Ibsengården in Snipetorp

In the autumn of 1843, the Ibsen family moved to Snipetorp after their summer house, Venstøp, had been sold in a compulsory sale in March of that year. Snipetorp is the only authentic built environment that survives from Henrik Ibsen’s time in Skien.

It is difficult to be sure whether Henrik Ibsen lived at Snipetorp himself. He was 15 years old in the spring of 1843, was confirmed on 1 October and would have been considered old enough to look after himself. On 16 November 1843, he travelled aboard the Lykkens prøve to Grimstad. He returned for a few weeks’ holiday in the summer of 1845 and visited again in 1850 on his way to study in Christiania, modern-day Oslo.

The ground floor of the apartment building was rented out to provide an income for the Ibsen family. Knud Ibsen kept chickens in the backyard, also to supplement the family’s income. He did not have a permanent job at this time, but did odd bits of work here and there, including helping people who wanted to emigrate to America.

Ibsengården in Snipetorp now provides accommodation for artists awarded Skien municipality’s artist scholarship.