The Tysksebryggen (German quay) at Bergen, the principal port of western Norway, was for centuries one of the principal places of exchange between northern and southern Europe. The port’s prosperity was due to the Hanseatic League which established a trading post there in the mid-15th century. The League’s power declined from the 1550s, but its office in Bergen continued to function until 1763, and until the 20th century trade continued to follow established patterns. Smoked and dried fish, cod-liver oil and foes were taken to Bergen and stored in warehouses before being despatched to the ports of southern Europe, some of which sent salt northwards in exchange. Wooden warehouses, which took their present form after a fire in 1702, still stand on the quay, and have been designated a World Heritage Site. The Hanseatic Museum, which dates from 1872, comprises a house on the waterfront and a warehouse at the rear, in which the life of Bergen merchants is vividly portrays. The associated Schotstuene is a range of assembly rooms where the German merchants, all of them unmarried, had their eating quarters, assembly rooms and schools.