The king's official Bergen residence was originally occupied in the 19th century by Christian Michelsen, one of the first prime ministers of Norway after it separated from Denmark in 1814. It's open for just a short time each summer, and a visit here will tell you much about how the upper class lived at the beginning of the 19th century. The rambling wood-sided villa lies about 10km (6 1/4 miles) south of the city, overlooking the Nordåsvannet estuary. The interior is a happy marriage of the once-fashionable National Romanticism combined with an elegant Art Nouveau. Don't make the mistake we did and get caught wandering around the second floor. Security discovered us and promptly sent us scurrying back downstairs. Its gardens are open to the public all year. Don't expect the hoopla you might see at Buckingham Palace -- the venue is understated, discreet, and (probably for security reasons) aggressively mysterious.