Go to content Go to navigation
What's close to you?
Visit Norway tells you what's happening near by, where you are.
Rena

The Birken races - skies

Read more: Birkebeinerrennet
Read more: Birkebeinerrennet

Contact information

Description

The Birkebeiner races - the historical background


There was a civil war in Norway. Faction pitted itself against faction in fight for the throne. One faction was the birkebeiners. They were the underdogs, often in such dire need that they had nothing but the bark of the birch-trees as foot-wear.

The word birkebeiner, birch-leg, has come to mean a man strong in adversity, never daunted by trials and hardship. The birkebeiners had gained ascendancy over great parts of the country, but the rival faction, the baglers, prevailed in the East of Norway. After the birkebeiner chieftain Haakon died on New Years Day in 1204, the baglers saw a dangerous rival pretender in his son Haakon Haakonsson , who was born in 1204, a few weeks after his fathers death. His life was at stake, and the birkebeiners wanted to bring him to safety in Trondheim.


On Christmas Day in 1205 the party came to a small farm at Lillehammer, where they stayed in hiding over Christmas. They found it too risky to follow the route up the Gudbrandsdal valley, so they cut across the mountains to the neighbour valley in east, Østerdalen. Due to bad weather and difficult snow conditions the two best skiers.


Torstein Skevla and Skjervald Skrukka had to go ahead with the two year old prince.
"On this trip they suffered much from the cold, snow and wind". Behind this succinct account of the saga lies a deed of valour and strength with an appeal to skiers of all ages and nations. The 3,5 kilo pack carried by the present day birkebeiners symbolizes the prince, who later became king Haakon. He made an end of the civil war, and under him Norway had a heyday in the Middle Age. The birkebeiner expedition made history.


Good luck to you in that royal trail across the mountains !!

Green travel

The Birken races - skies has obtained certification for their environmental efforts by:

Eco-lighthouse Environmental certification of private and public enterprises, also tourism Green travel

Categories

  • Sports Sports
  • Skiing Skiing

Facilities

  • Classification

    • eco-lighthouse
Close
Embed this article

Copy and paste this code into your blog/website

Preview

The Birken races - skies

The Birken races - skies

The Birkebeiner races - the historical background There was a civil war in Norway. Faction pitted itself against faction in fight for the throne....

The Birken races - skies

Source: Visitnorway

Disclaimer

This site includes information about products and services provided by third parties. Whilst Innovation Norway endeavours to ensure that all information on the site is accurate, we cannot be held responsible or liable for any claims caused by information supplied on this website. Prices and availability are subject to change without notice. You should always check the accuracy of the information provided with the relevant supplier. Innovation Norway is under no circumstances responsible for the contents of external web pages linking to its website. Legal disclaimer.

Ad
Ad

More about this area

The Hamar region

Get to know this inland region on the banks of Lake Mjøsa, Norway's largest inland lake. Experience a rich cultural life and historical landmarks.

Accommodation with Character in Hedmark

Stay in a tree-top cabin, enjoy a spa-hotel or try life at a stunning manor farm. Hedmark offers accommodation to suit every taste.

Tourist Information in Hedmark

Hedmark has a number of tourist information offices, providing tips and advice both prior to and during your stay in the region.

Dining in the Hamar region

The Hamar region has several restaurants, cafés and guest farms with menus full of delicacies and tempting dishes made from local ingredients.

What to do in the Hamar region

The Hamar region has a wide variety of activities on offer, and is ideal for anyone looking for an active holiday.

Winter Activities in Hedmark

Hedmark is renowned for its stable climate, excellent snow conditions and miles and miles of groomed cross-country ski tracks.
TEXT ADS
  • Ad
  • Ad
  • Ad
  • Ad
Ad
Ad

Subscribe to newsletter