It was built as private residence in 1558 for Christoffer Valkendorff (1525-1601) the king's representative in Norway. The building material was stones partly retrieved from Allehelgens Kirke (All Saint's Church) that stood nearby.
The city hall and Muren, built 1561 for Erik Rosenkrantz are the most prominent buildings left from the renaissance period. It was given to the city of Bergen in 1568.
It was not spared the effects of the large fires that ravaged the wooden city buildings. It has burnt four times, in 1588, 1623, 1640 and 1702. The last fire left only the walls and the vaulted cellars.
It has been used as Magistrates court, and prison. Several of those imprisoned here was charged for witchcraft or sorcery and was sentenced to death by hanging or the ax.
It is today used for more peaceful purposes. The restored city council hall is still used as assembly for the city council.