From catechism to flannel boards - Norways oldest school building.
From catechism to the mortarboard.
The School Museum is co-located in the old Latin school building, just north of the Cathedral, and are entered from Lille Øvregate. This is one of the country’s oldest school buildings, which previously housed one of our oldest schools. It was called the Bergen School, and for half a millennium after its establishment in the mid 1100s it was the only school in the city. That which began as a seminary would later become a ‘Latin school’ and a ‘gymnasium’, the gateway to academic training for generations of Bergen residents and others. The school, now the Bergen Cathedral School, still exists, in a more modern location on the other side of the cathedral.
In the museum’s old Latin school building, which housed the school from 1706 to 1840, the walls still contain the echoes of the past. Quiet contemplation on the Classics, the Church Fathers and the Catechism. The weak buzz in Latin, the language of the educated. The steps of the headmaster with his wig and blocked heels, perhaps with a new book on mathematics under his arm. Indeed, the Latin school was one of Bergen’s key centres for discussions about the Enlightenment and the expansion of knowledge which came with it.
The school was also the place where Ludvig Holberg spent most of his time while he was growing up in the city. In the Holberg Museum, you can immerse yourself in these formative years, in Holberg’s European travels and indeed the whole of this esteemed writer’s life and work.
On the museum’s second floor you will find exhibitions based on the School Museum’s collections of the last two centuries of school history: the elementary school classroom with rows of desks and a map of ancient Palestine, to the natural sciences lab with physics apparatus and stuffed animals, or the infamous dental surgery from Nygård School. The School Museum is a place for collecting memories and sensations, a place where we can learn about school and growing up throughout the ages.
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