The Norwegian history of leprosy is part of the worldwide history of an illness that on account of its heavy stigma resulted in the exclusion and humiliation of millions of people. Between 1850 and 1900 Bergen was an international leprosy centre, with three hospitals for leprosy patients and the largest concentration of patients in Europe.
The city’s oldest leprosy hospital, St. George’s Hospital, is now not only a monument to thousands of personal tragedies, it is also an important arena for the dissemination of Norwegian work and research on leprosy. In many parts of the world leprosy is commonly known as Hansen’s disease, named after the Norwegian physician Armauer Hansen who discovered the leprosy bacillus in Bergen in 1873. The last patient at St. George’s Hospital died in 1946.
The leprosy archives in Bergen are part of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme.
Closed public holidays; 17 of May.