The School Museum

Bergens old Latin school from 1706 to 1840. Guided tours of the old Latin school and the school's fantastic school plan collection.

Welcome to Norway’s oldest school building. The School Museum is located in the old Latin school in Lille Øvregaten, right next to the Cathedral.

Bergen’s old Latin school from 1706. Guided tours of the old Latin school and the school’s fantastic school plan collection.  It was here that the city’s cathedral school was located in the years from 1706 to 1840. Here you can experience both the school interior and the nice apartment where the principal lived with his family. We also show some unique book treasures from the school’s time.
On the 2nd floor we have, among other things, an exhibition of beautiful school plans!

The cathedral schools were originally pastoral schools, with roots dating back to the mid-12th century. In Bergen, the school was located out on Holmen (now Bergenhus) for the first four hundred years, before it moved here to Vågsbunnen around 1550. The school building you find here now was built after the great city fire in 1702.

From seminary to high school

From the 17th century, the school was no longer a complete seminary, but a school that prepared for further studies at the university. It was this that later became high school and now high schools. In the old seminary you could find students from all walks of life, the school took care of the few boys it had room for. But in the 18th century, when the school was housed in this building, there was a requirement for prior knowledge and eventually the students also had to pay for it. This is how the Latin school became a place for upper-class children.

This was also the time for enlightenment, a new belief in science and reason. Some of the school’s teachers were central to the Enlightenment movement, and Latin, Greek and religion were supplemented by subjects such as natural history, mathematics, geography and modern languages ​​such as French and German. Towards the end of the century, the school building contained one of the country’s largest collections of contemporary scientific literature. Some of this can now be seen in our exhibitions.

Many of the school’s students at this time later distinguished themselves in literature, science and politics. The famous author Ludvig Holberg also studied at this school.

Small shop with unique self designed goods

The school museum has a small selection of nice and decorative products. Shopping net and posters with motifs from some of the beautiful school plans are very popular as gifts and for those who want to treat themselves to a pleasant memory from the visit.

Practical information and Accessibility:

The museum is unfortunately not made accessible for wheelchair users.
Smoking, grilling and all other use of fire is prohibited on the museum’s grounds.
The museum offers easy food at request in advance.
During the year we offer a number of guided tours and walks with different themes. Groups are welcome to book their own guided tours and walks. Please send us a request.

Guided tour of the old Latin school
In this tour we focus on the Latin school building from 1706 and our new exhibitions dedicated to this exciting part of the city’s history. Through the newly restored interiors you get a good impression of what the school may have looked like and during the tour we try to get inside the life of the country’s oldest school. We bring out some of the people who were here and marked the 700 years of development from the first seminary to the modern high school. Buy tickets for a tour of the old Latin school here

Guided tour of the school plan exhibition «Science»
On the second floor, changing exhibitions are presented. In a period ahead, we will show parts of the museum’s large collection of approx. 1500 posters. The science plans are first out, look forward to beautiful posters and an exciting insight into the history of the school plans. Buy tickets for a tour of the school plan exhibition «Natural Science» here

City walk: 300 meters Bergen – A walk from St. Jørgens Hospital to the old Latin school A visit to the School Museum is also part of our exciting outdoor city walk. These 300 meters between the Leprosy Museum and the School Museum were once characterized by citizens, civil servants and the poor. The funeral procession passed here, and it was here that the people of Bergen walked on bright summer evenings. Meeting outside the Leprosy Museum St. Jørgens Hospital, and the walk ends in the principal’s salons at the School Museum after approx. 90 minutes. Currently only available for groups.