7 Sankt Jørgens Hospital (St George’s Hospital)

The church seen from Kong Oscars gate and the entrance to the courtyard of St George’s hospital (photos Justin Kroesen)

St George’s was Bergen’s leprosy hospital. In medieval times it was situated just outside the town along the road going south. In 1545 it became a general hospital for the sick and the poor. Later it again was reserved for lepers.

The complex has a church which originally only served the patients, but eventually it became an independent parish for the area of Årstad south of the city itself. After devastating fires in 1640 and 1702 the hospital and the church were rebuilt in 1707.

The church seen from the courtyard (photo Justin Kroesen)
The church seen from the courtyard (photo Justin Kroesen)

The church took its present form in 1790 and was painted white before 1810. The building consists of a nave and a narrower chancel to the east and has a built-on transept on the south side. The interior has largely preserved its character of the late eighteenth century.

The interior of the church (photo Bymuseet i Bergen)
The interior of the church (photo Bymuseet i Bergen)

In the nineteenth century the hospital was part of an institution where groundbreaking work in the scientific study of leprosy was done. One might say that the worldwide evil of leprosy was broken here. The last two patients died in the hospital died in 1946, and the buildings and church became a museum (Lepramuseet).

sankt-jorgen-5

Exit St George’s hospital on the south side, turn left on Marken and follow this down to Strømgaten, where you will see Nonneseter tårnfoten past the tramrails (c. 250 m)

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