Fire bucket from St. Jørgen’s Hospital. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Leather fire buckets

Leather fire buckets were common in the 18th century and several from St. Jørgen’s Hospital have been preserved. The hospital was ravaged by fire in 1640 and in 1702, and it’s easy to imagine the fear that it might happen again.

Read more

Veined grandfather clock. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Veined grandfather clock 

There are a number of old grandfather clocks at St. Jørgen’s Hospital. They may have been donated to the hospital by wealthy families in Bergen.

Read more

‘House rules at St. Jørgen’s Hospital’. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

‘House rules at St. Jørgen’s Hospital’

The House Rules provide a valuable insight into life at St. Jørgen’s Hospital in the second half of the 19th century. They define the duties of the various staff and of the residents.

Read more

Cupping set for bloodletting. Photo: Regin Hjertholm.

Cupping set 

For a long time, bloodletting was a common treatment. The wooden box contains a number of glass cups and a scarificator, which was used to make small incisions in the skin before cups were placed over the wounds to draw out blood. 

Read more

Collection box from 1778. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Collection box from 1778 

The words ‘Hospital collection box 1778’ are engraved on this box. Donations made up part of St. Jørgen’s Hospital’s income, from days of old to more modern times.

Read more

Collection box for donations to St. Jørgen’s Hospital. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Wooden collection box

This collection box for donations to St. Jørgen’s Hospital is made of wood. The top compartment is for coins, and the slots can be seen on top of the lid, as well as holes for the three keys needed to open it at the front.    

Read more

Ointment jar from Svaneapoteket apothecary. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Ointmnet jar from 1872

This ointment was prescribed to St. Jørgen’s Hospital on 1 April 1872. Ointments and other emollients were often used to soften calluses and relieve itching. 

Read more

Chasuble from St Jørgen’s Church, detail front. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Red velvet chasuble

This red velvet chasuble with elaborate and symbolic gold decoration was used in St. Jørgen’s Church. The age of this item and other preserved liturgical vestments from the church is unknown.

Read more

The altarpiece in St. Jørgen’s Church. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

The Altarpiece in St. Jørgen’s Church

The altarpiece dates from 1733 and was financed by a donation received 25 years after the current church was rebuilt after the city fire of 1702.

Read more

Chandelier in St. Jørgen’s Church. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Brass chandelier from 1779

The largest brass chandelier in St. Jørgen’s Church was donated in 1779 by the owners of the farms Årstad and Møllendal during the period in which St. Jørgen’s was the parish church of Årstad parish. 

Read more


Church bell at St. Jørgen's Hospital. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

The bell at St. Jørgen’s Church

The bell that hangs in the steeple today bears the inscription ‘From Prahls Støberi in Bergen 1850’. Prahl founded the city’s first iron foundry in nearby Marken, so the bell was actually made locally.

Read more

Portrait of hospital chaplain Robert Pfeiff. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Portrait of chaplain Robbert Pfeiff

The oil painting depicts the hospital chaplain Robbert Pfeiff (1642–1725). He was chaplain at St. Jørgen’s for over 50 years until his death at the age of 83. He lived to see two different churches at St. Jørgen’s.

Read more

Knitted petticoat from Pleiestiftelsen Hospital. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Knitted petticoat made at Pleiestiftelsen

This beautiful petticoat with a wave pattern was knitted by Jørgine Bergsvik (1857–1937). She lived at Pleiestiftelsen Hospital from 1895 until her death in 1937 at the age of 80.

Read more

Ingebrigt Langøen’s songbook. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Ingebrigt Langøen’s songbook

This songbook with handwritten lyrics belonged to Ingebrigt Langøen, who lived at Pleiestiftelsen from the age of 12 until his death in 1908 at the age of 24.

Read more

Food regulations from Pleiestiftelsen Hospital, 1881. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Food regulations from 1881

Such food regulations or weekly dietary lists have been preserved from several of the hospitals. Food was served according to a fixed meal plan, the same week after week, with quantities carefully specified for all meals in grams or litres.

Read more

Stand for temperature gauge at Pleiestiftelsen. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Stand for temperature gauge

It is not widely known that systematic weather observations were conducted at Pleiestiftelsen Hospital. You can still see the thermometer and hygrometer outside one of the windows. 

Read more

Memorial plaque for Daniel C. Danielssen. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Commemorative plaque to D. C. Danielssen

The bronze commemorative plaque from 1895 was made by the German sculptor Max Klein. It honours D. C. Danielssen as a scientist and was a gift from physicians around the world.  

Read more

Bottle of Chaulmoogra oil from Pleiestiftelsen Hospital. Photo: Bergen City Museum. Object belongs to the Bergen Collections on the History of Medicine.

Chaulmoogra oil 

Oil extracted from the seeds of the chaulmoogra tree was put to ever new uses for hundreds of years. In the decades before the first antibiotics were developed, it was considered the most effective treatment.    

Read more

Poster about visits to the leprosy hospital. Regional State Archives of Bergen.

Visitation rules poster

Around the turn of the ast century, a great many people travelled from countries such as Germany, England and the United States to talk to the doctors, be shown around Pleiestiftelsen and meet the patients.

Read more

Wax models. Photo: Bergen City Museum. Objects belong to the Bergen Collections on the History of Medicine.

Wax models 

There are a number of wax models in the Armauer Hansen Commemorative Rooms that show the typical symptoms and physical effects of leprosy. Such wax models or moulages became common in the late 19th century and were often used in connection with teaching.    

Read more

Microscope. Photo: Bergen City Museum. Object belongs to the Bergen Collections on the History of Medicine.

Microscope by Hartnack et cie

Hansen was using such a microscope when he identified the leprosy bacterium. Several publications state that he used Hartnack lenses to examine the tissue samples in which he observed the ‘rod-shaped bodies’.

Rad more

Bottles of dyes. Photo: Bergen City Museum. Objects belong to the Bergen Collections on the History of Medicine.

Bottles of dyes 

Hansen initially began examining unstained tissue samples under the microscope. However, after the German physician Albert Neisser succeeded in staining the bacterium purple with the dye crystal violet, and the surrounding tissue red with fuchsine, the bacteria became clearly visible. 

Read more

Silver wreath from Armauer Hansen’s coffin. Photo: Bergen City Museum. Object belongs to the Bergen Collections on the History of Medicine.

Silver wreath from G. A. Hansen’s coffin

After Hansen’s death in 1912, this wreath was laid on his coffin during the funeral ceremony. Newspapers across the country were full of articles about Hansen’s scientific achievements and international fame.

Read more

Photograph of Armauer Hansen’s urn. Leprosy Museum St. Jørgen's Hospital.

Photograph of G. Armauer Hansen’s urn

Hansen was one of the first advocates of cremation in Norway. After his death, Hansen was cremated in Bergen. The urn containing his ashes was buried beneath the plinth of his bust in the garden outside Bergens Museum.

Read more

Photo of Hansen's bust. Leprsoy Museum St. Jørgen's Hospital.

Photograph of G. A. Hansen’s bust 

The bust was officially unveiled in 1901 on the occasion of Hansen’s 60th birthday, and was based on the work of an international committee. At that time, it was the first public memorial erected in Norway for scientific merit, and Hansen was also the first person in Bergen to have his likeness displayed in a public space while still alive.

Read more

Portrait of Hansen 1909. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Photograph of G. A. Hansen from 1909 

This photograph of an aging G. A. Hansen looking through a microscope is one of the most famous photos of him. Few people are aware that the photograph was taken by chance, without Hansen realising it was being taken, and at a different microscope than his own.

Read more

All Rights Reserved