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Architecture and heritage


The beautiful Herdalssetra summer farm lies 520 metres above sea level up from the village of Norddal and is within the UNESCO World Heritage area. The drive up the toll road (10 km) is steep and fascinating with its many waterfalls, ending at Herdalsvatnet, which stretches about 2 kilometres into the valley. The road runs along the lake Herdalsvatnet, and at the end of the path grassy meadows spread out over the wide valley floor. At the end of these meadows lies the unique Herdalssetra, which forms an intimate group of more than 30 old farmhouses. There are also a number of ruins from old farms and farmhouses. Traces of settlement from as far back as the early Middle Ages and even older constructions for hunting reindeer have been found in Herdal. The Geological Nature Reserve Kallskaret is situated about 2 hours hike from the farm.  This is one of the largest community alpine farm centres for goat farming in Norway, and there is an unbroken tradition of alpine farming here stretching back in time more than 300 years.  There are also cows, sheep and fjord horses on the farm. Thus children can find a genuine playground here. Here you can try goats cheese and goats milk caramel, made in the traditional manner. Walking amongst the old buildings and breathing the fresh mountain air and the scent of grazing farm animals gives you peace of mind difficult to find elsewhere. Behind the farm soars mount Hereggja (1557 masl), and the landscape invites you to mountain hikes and fishing expeditions. You can stay in a farmhouse and buy a fishing license for rivers and lakes. Herdalssetra also has its own, simple farmhouse café, where you can try traditional Norwegian sour cream porridge with cured meats and other traditional food  during the summer season. Season: June - September Guided tours included tasting and/or lunch. For groups arrangements and prices on request.   

Kvinnherad Church, Sunnhordland

Kvinnherad church is situated in the parish of Kvinnherad, Sunnhordland prosti. It was built of brick in 1255. The church has 380 seats. The church has protected status protected by law. Kvinnherad Church, which is a whitewashed brick church built in the mid 1200s, is one of the highest among the parish churches from the Middle Ages. Kvinnherad church was probably the main church for the region in the Middle Ages, but then in 1678 she became a private church for the baron of the Barony Rosendal, and was not parish church again until 1910. The church has a rectangular nave and choir, is little changed since the Middle Ages. All of the Gothic portals and windows are kept, which are relatively rare. The windows are simple and gothic, and the same in the south and the north portal. West Portal is richer decorated and flanked by double small columns. Grind Works The windows in the chancel to the south and east, with triple bows and rosettes above is stylistically influenced by the "Bergen gothic". The burial chapel north of the chancel, was built for the 1670s, Rosenkrantz century. In 1913 we built the sacristy door to the burial chamber. The interior has undergone great changes. By medieval fixtures are preserved only the altar in the church, and two gothic watches. The pulpit in the Renaissance style dates from the first half of the 1600s, and in 1670 the number received roof ceiling with cloud paintings. The altarpiece from 1705 was released by baron Rosenkrantz, and their coat of arms is painted below the picture of the Last Supper and the crucifixion. The pictures are framed by columns and are carved in thin and elegant acanthus leaf pattern. Open for guided tours in summer, but on funeral days there are no guided tours.

