In 1590, Anne Pedersdatter was burnt as a witch here in Bergen and, remarkably enough, the court proceedings have survived. They reveal a strong-willed and sharp-tongued woman, who antagonized many of her neighbours, whose chosen course of revenge was to accuse her of being a witch. As far as the judge was concerned, the crucial bit of evidence came from Anne’s maid, who said she had been used as a horse to transport her mistress to a Sabbat (Witches’ Sabbath). Clearly, Anne’s maid either had a grudge or was suborned, but no matter – and despite the objections of Bergen’s bishop – she went to the flames. Anne was not alone: 300 “witches” were executed in Norway in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – 250 of them women – in a cruel mix of misogyny and superstition that had spread across most of Europe.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Norway features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

Festivals are a different beast in 2017. They used to be associated with drinking warm cider while watching crusty bands in your naffest clothes; now the best e…

07 Jun 2017 • David Hillier insert_drive_file Article
Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks

Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks

On the face of it, Scandinavia isn’t a very sensible place for a holiday. For one thing, it’s almost always going to be colder than the place you’re leavi…

31 Mar 2017 • Steve Vickers insert_drive_file Article
Aurora Spirit: a magical journey to Norway’s Arctic north

Aurora Spirit: a magical journey to Norway’s Arctic north

This year, there’s more than the aurora borealis to draw you to ethereally beautiful Arctic Norway. On the shores of Lyngenfjord, two hours from the city of T…

07 Feb 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month