A dream of icing and gingerbread: The largest gingerbread town in the world has a long history and is definitely a very special sight. Hundreds of people take part every year and help build the wonder of Bergen. Incidentally, in Norway’s big city they say “Pepperkakebyen”, which translates as “gingerbread town”.
How did Norway’s gingerbread city come about?
Exactly 30 years ago, Steinar Kristoffersen started the project as a marketing campaign for a shopping center. The idea was so well received by the children and adults that today not only a large team, but also numerous families in Bergen are working on the gingerbread city. The residents and the lead architect work for weeks to ensure that everything is ready on time in mid-December. Everyone can help build the sweet city and submit their baking art until shortly before the opening. In addition to families, the local art and culture center also takes part in the campaign. Baking and decorating together has become a popular tradition for many.
Where is the gingerbread village?
From the 2nd Advent until New Year’s Eve you can visit the colorful buildings of the delicious winter wonderland almost every day in the Xhibiton shopping center at Småstrandgaten 3 in Bergen. The opening hours of the exhibition depend on the shopping center: Monday to Friday, onlookers can visit the candy village from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. According to Tripadvisor , visitors like to spend an hour or two here.
Norway’s gingerbread town isn’t the only one
In fact, there are other cities where building houses out of Christmas cookies has become a popular Christmas tradition. The Architecture Museum in London, for example, even offers workshops every year during Advent, in which you can build your own gingerbread house with freshly baked ingredients. In the actual exhibition, the “Gingerbread City”, however, only the works of architects, designers and engineers are presented. On the other hand, almost perfect and well thought-out constructions can be viewed here, such as this train station, whose wall was decorated with icing graffiti by the famous street artist Banksy.
Also, give a look at our article on Ontario – the beautiful east of Canada.
Do you know how people say “Merry Christmas” in other countries?
“Cheers!”, “Hello”, “Yes” and “No” – you can get a few of these basics in one or the other foreign language. But what about “Merry Christmas!”? Right off the bat, could you tell me how to express this wish in Italian or Dutch? It gets even more difficult with languages such as Chinese, Greek or Russian, which use a different writing system, although in our quiz, for the sake of fairness, we only ask for the version of “Merry Christmas!” transcribed into the Latin alphabet. Test your language knowledge – in our big Christmas quiz!
How many languages are there in Europe and worldwide?
There are officially 24 official languages in the EU. These are, in alphabetical order: Bulgarian, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Irish/Gaelic, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian , Spanish, Czech and Hungarian.
As the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) writes, parliamentary debates and important documents in the EU must be translated into all 24 official languages so that all EU citizens can participate in the political process in their mother tongue.
In total, more than 200 languages and dialects are spoken on the European continent, many of which are threatened with extinction. It is estimated that there are around 7,000 different languages worldwide.