Although most visitors rightly flock to Edvard Grieg's former home at Troldhaugen, Bergen has an important Norwegian composer of its own: Harald Saeverud. Born in Bergen in 1897, the young composer studied first in his hometown before going on to Berlin, where he met some of the greatest of the 20th-century German composers. Upon returning to Bergen in 1934, he married wealthy Marie Hvoslef.
The money for constructing his home, Siljustøl, was a wedding gift to the composer and his new bride. The imposing estate -- set on 70 beautiful hectares (173 acres) -- is like a piece of west Norway in miniature. Upon completion in 1939, Siljustøl was the largest private home in Norway, with 63 rooms. The house is made of wood and natural stone, and has six toilets, although the composer preferred the more old-fashioned plumbing of Norway -- a hole in the floor.
In 1986, Saeverud became the official composer for the Bergen International Music Festival. He lived in Bergen until his death in 1992, at the age of 95. After being given a state funeral, he was buried at Siljustøl, where his grave site is a pilgrimage destination for fans.