The History of Bogstad
Bogstad Manor is a listed and protected cultural monument and one of the few country estates in Norway. It holds a central position in Norwegian history, both as an industrial estate and as a centre during important periods of our political history.
The history of the estate dates back to 1649, but the site was cleared and cultivated in prehistoric times. While Norway was still Catholic the land was rented out to tenant farmers by Hovedøya Monastery. After the reformatin in 1536 it was confiscated by the Crown. In 1649 the Danish-Norwegian king Fredrik III sold Bogstad and number of other farms to Morten Lauritzen. These forest holdings provided raw material for sawmills and the timber trade, both rapidly expanding enterprised in the 17th century.
The Manor remained in the same family from its establishment in 1649 until it was left to the Bogstad Foundation in 1955, administered under the Norwegian Folk Museum. A unique gift, they left everything as it was so it’s an authentic place with layers of layers of significant history.
The name that most Norwegian associate with Bogstad Manor is Peder Anker, who became the first Norwegian Prime Minister in Stockholm in 1814 during the union with Sweden (1814-1905).
From 1773 to 1780 Peder Anker made some alterations and additions to the main building in the best European tradition. He made his ballroom with inspiration from Versailles, bought a huge collection of paintings in Rome and created the first English landscape park in Norway. He experimented with rare trees and tried different plants to see if they could manage the climate. He created a model farm with several greenhouses and orangeries with exotic plants from all over the world.
1814 is a remarkable year in Norwegian history. We left the union with Denmark after nearly 450 years, we got our own constitution, at that time the most liberal one in the world. And we were forced in to a personal union with Sweden. In November 1814 the Swedish crown prince Karl Johan visited Bogstad and Peder Anker was asked to become prime minister. His son-in-law, the only count in Norway, became the minister of finance.
Bogstad is now open to the public throughout the year. Guided tours are daily offered in the main building during the summer (except Mondays).