Farming and fishing was not only an occupation, but a way of living.
Through the ages, most people have lived in the countryside, close to and in balance with nature. In Hordaland, traditionally it was farming and fishing, often with craftwork as a supplementary activity, which enabled people to survive. The landscape was well cared for. Livestock grazed outside the settlements and kept the vegetation down. Earth walls and stone farm buildings were built and maintained. In summer, the cultivated land was covered with row after row of racks filled with drying hay and fields planted with potato and grain. On the landings in front of the boathouses lay small row boats drying in the sun. Life was governed by the seasons and not by the clock.
The Hordamuseet is located in Stend, with the Fana Fjord as its closest neighbour. In the area there are clear traces of the people who have lived here in the past. Burial mounds, a large stone circle and traces from 34 metre long boat house from Roman times demonstrate that power and religious activity were concentrated here nearly 2000 years ago.
In Stend and Fanafjellet the museum has erected eight old houses, brought here from Mid and North Hordaland. The houses show how life was lived in earlier times, and how building styles, handicrafts and knowledge were developed over hundreds of years. In the summer season, one can experience what life was like in the house and on the farm. Smoke from the burning of peat floats out of the chimney. Flat bread is being baked, hay piled up and woollen socks are being knitted and darned.
If one goes into the main building of the museum, one can see both permanent and temporary exhibitions with many interesting themes. The boat hall, which was opened in 2013 is the latest addition to the museum and shows the key importance boats had for the people living along the coast. Here there is also a cosy cafe and the smell of freshly baked waffles fills the room.
Throughout the year, Hordamuseet arranges many popular public events. These include prehistoric days with a focus on the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. The museum is the host for the three-day long Viking Market, the "Bjørgvinmarknaden". "Fanafjellsdag" will be held at the museum annex on Fanafjell and at the end of the summer the "Fun in the Country" event will be held. Towards Christmas time there will be good old fashioned seasonal fun at the pre-Christmas day at Hordamuseet.