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Det Gamle Rådhus (the old town hall), Bergen

Det Gamle Rådhus (the old town hall) marks the beginning of Strandsiden. It was built by feudal overlord Valkendorf in 1558. Stiftsgården was erected just after the fire in 1702.(Svein Nord).


Vågsbotn was the name of the innermost part of the eastern part of town from Auta-almenning (today’s Vetrlidsalmenning), skirting the bottom of Vågen to Allehelgenskirken (All Saints’ Church) (at the present Allehelgensgate). In early medieval times Vågen reached almost all the way to Olavskirken (the Cathedral). It was a relatively wide bay inside the premonitory where Korskirken was built. The area was therefore much shorter than what is known as Vågsbunnen today.

Around 1300 there were five churches and at least eight town properties/tenements in this area. The tenement Vågsbotn was one of them. It belonged to the king, but was let to German shoemakers. The shoemakers gave the name to Sutarestretet (King Oscar’s street), with continuous rows of stalls on both sides. A bridge (today’s Domkirkegate) linked the place to Strandsiden (the sea front).

Already in the 1200s the infilling of the seafront innermost in Vågen started. Around 1500 the fill had reached so far as to make a continuation along Skostretet to Strandsiden. At the close of the Middle Ages the old market place in the town at Breida-almenning (Nikolaikirkealmenning) was moved to the town’s new centre of gravity to the new landfill area just south of Korskirken.

The shoemakers comprised the largest and most powerful group of tradesmen in the city. In the middle of the 1400s the shoemakers’ quarters were transferred to Skomakerstretet (Skostredet), a bay that had been filled in and was now dry land. Here more than 60 shoemakers were registered at this time and at the end of medieval times more than 70.

  • St. Jørgens hospital, Bergen

De milde stiftelser (The kind foundations)

  • Vågsbunnen, Bergen

Vågsbunnen today. In the middle of the picture we see Korskirken and Domkirken. (Helge Sunde).

  • Tema: Vågsbunnen (1993). I: Skrifter (Bergens historiske forening). Bergen, Bergens historiske forening, nr. 89.