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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.
Halfway into the Sævareidfjord lies the officer’s farm Engevik. In the beginning of the 1700s the farm was in part estate of the crown and owned by farmers. In 1724 lieutenant-colonel Christian Wilhelm Segelcke settled there and erected a new farm around an imposing main building a little way north of the old farm site.
Ferstad is well worth a visit. The farm lies on a little hillock south of Lekven: a beautiful official residence from the 1700s.
Frekhaug has been a large farm with well-off owners through many generations. The main house, a two storey building with a hipped roof, must have been erected about 1780.
The old “recorder residence” at Helleland has been both residence for the district recorder and officer’s residence. The main building, which came under protection in 1924, was built in 1764 by the curate Christian Heiberg. When he was appointed parish priest in Jølster, he sold the farm to the state employee Geelmuyden, who resold the farm to Hans De Knagenhielm in 1774. He was the head of “Søndre Hardangerske kompani” (a local army division).