Children have come to school at Stølen and Krohnengen for 150 years. Around 1853 the children started to attend Stølen School. Krohnengen School was ready to accept children in 1880, as the first of a number of big, modern public schools in Bergen. In 1883 1360 children in 39 classes went to Krohnengen Public School. In 2004, 350 boys and girls fight for room in 15 classes.
Approximately 1400 pupils attended Krohnengen School in the late eighteen hundreds. A reason for the large numbers of students was the population increase in Bergen in general and the Stølen/Sandviken area in particular at the time.
The area had been used for agricultural and pastry purposes in the past. Now a substantial building process was at work. Houses for the fast growing working class were built in the area around Krohnengen School and soon became homes to many families. Today the houses are one-family houses, with each child his own bedroom. Back in the 1880s forty people, sometimes more, could share the same space. If a family rented a two room flat, the second room was often sublet.
For many years Krohnengen School was the only school in the area. Children were taught in the mornings as well as in the afternoons for many years, until new schools were built around 1900. Afternoon teaching was a strain on both children and teachers, and was in fact prohibited in 1917.
For many years Krohnengen School was the only school in the area.
The school should not only provide children with education, but was also meant to give them basic health care. Nurses, doctors and dentists were attached to the schools. The children were taught hygiene, and gymnastics was part of the school day from early on. Personal hygiene was considered very important, and the children were all sent to Dr Wiesener’s bath house. This was not among the favourite activities of the children, who complained that the bath was too crowded, and that the staff at the bath treated them unkindly.
In 1933, an extention was added to the building, providing the children with a new gymnastics hall, with showers and cloakrooms.
The schoolyard used to be divided into one part for girls and another part for boys. The children all play together today, and on a much larger area than before.
The old cemetery for the poor – Fredens Bolig (the Residence of Peace), which is situated next to the school, has been turned into a park that the children can use during recess. The cemetery opened in 1808, and was built by aid of Swedish war prisoners. Fredens Bolig had room for 2200 graves among which some belonged to prisoners from Bergenhus Fort and Castle. The last funeral was held in 1928. Fifty years later the cemetery was turned into a playground. Today the 350 children who attend Krohnengen School play there.
Bergen has since the establishment of Krohnengen expanded geographically, with suburbs also outside the seven mountains which earlier marked the town’s boundaries. The families that used to cram themselves together were perfectly happy to leave central Bergen during the fifties, sixties and seventies. The central town deteriorated as the suburbs grew, but today the area around Krohnengen is a very popular place to live.