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Bekkjarvik, Austevoll early in the 1900s.

Bekkjarvik early in the 1900s. (Severin Kannelønning)

When the sea is the main thoroughfare, the good harbour is a natural centre. Also, when the good harbour lies in the middle of the shipping lane, such as Bekkjarvik, just north of the Selbjørn fjord, it is a basis both for hostelry activities and trading.

Thus Bekkjarvik became a connecting point, with store and innkeeper, perhaps as far back as the Middle Ages. It is only from the 1600s that we have reliable sources about the settlers in Bekkjarvik. Otto Slingermand is the first inhabitant we hear about. He was originally from Holland and obtained citizenship in Bergen in 1614. It was especially during that century that the place was developed. There have been facilities for fish handling, herring salting, and coopering, and there is still today an inn and a store, post office and ferry agency.

Bekkjarvik, founded on the communications 300 years ago still has important functions as a centre. The old main building that was rebuilt in the 19th century is still a well-run inn.

  • Coopering workshop around the turn of the previous century

Coopering workshop around the turn of the previous century