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Magnus the Lawmender's Laws of the Land 750 years

Exhibition at Bryggens Museum May 22nd 2024 – April 22nd 2025

In 1274, King Magnus VI Håkonsson presented the Laws of the Land, a legislation for all his kingdom. He was the third ruler in medieval Europe to take on such great legislative work. The Laws of the Land were to be applicable law for over 400 years! For his efforts to improve the laws and the legal system, king Magnus is known to posterity by the nickname the Lawmender.

King Magnus' great achievement is celebrated by a large exhibition about medieval law and lawmaking, state formation and social development, writing and book culture. There is focus on legal system and law enforcement, crime and punishment, military organization, land and property, trade, religion and much more.

The exhibition has a broad and interdisciplinary approach. It shows historical manuscripts – including an early 14th Century Laws of the Land codex – archaeological finds, church art and other historical treasures. It covers the range from the dramatic and magnificent to simple objects associated with everyday life.

The Laws of the Land were created at the royal estate on Holmen, today's Bergenhus fortress. The legislative work probably took place in the vault rooms in Håkonshallen, the king's great stone hall, and the result was likely presented to king Magnus in the feast hall in the same building.

A collaboration between Bymuseet i Bergen, University Museum of Bergen, University of Bergen Library and Vestland municipality. It is part of the National celebration of the Laws of the Lands.

Last Updated: 05/21/2024

Source: Visit Bergen

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