Monday, 15 August 2016

Haakon's Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower


Håkon’s Hall in the Bergen Fortress Bergenhus is almost 750 years old. The castle was built by King Håkon Håkonsson as a royal residence with an impressive banqueting hall. The construction lasted between 1247 and 1261. 

Haakon's Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower

When the royal offspring Magnus Håkonsson Lagabøte married the Danish princess Ingeborg in 1261, 2000 guests were invited. “The King held court in the stone hall”, says an ancient saga. At that time, Bergen was Norway’s largest and most important town, and Håkon’s Hall was the site of major national events, such as the drawing up of Norway’s first complete set of laws. 

When Norway unified with the other Scandinavian countries, the castle’s significance diminished. Once there was built a grain barn! In the XIX century, it was decided to restore the castle’s former glory. 

Haakon's Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower

The castle, including Haakon's Hall, was severely damaged during the World War II, and romantic mural and ceiling paintings were lost forever. But even today its sick walls keep the echo of Medieval feasts. As a national historic landmark, Håkon’s Hall is used sometimes for official ceremonies. 

The Haakon's Hall is closed on special occasions, like Bergen International Festival, and at Christmas and Easter. 


Rosenkrantz Tower, a fortification building of later period, is situated nearby Håkon’s Hall at Bergenhus fortress. It was built in 1560 by the order of Erik Rosenkrantz, governor of Berghus who decided to enforce the fortress with defense constructions, which replaced older ones that were erected under King Magnus himself and dated back to 1270. 

Haakon's Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower

The tower modified and expanded with the times; cannonry was installed on the roof. At that time, Bergen joined the Hanseatic League and received a special status because its office was opened there. The merchants’ weight and influence was growing. The point of the tower was, inter alia, to demonstrate power able to confront the independent League. It faces Bryggen, former center of business trade, with all its loopholes. 

The Tower has become the part of the Bergen City Museum since 1966. 

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