Bergen’s gingerbread town opens

Pepperkakebyen welcomes the public with coronavirus precautions in place

Pepperkakebyen, the gingerbread town, in Bergen

Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix
A gingerbread St. John’s Church stands proudly high on a hill at Pepperkakebyen in Bergen.


Even Pepperkakebyen, the famous gingerbread town in Bergen, could not escape the coronavirus, but it was finally able to open its doors to the public after a three-week delay.

The anticipation was great. Many bakers made gingerbread to be part of the exhibit, but the coronavirus situation in Bergen led to the postponement of the planned opening in mid-November to Dec. 8, when Pepperkakebyen could finally open its doors in the city between the seven mountains.

Brann Stadion probably took more than a kilo of margarine to make, and more than eight egg yolks were probably used when the gingerbread version of St. John’s Church rose in all its glory, along with around 2,000 other gingerbread buildings.

Every Christmas since 1991, Pepperkakebyen has been built in the center of Bergen, but this year it almost looked like the gingerbread dream was going to go awry. With COVID-19 restrictions in the city, the organizers were finally informed on Dec. 4 that they could open four days later on Dec. 8.

And it is a gingerbread town with strict infection controls in place. Tickets can only be bought online, and only a limited number of tickets are sold for specific times. Inside there is plenty of space for visitors.

The gingerbread town in Bergen markets itself as the world’s largest. But in reality, the official record has been set by an American.

The Guinness Book of Records has now officially declared that the gingerbread town “Gingerbread Lane,” which the American Jon Lovitch has exhibited at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, is the world’s largest. The Gingerbread Town consists of 164 buildings and weighs in excess of 1.5 tons.

The 37-year-old chef built the entire city himself. Bit by bit, it was created in a tiny kitchen in the man’s own apartment in the South Bronx, writes The New York Times. Thus, there is a heavy burden of proof on the gingerbread town in Bergen, which has long described itself as “the world’s largest and most beautiful.”

Translated by Lori Ann Reinhall

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 25, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway