Heske Steinen (The Witch Stone) - Atlas Obscura

AO Edited

Heksestein (The Witch Stone)

A memorial to 350 people burned at the stake for witchcraft. 


In the quiet Nordnes neighborhood of Bergen, there is a small stone memorial known as Heksestein, or the Witch Stone. It remembers where 350 people condemned for witchcraft were burned at the stake during the country’s bloody witch trials in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Located on a peninsula between Vågen and Puddefjorden, west of the city center, Nordnes is a neighborhood defined by religion, merchants, and the Norwegian royal court. Originally home to a monastery, Nordnes became a neighborhood for rival merchants of the Hanseatic League after the Protestant Reformation.

Peppered with beautiful old wooden houses and narrow alleys, the area is filled with architectural contrasts following many fires and damage from World War II. Seemingly at odds with the centuries-old homes, a family-friendly aquarium sits just steps from the Witch Stone of Nordnes.

The inscription on the stone commemorates the miscarriage of justice that led to 350 people being burned at the stake between 1550 and 1700.

Two of the women executed at this site were Anne Pedersdotter and Lisbet Nypan. Pedersdotter and Nypan’s cases were some of the most famous and well-documented witch trials in Norway from this time. 

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web