Numedal is located between Kongsberg and Geilo, and is within easy reach both from the east and the west. It is a popular area for cabins, and the municipality covers a large part of the Hardangervidda National Park.
In the Middle Ages, the people living in Numedal were farmers. They mostly produced what they needed for themselves by fishing, hunting and farming. Numedal was also on the trading route between east and west, and locals were able to purchase or barter for what they did not produce themselves. Today this historic track is a popular hiking route.
The valley of Numedal is known for its collection of building from the middle ages, and especially for its four stave churches. These are located in Uvdal, Nore, Rollag and Flesberg. Dating back to approximately 1150-1200, these four churches are famous for their interior decorations and unique construction. Church services and weddings are still held in the churches in summer, and they are popular venues for concerts. There are many heritage sites along rv.40, such as Kravik farms, Frygne grave site and Sevletunet.
The old Numedal Railway was opened in 1927. It stopped operations in 1988, and today there is only the occasional log transport from Flesberg to Kongsberg. The track from Veggli to Rødberg is used for draisine cycling, a popular activity in summer.
Flesberg is the area closest to Kongsberg – only 20 minutes by car, and offers a wide range of outdoor activities both in the forest and in the mountains. Within a radius of 100 kilometres there are 1.5 million people. Lampeland is the centre of Flesberg, where you will find the town hall, fire station, supermarket and a hotel. A few kilometres further to the north is Flesberg, where the stave church and the open air museum are located.
Rollag is situated in the middle of the Numedal Valley, and has a population of about 1,400 inhabitants. Rollag has been a farming area for a very long time, as is evident in buildings, paddocks, stone fences and gravesites. In this area are 16 of the 40 medieval wooden buildings in Numedal, among them Alfstadsloftet, which dates from 1193. By the stave church is Norway's oldest inhabited rectory, from 1633.
Nore og Uvdal
Nore og Uvdal is the northernmost area of the valley, and is well known for producing hydro-electrical power. The development of hydropower started in 1913 and in 1928 a reservoir and a power plant were built. The power plant, Nore 1, was at that time the biggest hydropower power plant in Northern Europe. To build these big constructions, a large number of workers were needed, and this increased the population in the district significantly. A railway was also built to Rødberg, where the power plant is located, and was in operation until 1988. The power plant is still running today and another reservoir has been built to give it more water.