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Ole Bull's summer residence at Lysøen constitutes an adventurous frame for the Bergen International Festival’s concerts. Lysøen was opened for the public in 1974 and is a legendary concert venue at the festival.

The story of Lysøen started in 1872, when Ole Bull decided he would build a new home for himself and his family on the small island. The summer residence – drawn by architect Conrad Fredrik von der Lippe – was finished one year later, and is regarded as a unique building today. The villa resembles a fairytale castle surrounded by trees, with its trademark onion dome and intricate ornamentation. Bull himself nicknamed Lysøen ‘his own Alhambra’ (the name taken from the famous palace in Andalucia, Spain), and he resided there during summertime until his death in 1880. Almost 100 years later, Bull’s grandchild Sylvea Bull Curtis handed over Lysøen to The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments. Today, Lysøen is managed by KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes, which runs it as a museum and concert venue. The museum consists of the villa as well as the island itself. When visiting the villa, one can experience the concert hall, Bull’s bedroom, the gallery and the living rooms on the ground floor.




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