In the Scholeus engraving (section on the right) from the 1850s the fortified king’s estate at the entrance to Vågen has become a modern Renaissance palace – Bergenhus palace. The church edifices have disappeared. The picture is now dominated by the tower “the small castle by the sea”, which had recently gone through a considerable enlargement.
Down by the fjord at Svåsand, close to the main highway, there is a long row of boathouses, one of the well-preserved, older boathouse locations along the Hardanger fjord. It is the farms at Svåsand that have their boathouses here, four main farms with origins far back in time.
The old church at Holdhus is one of the oldest timbered churches left in the west of Norway. The new church at Eide, built in 1889, replaced the church location from the Middle Ages. As the small, tarred church lies today, in the hilly landscape at Holdhus, it was taken over by the Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments, who obtained title to the property in 1900 from Hans Holdhus.
The first mention of Granvin church in written sources is in 1306, but the church location must be far older than this. The farm Storegraven is centrally situated at Granvinsvatnet, by the important traffic artery between Hardanger and Voss, where the road takes off to Ulvik.
A letter from the Pope Eugenius 3 in 1146 mentions St. Nikolaus church at Herdla. This church belonged under Munkeliv monastery, which was founded in Bergen by Øystein around 1110. The Herdla Church may stem from this time.
On the south side of Askøy, just west of Bergen, lies Strusshamn. The sheltered bay is one of the best harbours in Byfjorden, on the route south. At the time of the sailing ships the harbour could be full of vessels from Bergen and abroad, lying in wait for favourable wind. Old anchoring rings from 1687 bear witness to this. Strusshamn was a quarantine harbour for ships that came sailing in with the yellow pest flag flying.