The Cathedral of Bergen in has existed nearly 900 years. The church was dedicated to the Norwegian saint Olav around 1150. Since then it has burnt five times and was even hit by a cannonball in 1665. The cannonball is still firmly stuck in the church tower to remind us of a time with battles in the bay.
When the Bergen Fire Brigade was founded in 1868, Corps de Garde was an obvious choice as one of two primary locations for fire stations. Corps de Garde, however, has a history that goes some years further back.
Manufakturhuset (the Manufactory House) has been used in a variety of ways, such as an orphanage, a school, a House of Correction, a church and public offices. The first Manufactory House was built in 1646, but it burnt down in 1702. It was soon rebuilt, but was not taken into proper use until 1743, when the king demanded an end to disorder, theft and other difficulties caused by the beggars in the streets of Bergen. The Manufactory House was restored in 1990.
Ladegårdsgaten 19 was built in 1853. The house started out as a school, Stølen School. Later on it has been used as a maritime school, a fire station and a police station. Today the house is privately owned.
St Jørgen’s Hospital was a leprosy hospital with a history that goes back to the Middle Ages. The hospital was most likely originally built by the nearby Nonneseter Convent. The hospital received testamentary gifts in 1411, but we do not know how much older the hospital might be. The last two patients at St Jørgen’s Hospital both died in 1946, after which it ceased to exist as a health institution. Today's buildings date back to the 18th century, and is administred by the Bergen City Museum.
Execution is an old and well-known way of punishment. It still goes on in many countries, and the methods in use are plentiful and varied. Anne Pedersdatter Beyer was burnt as a witch at Nordnes in 1590. The last execution performed in Bergen during peace time was when Swedish-Norwegian Jacob A.J. Wallin was beheaded at Nordnes in 1876.
Mariakirken, St Mary’s Church, holds a special position in the history of Bergen. The first high mass in the church was held in the middle of the 12th century, something that tells us that the church is in fact the oldest remaining building in Bergen. Mariakirken had, and still has a central location in town. Still, it had a far more dominating position in medieval Bergen, when the country’s centre of power was a stone’s throw away.
Many women have made a living working as prostitutes in Bergen. Prostitution has always been regarded as both shameful and illegal. Still, turning to this profession has provided many women with the best income possible in Bergen, where customers like sailors and merchants have always been available. In the nineteenth century two of the most well known brothels were found in Nøstegaten: Vestindien and De Fire Løver.
Information on Margaretakirken (St Margareta’s Church) is very limited. If we want to say something about its location, or what kind of building it was, we’ll have to guess. Margaretakirken was probably located just outside the football field by the Aquarium at Nordnes. The church was most likely raised in honour of Princess Margareta of Norway and Scotland, also known as the Maid of Norway.