The saga regarding the settlement of Hordaland started off about 10,000 years ago. Most of this saga has been recorded in writing, not on paper, but on stone and on the earth in the forest and the marshes.
From 4,500 to 5,000 years ago most of Hordaland was a landscape of forest, right out to the coast and the islands. With our inner eye we can see old oak trees putting their stamp on the heat-loving deciduous forest.
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 outer frame - the coast, the fjord and the mountains - are an inheritance from the country's geological history. But what, more than anything else, gives the scene colour and excitement is the plant life.
Marine activities expanded greatly throughout the 19th century, and provided a livelihood for many people. Fishing and shipping were probably the subsidiary activities which had greatest economic significance throughout the century. Marine activities brought, literally speaking, wind into the sails of many rural districts in Hordaland during that period.
Craftsmanship through two thousand years