Bergenhus Castle

On Wednesday, we went to explore a castle/fortress. There were two buildings that were a part of it that we went in: Håkon’s Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower.

This is Håkon’s Hall and it was built in the 13th century by King Håkon’s Håkonsson. According to the museum literature, the Hall was the largest and most imposing building in the royal residence. (Bergen was the capital of Norway during this time and it was later changed to Oslo in 1314.)

Over the years after the royal residence was moved, the Hall was used for storage purposes and even abandoned before being restored from 1880-1895. The museum literature says, “In 1944, a German ammunition ship exploded in the harbor just below. The Hall caught fire and was so damaged that only the walls remained.” The Hall was restored once again and aside from being open to the public for tours, it also still has some royal ceremonial use on special occasions.

Replica of the building after being destroyed in 1944.

The royal high table.

I couldn’t get an outside picture of Rosenkrantz Tower because they’re doing some restoration work on it and had it all covered up. We did get to go inside, though, and it was cool.

The Tower was built in the 1560s by the governor of Bergen Castle (Bergenhus), Erik Rosenkrantz, at the command of King Fredrick II. It also suffered damage in 1944, and has been restored as close as possible to its original design. The king still stayed in the King’s Chambers when he came to Bergen up through the 16th century.

Tight small walkways in the Tower.
Spiral stone stairs go all the way up the tower. There are areas with much older smaller worn stone stairs that we took as well, I just failed to get a picture of them.
These appears to be original stairs that are no longer able to be used.
The guard’s room.
The king’s chapel.

One of many fireplaces. This one has the coat of arms on it .

The dungeon underneath the tower!
Around 1520, the castle’s area was reduced and a new wall was constructed. This picture shows the firing positions in the new walls.

We love history and plan to visit more historical sites here in Bergen (and hopefully elsewhere in Europe), so expect more posts like these!

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