Posts Tagged With: urnes stave church

19 December: Top 3 Historical Sites of Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

19 December: Top 3 historical sites of Norway

If you, like us, likes to visit any country’s historical sites to better understand how it came to be, then these three sites should be visited when you are in Norway. You can of course find ancient and viking artefacts in museums, but visiting places where the history is alive is far more interesting. Besides, it gives you ideas on where to ride next. Here are our top 3 historical sites which should be visited while in Norway:

1. The Rock Art of Alta

rock art

The Rock Art of Alta. (Image: Altamuseum.no)

No, it’s not a tribute to the Rolling Stones. This is the largest concentration of rock art made by hunter-gatherers in Northern Europe. These rock carvings and paitings are 7000 to 2000 years old, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. How’s that for art for eternity?

Urnesstavkirke

Urnes Stave Church is the oldest of the 29 remaining in Norway, dating back to ca 1140. (Image: Nina Aldin Thune/Creative Commons)

2. Urnes Stave Church

Never mind your religious beliefs, if any: The stave churches of Norway are worth visiting as they are also a testament to craftmanship. Several hundreds of years ago, Norway had probably hundreds of these churches sitting all over the country. Today, only 29 remain, and Urnes Stave Church is the oldest of them all, dating back to year 1140. Quite impressive, as these churches are made from wood.

 

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In to big guns? These will still your cravings. (Image: RideNorway.com)

3. Austrått Fort

From newer history, but nevertheless a very cool place to visit if you’re into World War 2 stuff. The Austrått Fort’s claim to fame is its enormous triple gun tower coming from the Nazi-German warship Gneisenau, the sister ship to Scharnhorst. Both had a role in the Nazi-German invasion of Norway 9 April 1940. The Gneisenau sustained heavy damages in a British air raid in 1942 and was subesquently decommissioned. However, one of its gigantic triple gun turrets were shipped off to occupied Norway and to Austrått Fort. It is still sitting there, and you can go have a look in its 5 story halls in the mountain. Scarily big!

Other tips for historical sites in Norway? Let us know in the comments below!

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