Alvøen is one of the oldest industrial places in Norway. As early as the 1620s a gunpowder mill was built here. The place itself was well situated for industrial activity, lying only 100 m from the waterfall, which provided power for the mill, and a good harbour wherefrom the products were shipped. The success of the gun-powder mill varied in the 1600s and 1700s, but what made Alvøen best known was its paper production.
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.
In the 1300s Bergen was a trading centre of European dimension. The town is thought to have had around 7000 inhabitants and was the largest and most important in the country. In a European context it was an average size town. At this time the most tightly built town area was still mostly east of Vågen from Holmen in the north to Vågsbotn in the south. Already in medieval times, latest in the 1340s, this area was called Bryggen.
As a fairytale castle Damsgård Hovedgård lies on the slope rising up from the Puddefjord. The old connection between the farm and the sea, as we see it on Dreier’s prospectus from 1810, has been broken up by roads and encroachments in the building mass. But the main building itself is a central monument in Norwegian architecture from the 1700s – one of the finest representatives for the rococo period, with a magnificent and rich décor both in its interior and exterior.
Einstapevoll (from einstape: “bregne” (fern)) lies on the west side of the Tittelsnes peninsula. Up to 1831 the farm was a vicarage belonging to Stord parish. The priests had leasing rights. Land rent and other fees from the farm was part of their salaries.
The main house at Færavåg was built in 1599. History tells us that a German came to Færavåg and built the house. He divided the land between his two sons. They in turn divided it between their two sons, thus there were four equal holdings on the farm. And it is said that all households lived in the same house. They each stayed in their own corner around the fire in the middle of the floor.
In the years between the wars a major registration of houses and house costumes, house construction methods, fireplaces and forms of housing clusters was started in West Norway – an ambitious mapping of everything that came under the name “Registration of Culture and Geography in West Norway”. One of the places of which material was gathered in 1938 was an old multi-room house at Golta; new and interesting material for the researchers from the Historical Museum, but well known within the local building tradition through several generations.
The single unit farm without a road to it, Haugsbø, is situated on the east side of the Tittelsnes peninsula facing Ålfjorden. As far back as the Middle Ages the farm has probably belonged to Stord Parish, up to the 1800s. In 1590 it was thought to be abandoned, but in 1601 Mickel Hougsbøe paid a tithe on the farm.