• Nynorsk
  • English

Universitetet i bergen logoUniversity of Bergen

Search form

The trading store at Bakholmen, Austevoll

The trading store at Bakholmen with the two winching arks is a classical representative for the coastal architecture. (Svein Nord).

On Austre Bakholmen, a small islet of around 15 acres between Hundvåko and Drøni, lies the oldest trading centres in Austevoll. For a long time this was a court location and it was a natural centre in this archipelago.

Bakholmen has probably been a hostelry place way back to medieval times. In the 17th century we hear of an innkeeper with the name of “Mikkel i Bakholmen”. There has been small-time trading going on since the early 1600s, with trading privilege as early as 1714. Then the trade was moved here from Bakkasund.

Michael Olrich from Holland took citizenship in Bergen in 1697, and the powerful Olrich-family resided at Bakholmen up to the 1760s. Amongst others they owned trading places at Hiskjo in Bømlo and Kvalvåg, which at the time belonged to Fitjar and Våg coastal administration district, and a large part of the Austevoll church. The chandelier, which today hangs in the church at Storebø, was in its time a gift from Maren Olrich.

The courthouse is a reminder that Bakholmen was a central place in this coastal municipality way back in time. When Austevoll became a separate municipality in 1886, the courthouse in Bakholmen became the fixed venue for meetings of the municipal council and other municipal committees, and this is how it remained up to 1964. There was also a bank here and a ferryboat connection.

After 1964 there has been no activity at Bakholmen, but the buildings at the old guesthouse, trading and court centre are well kept and maintained by a new owner.

  • Section of Carta Marina

Carta Marina

Carta Marina was made by the Swedish priest Olaus Magnus (1490-1557). The chart was published in Venice in 1539, and is the first map that gives a relatively correct rendition of the Nordic countries, including the Faeroes, Iceland and Greenland. “Baggaholm” is one of the few names from the present Hordaland drawn on Carta Marina. Bakholmen must thus have been an important place in the sea route at the time. Olaus Magnus, who had travelled extensively in the Nordic countries on assignment by the Catholic Church amongst others, travelled to Italy in 1524 together with his brother Johannes, who was the last catholic bishop in Sweden. Olaus is supposed to have said that he made the map to show the Catholic Church how much it was about to lose because of the Lutheran heresy. The section is copied from a copper plate of Carta Marina, made by Antonio Lafreri and published in Rome in 1572.

  • Endresen, H. G. (1943) Gjestgivere og skippere i ytre led: II. Olrich. I: Sunnhordland Årbok. Stord, Sunnhordland museum, s. 38-45.