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Mother's Day: Eight strong women you should know about

Although Mother's Day honours mothers in particular, at Grand Hotel Terminus, women are celebrated every day. Here are some major names you should know. 

"Most statues and monuments in Bergen honour great men," says Kjetil Smørås, hotel director at De Bergenske. 

The city is home to 64 statues of prominent men, yet only four of women. When De Bergenske discovered this, it wanted to do something about it. 

When Bergen's "Grand Old Lady", Grand Hotel Terminus, was refurbished, the conference rooms were named after pioneering women. The hotel selected those who were born in Bergen, or have a strong connection to the city, and who made a strong mark on history. 

In addition, the hotel has published a book about the women, in collaboration with the Bergen Association for Women's Rights. The women featured in the book have all played a key historical role in business, culture, or art. 

Stay in the heart of Bergen on Mother's Day 

"We are proud of our contribution to highlighting the history of women in Bergen," says Kjetil. 

The names of successful women adorn the walls outside the hotel's banqueting rooms of the hotel, serving as a daily reminder of their inspiring role. And what could be better than celebrating them even more in connection with Mother's Day? 

Karen-Christine "Kim" Friele was a well-known advocate for gay and lesbian rights in Norway.

Here are eight women of which De Bergenske is particularly proud: 


1. Kim Friele (1935 – 2021)  

Karen-Christine Friele, known as Kim Friele, is known for her fight for gender equality and has contributed significantly to promoting acceptance and understanding of LGBTQ+ people in society. She was also a writer. Friele was from Fana in Bergen.   

2. Amalie Skram (1846 – 1905)  

One of Norway's foremost naturalist authors. Her most acclaimed books include Hellemyrsfolket and Constance Ring, which deal with the themes for which Skram is famous – depictions of contemporary social conditions and a strong focus on women's challenges and mental health.   

3. Ambrosia Tønnesen (1859 – 1948)  

Considered the first female professional sculptor in Norway. She was particularly known for her portrait busts.   

4. Elise Dethloff (1872 – 1931)  

A physician who was renowned for her fight against tuberculosis. She was chairman of the Bergen Association for Women's Rights. As a doctor, she was concerned with helping the poor and those who made a living from fishing in Øygarden, west of Bergen. She was active in the local community and helped launch several welfare initiatives.   

5. Inger Haldorsen (1899 – 1982)  

A feminist and one of Norway's first female doctors. She worked hard for women's rights and had a strong focus on improving conditions for women in childbirth. She was also keen to highlight the education and status of midwives in society.   

6. Dorothe Engelbretsdatter (1634 – 1716)  

The first famous female writer in Norway, she was a popular poet who was also known for her hymns, which can still be found in the Norwegian Hymnal.   

7. Fanny Schnelle (1866 – 1953)  

Teacher, politician, feminist, and tennis pioneer. Schnelle has been described as "the undisputed leader of the struggle for women's rights in Bergen".   

8. The Hagelin sisters 

Elna and Gudrun Hagelin started a shop selling homemade seafood dishes. Their seafood business was very successful, and eventually became known far outside Bergen. Today, exactly the same recipes are still used as in 1929 and their main ingredient remains fresh haddock fillets.  

We wish all the mums out there a wonderful Mother's Day!  

(Source: Wikipedia, Store Norske Leksikon, Bergen municipality, Søstrene Hagelin) 



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Mother's Day: Eight strong women you should know about