- The Park
The history of Malmanger Farm and Vicarage stretches back perhaps more than a thousand years. Eight of the buildings are listed. The old smokehouse, built before 1625, is one of the oldest buildings in the Kvinnherad region.
Several of the priests who resided in the vicarage had interests well beyond theology. As a result, Malmanger’s history is exceptionally colourful and broad in scope. It reflects not only varied building styles and the tastes of different social classes, but also the development of Norwegian agriculture, climate changes and gradual improvements in health care. The exhibitions reflect this breadth.
Perhaps the most interesting and noteworthy priest at Malmanger was Nils Hertzberg (1759–1841). He studied Theology in Copenhagen, but was also very knowledgeable about chemistry and physics, mathematics, land surveying, meteorology and medicine. In 1802 he conducted his own vaccination program against smallpox. From 1797 to 1840, he kept a meteorological journal, which contain the oldest known barometric and temperature studies made in Norway. It’s no exaggeration to claim that Nils Hertzberg was Norway’s very first climate researcher!
Kvinnherad is a region that has exceptionally many cultural monuments, even in a national context. An exhibition based on archaeological finds in local villages was organised by Bergen Museum, in cooperation with Arkikon and Hordaland County. The objects found span an 8000-year period, from early Stone Age to the late Middle Ages. It documents, for instance, the tool-making skills of the first settlers along the Hardangerfjord. In addition to flint objects, many axe-heads of diabase have been found at the settlement in Lundsmyr. These were clearly set into wooden or bone handles. Arrowheads, spearheads and knives have also been found. Finds from another settlement at Skåla, which is about a thousand years younger, include fishing weights of soapstone, handles, needles and fish hooks made of bone, and a necklace of animal teeth.
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