One of the oldest institutions in Bergen, featuring intact interior from 1751

Stranges Stiftelse, with its intact 1751 interior, tells a story of poverty and social deprivation. The social institutions that had been run by the Catholic Church disappeared with the Reformation in 1537, and charitable institutions were established by private initiative to fill their place. One of these institutions was Stranges Stiftelse, a poorhouse for women.
60,3945579 5,3163879
Klostergaten 28, Bergen, 5005

Bergen, Hordaland (Vestland)

Owned by the National Trust of Norway since 1989.

A social institution from 1609 to 1972. Stranges Stiftelse was a foundation established in 1609 by city councillor Strange Jørgensen. He had built a small wooden house with room for twelve residents who would receive free accommodation with fuel and light, and a small annual sum of money. He founded this by leaving the money from the sale of the ship Svarte Ravn to the foundation, and the annual yield paid for the running of the poorhouse. The building was rebuilt several times due to fires and disrepair, and the present building in Klostergaten was built in 1751 with room for 31 residents.

Well preserved through 220 years of use. The building was in use and under the municipality's control until 1972, when the home was closed down because of the ‘primitive’ conditions of the building. At that point, the interior had remained more or less unchanged for 220 years. The floor plan is characteristic of its time for this type of institution, with a large day room on the ground floor and galleries with doors leading to small bedchambers on both sides. The National Trust of Norway took over the property in 1972, but it formally remained the property of Stranges Stiftelse until the foundation was dissolved in 1989 and all its assets and capital transferred to the National Trust. The Hordaland branch of the National Trust of Norway is currently based in the building.

Things to do in the area. Bergen is one of Norway’s most important tourist destinations, with the World Heritage Site Bryggen as a major attraction. Bergen has everything from traces of the medieval city in the National Trust's properties Tårnfoten and Klosterkapellet, from Nonneseter convent to more famous attractions such as the Fløibanen funicular, the Ulriken cable car, the KODE art museums, the Fish Market and the fjords of Western Norway.

Sources: En reise gjennom norsk byggekunst, ed. Terje Forseth. National Trust of Norway, 1994.