The Lusterfjord - inland towards the Jotunheimen Mountains

The landscape around the Lusterfjord is very picturesque, and many great artists have been inspired by the unique beauty of its scenery. The Lusterfjord is the innermost arm of the Sognefjord, which, from Skjolden at the head of the fjord to Solund at the coast, is all of 204 km long. This picturesque fjord arm is surrounded by the glaciers and high mountains of the Jotunheimen National Park and the Jostedalsbreen National Park, and most of the year the Lusterfjord is a beautiful bright green colour because of the meltwater from the glaciers that flows into the fjord. Along both shores of the fjord there are villages and lush cultural landscapes where fruits and berries are grown on small, idyllic farms. In the old days, travelling on the fjord was the main way of getting around, and boats sailed between Skjolden and Bergen several times a week. From all over the Gudbrandsdalen valley a steady stream of travellers made their way across the Sognefjell mountains to the coastal villages of Sogn and all the way down to Bergen. Now, there are roads along both sides of the fjord, and there is a ferry connection between Urnes and Solvorn. More about the Lusterfjord: The southern shore – the Romantic Road The narrow road along the southern shore of the Lusterfjord is called the Romantic Road because it winds its way through small, idyllic villages set in a beautiful, scenic landscape. This area has a fascinating history, and you can visit unique tourist attractions several places along the fjord. The most famous tourist attraction is Norway's oldest stave church, the Urnes Stave Church, which is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. During the first half of the 19th century many of Norway's best known painters were frequent visitors to the area, staying at the Munthehuset ("the Munthe Villa") in Kroken to work and find inspiration in the unique natural surroundings. The villa has now been renovated and is open to visitors by appointment.  Norway's leading jam and juice producing company, Lerum, originally started production at Sørheim, where it built a small factory in 1909, but as the business expanded it had to move to Sogndal, partly because ice on the fjord made transportation difficult during the winter months. Today, the small factory at Sørheim known as Safthuset ("the Juice House") is a museum open to groups on request. Between Sørheim and Kroken you will find the majestic Feigumfossen waterfall, which has a free fall of 218 metres and is among Norway's highest waterfalls. The walk up to the fall only takes about 30 minutes. The northern shore – the National Tourist Route On the northern shore of the Lusterfjord lies the small, idyllic village of Solvorn, with many well-preserved buildings and an old historic hotel called the Walaker Hotel, where you can visit the special art gallery called Galleri Walaker 300. Gaupne is the administrative centre of the Luster area from which it is only a short drive up to the Nigardsbreen glacier, where you can join a guided glacier walk on the blue ice. Gaupne Old Church, which was built in 1647 and contains parts of an older stave church, is open to visitors during the summer season. The National Tourist Route over the Sognefjell mountains to Lom starts in Gaupne and runs alongside the Lusterfjord to Skjolden. In the village of Luster there is a distinctive stone church built around 1200, called Dale Church. The architecture is Gothic and the church contains frescoes dating from the 15th century. The National Tourist Route and the Romantic Road meet in the beautiful village of Skjolden, at the head of the Lusterfjord. The Fjordstova centre has a climbing wall, swimming pool, library, arts and crafts shop, changing exhibitions and a cafeteria with a fabulous view of the fjord. The world-famous Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein lived and worked in Skjolden for periods in the early 1900s and wrote some of his most important works in the village. In a letter to a friend in 1936 he wrote the following about Skjolden: "I can't imagine that I could have worked anywhere as I do here. It's the quiet and, perhaps, the wonderful scenery; I mean, its quiet seriousness".

Sylte church

Sylte church in Valldal was built in 1863 and is a large longhouse-style church with 600 seats. The architect was Nils Andersen Liaaen from Ålesund, and the master builder was Gjert Lien from Nordfjordeid. The church has a great number of similarities to Sunnylven church from 1859. Much of the work carried out was voluntary - the local people were keen to see a new, fine church built on their side of the fjord. The many windows are large and the whole church is influenced by the popular construction style of that period when churches were built to be light, spacious and welcoming. The chancel has four stained glass windows with familiar motifs taken from the life of Jesus. These were donated as gifts to the church in connection with the 100-year anniversary of the church. The interior of the church is decorated in light and delicate colours and is simple and pure in style. The altarpiece is a copy of Gustav Dorés Jesus in Gethsemane, painted by Peder Cappelen Thurmann. Sylte church has only a few items that date from or are normally seen in churches from this particular period. It seems that the people of the times did not take special care of the old artefacts - neither the pulpit, christening font nor silver items from the previous churches in Valldal have been preserved. However, one item from that particular period remains: in connection with the removal of the Døving chapel to Sylte, the ancient altar table was not considered worthy of preservation. For a long time it was used as part of a staircase! During the 100-year celebrations for Sylte church someone decided to look for the stone tablet and the old altar table with carved communion recess has now been replaced in the church and is to be found to the left of the chancel steps (Source of original text: Norddal municipality). Open every day 15/6-15/8 from 10.00 -16.00.