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 cultural landscape or that part of it which is still green and inviting to the eye has been shaped by the farmers’ toil down through the generations. At one time almost all of us were farmers. We see that the crofting system faded away as emigration to the towns and to America relieved the pressure.
Kvinnene hadde ein sentral plass i det gamle bondesamfunnet. Fiskarbonden på kysten og langs fjordane var ofte ei kvinne, og i mangesysleriet på gardane var det full likestilling.