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The Vatnedalen dams in Bykle, Hovden in Norway - Photo: Destinasjon Hovden
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The Vatnedalen dams in Bykle, Hovden in Norway Photo: Destinasjon Hovden

Attractions in Hovden

Visit the Hovden Museum of Iron Production, the Vatnedalen dams or Bykle Old Church, one of the smallest and most beautiful churches in Norway.

The Hovden Museum of Iron Production

The Hovden Museum of Iron Production is built around a reconstructed melting facility and shows how coal and iron were extracted in the early Middle Ages. The museum has no written information, but by means of sound, light, smoke and scent, visitors will be taken on a journey 1,000 years back in time. "The Viking" will tell you his story - also in English.

The Vatnedalen dams in Bykle

The two dams in Vatnedalen are among the highest reservoirs in Northern Europe. They are situated to the west of Berdalsbru, approximately 15 kilometers south of Hovden. You may drive your car all the way up to the dams, where you will find a large parking area and information board. Free admission. Closed when snow.

Bykle Old Church

Bykle old church is located next to the new church building which opened in 2004. This is the oldest and perhaps most distinctive church building in the Setesdal Valley. It is constructed of logs, and has been restored several times.

The church, with its altar from 1619, was completely renovated in 1804 when two galleries and a spire were added. The floorboards in the galleries and the timber in the armoury ceiling were originally used in an older church.

In 1826, the church was decorated with traditional Norwegian rose paintings by Aslak Wasshus and K.Å. Byklum. In the summer of 1997, the rose paintings underwent a thorough restoration.

Huldreheimen in Bykle

Setesdal was by many perceived as an area where ancient Norway had been preserved. Customs and traditions formed part of the Norwegian national heritage, and visitors to the region came to experience a bygone era. Among these were Anton Raabe and the actor Tore Segelcke. Over a period of some 10 years following the end of the war, they created their own little rural museum in the hills above Bykle Church. This was where they spent their summers, enjoying the romance of the old buildings. Today, the premises have been restored and the buildings redecorated, and visitors are welcome to a somewhat different museum experience.

Nature conservation area at Hovden

In the Hovden Nature Protection Area, the Lislevatn Nature Reserve and the Vidmyr Nature Reserve, all vegetation is protected to preserve the unique flora and fauna.

Setesdal Vesthei - Ryfylkeheiene is a landscape conservation area, and the habitat of the southernmost wild reindeer population in Europe. These migratory animals require vast areas and are very sensitive to disturbances. Wild reindeer have roamed these mountains since the end of the last Ice Age.

The ancient path Byklestigen

Byklestigen is an old path which runs up the hillside about five kilometers south of the center of Bykle. The path was first mentioned in sources from 1770, and until 1879, it was the only route connecting the northernmost part of Setesdal with the south. In the old days, travelling the path was a risky and difficult endeavour. Today, this one-kilometer-long path has been restored, and boards provide information for visitors. The path is open all year round, but not recommended during the winter season. The walk takes about 45 minutes.

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Last updated:  2013-07-19
Bykle Old Church in Hovden, Norway - Photo: Destinasjon Hovden
Bykle Old Church in Hovden, Norway
Interior of Bykle Old Church in Hovden, Norway - Photo: Destinasjon Hovden
Interior of Bykle Old Church in Hovden, Norway

Interest:  Nature attractions, Buildings & Monuments, Museums & Galleries

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The Vatnedalen dams in Bykle, Hovden in Norway - Photo: Destinasjon Hovden

Attractions in Hovden

Visit the Hovden Museum of Iron Production, the Vatnedalen dams or Bykle Old Church, one of the smallest and most beautiful churches in Norway.

Attractions in Hovden

Source: Visitnorway

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About Hovden

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