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Detail from smokehouse, Arnatveit, Bergen

Detail from smokehouse, Arnatveit (Egil Korsnes).

On the farm of Arnatveit, high up on the slope above the highway, an old smokehouse remains standing in the courtyard of the main farm property, in the place of the old common courtyard. Today this farm lies at the outskirts of a large housing estate. Most of the farmland of the other farm properties has been sold to benefit the city’s need of sites for the new community of Arna.

The smokehouse at Arnatveit is one of the few certain medieval buildings in the fjord communities. Chronological dating by the so-called Dendron method (counting of growth rings) dates this building to the end of the 1400s. The centrally placed entrance door is decorated as a portal, with the medieval decorative markings where the logs are coned and set into the joists on either side of the door opening. Today the building stands on its own in the courtyard, at the side of a newer dwelling house. Formerly this smokehouse was placed together with a glass-house (a house with glass windows) that was pulled down some years ago; a classical type of building in West Norway.

The frame-built hayshed on the farm is another classical west Norwegian structure. This hayshed was built in 1900. Then it was moved from another place in the courtyard, probably in connection with the changeover of the old common courtyard. The juniper wood panelling in the north gable is old. Nils Arnatveit (1881-1972) recalled that when they built the hayshed, they removed the entire juniper wall from the old hayshed and moved it over on to the new one. He thought this juniper panelling must have been close on 150 years old, thus one of the oldest existing juniper walls known here.

  • The smokehouse at Arnatveit.

The smokehouse has traces of decorative carving inside, with large circles and a zigzag pattern on three logs the whole way around the room.

  • Revheim, M. L. (1946) Fabrikkstaden Ytre Arna: 1846-1946. Bergen.
  • Mål og miljø: årsskrift for Arna (1976-). Bergen, Arna mållag.