The history of Rosendal dates back to the 1650s, when the nobleman Ludvig Holgersen Rosenkrantz (1628-1685) came to Bergen as commissioner of war for the Danish king, Fredrik III. At a ball at the fortress of Bergenhus he met Karen Axelsdatter Mowatt (1630-1675), sole heiress to the largest fortune of the country at the time. Her father was a great land-owner and had more than 550 farms all over the western part of Norway. They married in 1658, and were given the farm of Hatteberg in Rosendal as a wedding present.
In 1661, Ludwig Rosenkrantz started building his own manor in Rosendal. He completed this in 1665. In 1678 King Christian V of Denmark gave the estate the status of barony - the only one of its kind in Norway. Around 1850, an expansive romantic garden was laid out around the manor.
The families of Rosendal were important people in the cultural life of Norway. Authors Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie and Alexander Kielland and painters Hans Gude and Anders Askevold visited Rosendal often. Musicians like Edvard Grieg and Ole Bull were guests here. Often there were concerts in Rosendal, a tradition which is still kept alive.
Baroniet Rosendal museum
The property remained in private ownership until 1927, when the last owner donated it to the University of Oslo. The manor is now operated as the Baroniet Rosendal museum. The museum offers valuable information about an important period of Norwegian history.
A guided tour of the manor takes visitors through the different periods of occupation from 1665 up to 1930. The oldest restored rooms are still decorated as they were in the early 19th century. The garden is often referred to as the most magnificent Victorian garden in Norway. Among other things around 2000 roses in bloom can be experienced here from June to November.