During this walk we will show you Håkonarparken, (Håkon’s Park),
Kongsbrønnen, (the Kings Well) and Rimsvarden, (The Rim Cairn), all
heritage landmarks in Fitjar.
Terrain: Asphalt country roads, some footpaths.
Time: Approx. 1 hour
Parking: Rådhusplassen – Fitjar centre
The walk starts in ”Håkonarparken”, - Håkon’s Park – opposite Fitjar
Here you will find a sculpture of Håkon Adalsteinsfostre (Håkon the Good),
sculpted by Anne Grimdalen and erected in 1961 as a thousand year
commemoration monument to one of the most dramatic events in the
Saga of Norway – the Battle of Fitjar. It was here that Norway’s King,
Håkon the Good, was mortally wounded in the battle against “Eirik’s sons”,
probably in the year 961.
Håkon Adalsteinsfostre was at his residence in Fitjar with his army and
was holding a banquet for the local farmers when his nephews - Eirik’s
sons – attacked…
Snorre writes that the King was seated at the banqueting table when it
was heralded that a ship had been sighted, ”with the sons at the helms .”
The King declared himself ready to do battle and gathered his army and
the farmers together. His nephews came ashore with their army and a
bloody battle ensued with heavy losses on both sides.
The King’s arm was pierced by an arrow and he died later from his wounds.
The walk carries on along the main road past the cemetery to the pedestrian
Fitjar Church was built 1867. It was raised over the site of the old stone
church that had been demolished. Stone blocks taken from the old stone
church were used as foundations for the present day church as well as for
the walling enclosing the Churchyard.
Cross the main road at the pedestrian crossing and follow ”Vodlavegen”
past the Chapel and carry on until you arrive at Kongsbrønnen.
Snorre tells of Fitjar “between the great farms” where Harald Hårfagre -
Harald Fair Hair – often stayed in his later years. Harald’s son, Håkon the
Good, followed in his father’s footsteps and was often in Fitjar.
The saga says that King’s Farm lay were the old centre of the Fitjar Farms
was situated, on the rise due east of the Church. A likely monument from
this period is the old well, which has been here for as long as records go
back, and is known locally as King’s Well or Håkon’s Well.
The well has a timber bottom and over this a lining wall of flat-hewn
aspen trunks was raised, topped by a wall of stones forming the well head.
Four steps lead down into the well which was in daily use in its original
form until the local health authorities decreed that a concrete shaft be
The well now has a wrought iron safety barrier and a well cap of solid
Return to the Church and walk past the cemetery at the top side (take the
footpath). Carry straight on and follow the road up to the Rimbareid Junior
and Senior school (on your left), to the house at the top. Leave the
road here and take the marked trail up the hill to the burial mounds.
Rimsvarden lies high and in the open, overlooking the community and
district of Fitjar. This is one of the largest pre-historic burial sites in Hordaland.
According to tradition, King Rim is buried here, hence the name
Rimsvarden or Rim’s Cairn .
When the cairn was opened, in around 1790, a large, flat stone slab was
discovered, which had been placed as a cover over a square burial chamber.
A knife and a bronze sword were found in the chamber. The knife has
been lost but the sword can be seen in the Museum of History in Bergen.
The great cover-slab was taken down to the Church cemetery and used as
a grave stone for a farmer from Rimbareid, - 3,000 years after it was laid
over the grave of a bronze-age farmer.
Please note that the burial site is a protected national monument and it is
forbidden to take or remove any stones from the site.
To get back to your car simply follow the road down towards the town.
(If you feel like stretching your legs a little more, you can keep on up the
hill from where you turned off to get to Rimsvarden. On reaching the top
you will find magnificent views of Fitjar and the surrounding islands).