|Season (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)|
|Monday - Sunday||06:30||- 23:00|
* The fortress can be closed on special occasions.
Bergenhus Fortress is one of Norway’s oldest and best preserved fortifications. The Fortress has a long history as a royal seat, episcopal see and military seat of power.
The area wich today make up the central area of Bergenhus Fortress are the grounds within the ramparts, originally known as Holmen, and Koengen and Sverresborg.
In the 1700s these three areas were consolidated into one vast military fortification, with the ramparts across Koengen joining Holmen and Sverresborg together. The ramparts at Koengen were eventyally torn down in 1809.
The building of the fortress at Bergenhus began in the early 1500s. The fortress was continually reinforced during the 1600s, finally reaching its most complete state at around 1700.
The only time it was under siege, however, was some years prior to this, on 2 August 1665. A large flotilla of Dutch ships sought refuge in the neutral harbour of Bergen when being pursued by English warships. When the English launched their attack, Bergenhus offered strong resistance. The battle did not last long, and became known as the Battle of Vågen.
During the Second World War, Bergenhus was again put into service; this time by the German occupying force, who used it as their western headquarters. The reinforced bunker in the centre og the fortress grounds was built by Soviet prisoners of war. An accidental explosion at Vågen on 20 April 1944 caused major damage to the oldest buildings in Bergenhus.
As soon the Second World War ended, the Norwegian government initiated work on restoring and preserving the area for posterity. The restoration work lasted until the mid-1960s.
Bergenhus fortress today
Bergenhus has been under consecutive commandantship since 1628. Today, approximately 220 military and civilian personnel have the fortress as their everyday place of work.
Most of the fortress grounds are open to the public, civilian tenants and for special events. Today the fortress complex serves as a venue for representation events, operatic and theater performances, large-scale rock concerts and other cultural events.
The complex is an attractive recreational area for both visitors to Bergen and the local population.
Free entrance to the fortress
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