Avaldsnes – The First Royal Throne of Norway
Avaldsnes is regarded as Harald Fairhairs most important royal seat. The historical record here reveals ancient facts about the first kings of Norway and the legendary figures who appear so often in sagas and songs. The princes and kings who controlled the vital ”North Way” have left impressive works: mighty grave mounds, tall memorial stones, and rich artefact beds. Beside the medieval church is a History Centre and, to the East, a reconstruction of a Viking Farm.
This medieval stone church is the most prominent memorial to earlier ages at Avaldsnes. Built by King Haakon Haakonsen in about AD 1250 to serve his royal farm, Haakon dedicated it to Olav the Holy. A century or so later Haakon Magnusson inducted Olav’s and three other Norwegian churches into the Royal Collegiate. The church was an important refuge for pilgrims making the long journey to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Read about the pilgrimage here.
26.06-15.08: Monday and Tuesday 13.00-15.30. “Music and Meditation”every Thursday in July: 12.30-13.15. Free admission.
This well-hidden history centre lies in the midst of a rich field of historical relics. To avoid spoiling the views of Olav’s Church and the historic landscape, most of the Centre is underground. Here you can meet Harald Fairhair who united Norway, making Avaldsnes Norway’s oldest royal seat. Harald stands ready to guide visitors through 3500 years of historical time, when Avaldsnes was the place where Norway and continental Europe met and interacted. Harald tells of his realm and introduces some of the barons who ruled over Avaldsnes and controlled shipping up and down the North Way coast.
An exciting family activity is the Activity Pack “Viking for a day” and “Archeologist for a day”. You can dress like a Viking and experience what life was like in the Viking age or dress up and join in activities that show the sort of work that goes on in an archeological dig.
24. April – 24. September: Monday-Friday 10.00-16.00, Saturday 11-16 and Sunday 12-17.
25. September – 23. April: Wednesday 10-16 and Sunday 12-17.
The reconstructed farm actually lies on a tiny forested island below the medieval Olav’s Church at Avaldsnes. There are a number of structures – longhouse, firehouse, roundhouse and a large boat house which make up the homestead. The farm is designed to help us understand how our ancestors built their houses and how the vikings lived.
During Summer you will meet Vikings and participate in challenging Viking activities. Each year in beginning of June a Viking Festival is held.
26.06-20.08: all days 12.00-16.30. A Viking will take you on a journey back in time, tours take place daily at 13:00 (English-speaking) and at 15:00 (Norwegian-speaking). Tickets: 150/50 (children under 16 years). This also includes entrance fee at Nordvegen History Centre.
The rich heritage of Avaldsnes is a bountiful treasure house of ideas for historical events at Avaldsnes. Groups can book Viking suppers, enjoy historical re-enactments or listen to intimate concerts in St Olav’s Church.
The Viking bus from Haugesund: Every day from 10-30. July. Scandic hotel Haugesund 12.00 – Scandic Maritim hotel – Radisson Blu hotel Norheim. Return from Avaldsnes at 15.00. NOK 100 kr adults, Children free.
Avaldsnes is the site of one of the largest Norwegian archeological digs ever. The aim is to explore the role of the Royal Estate in Norway’s early history.
For more information about Avaldsnes: www.avaldsnes.info. T: +47 52 81 24 00, firstname.lastname@example.org.