The relationship between Bergen and its neighbouring districts, normally known as “Strilelandet”, has, over the centuries, given rise to greater conflicts than the contacts between any other Norwegian city and its nearest hinterland.
Bergen - our first royal residence city – has for centuries been Norway’s, and for long periods, Scandinavia’s biggest city. The historical monuments round the Vågen bay tell us that the city has been of national, historical significance.
The development which culminated in the great west Norwegian clustered communities in the 18th and 19th centuries, such as we see at Havrå on Osterøy Island, actually first came into being in Viking times, with an incipient division of the farms into smaller units.
The development of urban settlements after 1850 is a historic process of great significance for the cultural landscape. Besides the great land reforms and the new ways of working in agriculture, the changes in the settlement pattern and the building of a road network with roads, bridges and cuttings were the single factors which have most significantly contributed to the metamorphosis of the county’s physical visage in the last 150 years.