Skip to content


Why is Lysøen closed?

From the villa at Lysøen, with the richly ornamented ceiling and chandeliers.

Written by: Anette Basso


Foto: Thor Brødreskift

In 2019, we closed the doors to Ole Bull’s fairy-tale castle. Extensive and necessary rehabilitation work was then started to preserve the villa and its objects for the future.

What kind of work is done at Lysøen?

The villa, which was built in 1872–73, is in a state of dilapidation and will undergo extensive restoration, which will increase the villa's lifespan.

All objects must be removed before the work starts, and this part of the project is ongoing at Lysøen at present.

What happens to the objects?

The objects are registered while we also determine which of them are in need of repair. This way, we can prolong the life of what is Norway’s common cultural heritage after Ole Bull.

The items in question are culture-historical objects, in addition to some visual art objects. As per 2022, we have noted approximately 2000 registrations, primarily furniture, mirrors, lamps, ceramics, violins, violin cases, and the like, and there is still much left around the house.

The objects are now being included, registered and documented in accordance with modern museum standards. They are cleaned, photographed and packed for further treatment and storage.

The process of handling the Lysøen objects gives us better control of the Lysøen collection. It is being digitalized and with that made accessible to the public in the future.

The Lysøen collection will be an important culture-historical collection of national, and to some extent international, interest.

What state is the villa in?

The villa is in a bad state. It has been gradually deteriorating for 20–30 years. This is caused by lack of funding and consequently lack of maintenance, which has led to damp and damage, leakages and poor indoor climate.

The need for rehabilitation is pressing. The building must serve as future protection for the objects it houses and also function as a safe and visitor friendly museum.

Who is doing the work?

Kode is in charge of the running and rehabilitation of the villa and estate at Lysøen. Through an agreement with The National Trust of Norway, Kode is responsible for the work’s progress and execution.

The National Trust of Norway, cultural heritage authorities and Bjørnafjorden municipality are important collaboration partners, as are the granting authorities.

The Conservation Department is an important collaboration partner concerning the work with the objects, together with other external museum technicians and not least Kode’s own project group.

When will the villa reopen?

As per 2022, it is difficult to know. It largely depends on the funding in the years to come. From the rehabilitation work starts, a construction period of a couple of years is required.