The mansion Breidablikk was built by the architect, Henrik Nissen, in 1881. The owner was the merchant and shipowner Lars Berentsen, one of the leading businessmen in Stavanger at that time.
Breidablikk is extraordinarily well preserved, both the interior and exterior, and offers the public a vivid insight into the lifestyle of the middle class in Norway at the end of the 1800s.
The house was built in the Swiss style with touches of romantic and gothic influences. The interiors are amongst the richest and best preserved examples we have of the historic style, including furniture in the gothic, rococo, baroque and other contemporary styles. The buildings and the interiors demonstrate high quality workmanship.
In addition to the main building, the old main house and barn from 1852 still stand. The barn contains an exhibition of farming equipment and horse-drawn vehicles. The park is in the English style, containing curved paths and exotic trees, which are also well preserved.
The house was constructed during the course of 1881 and went into use the following year. Teak for the windows and mahogany for the doors were imported from Siam (Thailand) by the company’s own ships. All the window panes were made of thick, cut, plate glass. If the cellar is included in the house, it is bigger in both area and capacity than Ledaal. According to information provided by the last owner, the woodcarving was done by the cousin of the artist brothers Bergslien, and the ceiling decorations by the decorative painter, Louis Anton Jacobsen (1865-1945), together with his brothers, Karl and August. Jacobsen was much used as a decorative painter in the 1880s, and was later to become a well-known photographer in Bergen. Breidablikk is one of the best houses in the country from this period, with regards to bother materials and craftsmanship. It is built in the Swiss style with touches of gothic and romantic influence, and is in all respects a typical and excellent example of historicism in the 1880s. Most of the interior was acquired at the time when the house was first occupied, and thanks to the pietistic sentiments of Lars Berentsen’s descendants who cared for their father’s home, the interiors are some of the best preserved from this period in the whole of Norway.
The garden surrounding the main building was designed by the gardener P.H. Poulsson, and has to a great extent been preserved. Characteristic of his many garden designs is the winding paths, the avoidance of sharp angles and the use of exotic trees.
The Breidablikk Foundation was established in 1972 and the first floor was opened to the public in 1975, the second floor in 1977, and the cellar in 1979. In 1989 the Foundation donated the entire property to the Stavanger Museum.