One of the most popular mountain areas in Norway, surrounding and encompassing the impressive Rondane Mountains, was made a national park in 1962.
An area where foldings of the earth's crust, glacial epochs and erosions have left mighty and dramatic, while at the same time rounded and, in fact, rather friendly formations. Of 10 Rondane peaks towering above 2,000 meters, all can be climbed by people in ordinary good shape.
Through thousands of years this alpine area has provided hunters with a living, and the hunters have left their mark in the form of reindeer traps and burial mounds.
Rondvassbu - the mountain cabin in the heart of Rondane
Rondvassbu is an extremely popular cabin, and the perfect starting point for your mountain adventures with tempting peaks in all directions.
The cabin is located at the south end of Lake Rondevatnet. Svartnuten Peak towers behind the cabin, and behind it lie a string of peaks - Vinjeronden, Storronden and the highest of them all, Rondslottet (2,178 meters above sea level).
Rondvassbu is the largest cabin in Rondane belonging to the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). It was built in 1903 and bought by DNT in 1929. Since then, it has been expanded and remodelled several times.
Kvitskriuprestein (The Priests of the White Scree)
Kvitskriuprestein is an example of a form of erosion that is very rare in Northern Europe. With the exception of some minor pyramids in some of the tributory valleys of Gudbrandsdalen, there is nothing comparable this side of the Alps.
The compact white moraine soil, left over from an earlier Ice Age, is hard as concrete when dry, but easily washed away by rain and flooding creeks. The rocks on the top of the pillars have protected them while the rain washed away the surrounding soil.
Other conditions for the creation of these enormous pillars are a steep hillside and desert-like precipitation, preferably as heavy showers.
The formation of "the priests" is a continuing process which calls for protection. The pillars grow slowly, topple over and are replaced by new ones. From a distance, the white pyramids topped by the dark rock hats remind you of a group of priests, hence the name.
Ula Dam - Norway's first barrage dam
This 12.5-meter-high experimental dam was financed and built by order of parliament in 1877-79. The dam was intended to stop rocks and gravel transported by the Ula River from causing a blockage, transforming the 1,500 acres of fertile Selsvollene, into a lake.
The Ula River transports an unusual amount of rocks and gravel during the spring flood - in fact, no less than 1,300 square meters or 250 truck loads every year.
Storofsen, the terrible flood catastrophe in 1789, not only erased most of the houses at Selsverket, but also moved along such amounts of gravel down to the valley, that the course of the Lågen River was moved all the way to the western hillside. The Grasslands of Sel became the Sel Marshes. The taming of the Ula River was the first step towards making the dream of 100 new farms at the Selsvollene come true.
Just below the Ula dam, you may see remnants of the pier of the old Styggebroen Bridge. At the outlet of the Ula into the Lågen, there is built a fall, 4 meters high and 36 meters wide.
Reiret – a protected historical monument
The resistance command of Gudbrandsdalen during World War II made its headquarters in this tiny shack in 1944.
Reiret (The Nest) was so well-camouflaged that you could stand on the roof without seeing the hut, and the Germans never found it. The hut has been renovated and furnished with some of the same equipment as in 1944.
Entered in the guest book: "We here relive the fight for the liberation of Norway more strongly than we would at any war monument."
At the farm of Øvre Havn, a monument has been erected in memory of resistance men who fell in an encounter with Germans and followers of the traitor Henry Rinnan during the Easter of 1945.
Marcello Haugen's cabin
Marcello Haugen was perhaps Norway's best-known psychic. In his youth he was a train driver at Otta.
At Thokampen he was allowed to build a cabin with the foreign name "Sameti" (I thirst). The psychic spent his summer holidays at this splendid view point.
How he acquired the site is a story for itself. Old "Brævangjin", the landowner, had been drunk and lost his horse, and Marcello managed to catch it. Marcello resisted all offers of payment, but eventually said he would take the hilltop "where the sun always shines", and pointed to Thokampen. Marcello got the timber from nearby.
The cabin is colourful and interesting, and is open for anyone to visit.
Jørundgard Medieval center
Reconstruction in North Sel of a medieval farm, built for the filming in 1994 of "Kransen", based on the Norwegian author Sigrid Undset's novel "Kristin Lavransdatter".
The buildings are furnished, and props from the film are exhibited. During the summer, Jørundgard is open for visitors. There is also a stave church on the farm.
Guided tours in several languages are available. Old craft traditions are demonstrated by staff in the various buildings. There are also animals on the farm – Scottish Highland cattle, Norwegian sheep and wild boar.
Cildren can jump in the hay, walk on stilts and throw wedges. Concerts, talks and other activities are occasionally arranged. Medieval food and drink is served by prior arrangement. Simple refreshments available daily.