In 1934 a group of citizens of Bergen established a society with the aim of setting up an open air museum, similar to those in many other Scandinavian cities. In 1936 the society took over Elsesro, a summer residence with its surrounding estate on the outskirts of the city. Developments were delayed during the Second World War but the museum opened in 1949 with three restored houses that had been removed from the city centre. Old Bergen is now part of the city museum service. It comprises some 55 wooden houses that formerly stood in the city, but as in many similar open air museums, the ambitions of the founders to create a fully-functioning historic town have never been realised. The landscaping is of high quality, particularly the views of the sea, the street scenes and the gardens. The buildings are from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and include a bakery, a merchant’s house, a watchmaking shop and farmhouses. One building, Nordnesgaten 23 built between 1756 and 1778 is the craftsmen’s house, and includes workshops for printing, book binding, photography and tin-smithing. The buildings and crafts are explained to visitors by costumed guides.