One of the most important monuments of the Renaissance.
Close to Håkon’s hall lies the Rosenkrantz Tower, which is considered to be the most important Renaissance era monument in Norway. Parts of the tower are from the 1270s, but it has been built upon several times, both for defensive purposes and as a demonstration of power over the wilful Hanseatic merchants. Through dim and narrow stairways you can climb all the way to the roof, where the view over the city, the harbour and the fortress is impressive even today.
The tower was the residence of King Eirik Magnusson until he died in 1299. He was the last king to have his seat in Bergen. Later, the tower was host to less prestigious residents - in the cellar lies the infamous dungeon, which was probably in use from the end of the 1400s until the 1800s.
The Rosenkrantz Tower, as we see it today, was built by Governor Eirik Rosenkrantz as a combined defensive and residential tower on five levels. It was depicted for the first time in the Scholeus picture from around 1580. The work on the building was completed by Scottish masons and stonecutters in the 1560s, and the finished building has much in common with Scottish fortified towers from the same period. Two older constructions were incorporated into the tower; King Magnus Lagabøter’s castle –the original fortress from around 1270 – and Jørgen Hanssøn’s open outwork from around 1520. This has given the tower an unusual floor plan, with a quaint arrangement of rooms and differences in floor and ceiling heights, amongst other features. With its strategic placement in the southern wing, the tower has been a cornerstone of the Bergenhus fortress defensive system.