It’s that time of year again, dark and wet and… Christmasy? Well, if you don’t feel sufficiently in the Holiday spirit, it’s time for you to take a trip to Pepperkakebyen (Gingerbread Town).
Not enough Holiday cheer outside for you? Time to go the town inside Sentralbadet, Pepperkakebyen! Photo: Stand Hiestand
A photo from the last time I participated, Pepperkakebyen 2014. Photo: Stand Hiestand
You too can participate – next year – if you are prepared enough to get a a gingerbread house done in early November (if you make a house in team with your friends, the entire team gets free tickets to view the town). However, if you just want to see the world’s largest gingerbread town*, there is still time this year:
- open until 31 December (except Christmas day)
- some days have limited hours so check the website (linked above) before you go
- tickets for students (with ID) are kr 70
- adult tickets are kr 90
- located in Sentralbadet, address: Teatergaten 37
Here are some highlights from my Pepperkakebyen experience this year:
Make dat gingerbread house!
This year I recruited some friends and loved-ones to make a gingerbread house for pepperkakebyen. As none of us were terribly confident, we tried to keep it simple. I googled ‘simple gingerbread house’ and we printed out their templates. Because the nearby grocery stores didn’t have premade dough in yet, we also followed their recipe, made our own dough, and set to work. The one thing I would recommend a newbie, is to remember the component parts of the house have to cool before you assemble them. SO. Make sure you start early and have movies on hand to entertain you and your friends while you’re waiting through the baking and cooling processes.
Even the most skeptical of friends might succumb to the fun of pepperkaken if you give them the proper tools. Photo: Stand Hiestand
We went double rainbow all the way. Several views of our house. Photo: Stand Hiestand
Someone may have finally found ikea premade gingerbread dough and then someone maybe went a little overboard. Photo: Stand Hiestand
Here’s my last submission (with a different group of friends) — maybe I learned a little since then! Photo: Stand Hiestand
Find dat gingerbread house!
It is traditional, when you submit a house for pepperkakebyen, you must search out your house among the city! We thought it might take some time. Buuuuut, our house was prominently displayed as soon as we walked in! As you can see in the video below:
Our house in its new neighborhood! Photo: Stand Hiestand
Savor dat gingerbread town!
Once you’ve found your house, there is still much to enjoy.
Take a look around the expanse of the city:
Check out Vågen and its buildings while Ulriken towers in the background. Photo: Stand Hiestand
Some of the many views of Pepperkakebyen. Photos: Stand Hiestand
Delve into the details:
From a working model of Fløibanen to a ferris wheel and trains running through tunnels (pictured)… Photo: Stand Hiestand
…to prisons, McDonald’s, to older folks with their walkers (top right) enjoying their retirement communities (bottom), and of course, Ikea (top left), the joy is in the details! Photo: Stand Hiestand
After you’ve thoroughly explored the city, there is only one further requirement. Watch your friends enjoying the giant slide…
and then SLIDE!
*That Bergen’s Pepperkakebyen is the world’s largest gingerbread city is actually contested. However, while it may not fit the Guinness Book of World Record’s parameters, it is whimsical, impressive, and enormous.