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  • Nordvegen History Centre is well hidden in the historical landscape with great views of the North Way, the narrow strait that gave Norway its name.
  • Virgin Mary’s Sewing Needle – which will signal the Day of Judgement when the point touches the Church wall, say the Sagas. The Avaldsnes priests – we are told – climbed the needle under cover of darkness to thin the point as it leaned closer – thus saving the world from disaster. The gap is currently 9.2 cm...
  • Olav’s Church, built by Haakon Haakonsen in about 1250 AD, is a powerful monument to former greatness.
  • In the Nordvegen History Centre we meet Harald Fairhair who united Norway, making Avaldsnes the country’s oldest Royal Seat. Harald takes us through 3500 years of history when Avaldsnes served as the meeting point between Norway and mainland Europe. While telling of his realm, Harald introduces some of the barons who watched over this vital narrows and controlled shipping along Norway’s coast.
  • The Vikings were consummate sailors.
  • A Viking sheep, perhaps? The grassy mounds between Olav’s Church and Bukkøy Viking Farm are a fine example of how agriculture shapes the landscape. And a reminder to greet the tireless groundsmen – the “Viking Sheep”! Not content just to graze, these hardy animals enjoy human company and are pleased to say hello to passers-by!
  • Olav’s Church in Avaldsnes
  • Bukkøy Viking Farm – Inside the Longhouse The Viking Farm.
  • The name Viking was used by Scandinavians who travelled to other countries to trade, plunder and conquer.
  • The Avaldsnes Royal Farm Project will explore the role of the royal estates in the early days of a United Norway, and in the first millennium leading up to unification. The two-year excavation is part of a research project scheduled to end in 2017.

 

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.

Olav’s Church

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.

Opening hours

25.06-14.08: Monday and Tuesday 13.00-15.30. “Music and Meditation”every Thursday in July: 12.30-13.15. Free admission.

Nordvegen History Centre

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.

Opening hours

23. April – 23. September: Monday-Friday 10.00-16.00, Saturday 11-16 and Sunday 12-17.
25. September – 25. April: Wednesday 10-16 and Sunday 12-17.
Tickets: 110/90/55.

The Viking Farm

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.

Opening hours

21.06-16.08: 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.

Events

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.

Medieval festival 25th and 26th of August 2018: During the Medieval festival we will focus on the exciting history that took place at Avaldsnes between the years 1100-1400 a.d. Come and meet jugglers and knights, learn how to dance or take part in different games and eat honey glazed apples.

Kongsgård Royal Estate Project

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.opplevavaldsnes.no. T: +47 52 81 24 00. post@opplevavaldsnes.no