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Masfjorden

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Bjørn West Museum – Museum Vest

Learn about the history of the dramatic resistance fighting in the Matrefjella mountains outside Bergen, where the last World War II battles in Europe took place.

The story of the white angels

The Bjørn West Museum’s name comes from the Norwegian guerrilla base that was located in the Matrefjella mountains during the last six months of World War II. The museum tells the story of the 259 soldiers, known as ‘the white angels’, who built up an effective military base in a short space of time just behind the German forces.

The establishment of this base was a dangerous and risky venture. It was only 50-60 km from Bergen as the crow flies. The Germans had to be kept in the dark for as long as possible, and nor could civilians know about its existence. Without the active support and help of self-sacrificing contacts in the communities around and outside the area, the Bjørn West organisation would not have been able to set up a base here.

Unique artefacts and photos

The resistance fighting in the Matrefjella mountains is an important part of Norway’s war history. The museum has a large collection of weapons, equipment and personal items that belonged to the Bjørn West soldiers and local contacts in the communities around the base. Photos, text and a film provide an insight into the harsh conditions the soldiers had to endure. They had to withstand brutal blizzards, freezing cold and a shortage of food. They met these challenges together, which strengthened their morale and comradeship.

Activities:

Guided tours – Join a guided bus tour from Matre to Stordalen Fjellstove and learn more about Bjørn West.

Historic car walk – Combine a visit to the museum with a historic car walk to Stordalen Fjellstove, where the Bjørn West organisation had its headquarters. A standing stone commemorates the six Bjørn West soldiers who lost their lives and the owner of the mountain lodge, Torgeir Stordalen.

See the film about Bjørn West – Our 15-minute film shows authentic coverage and accounts that describe what everyday life was like for the Bjørn West soldiers.

Beautiful scenery and walks – Masfjorden is ideal for walks and outdoor pursuits– from the archipelago in outer Masfjorden to the wild mountains and valleys east of Matre. You can buy a walking map with local information at the museum. Experience magnificent scenery in the footsteps of the Bjørn West soldiers!

Shop

You will find, books, souvenirs and refreshments in the little museum shop.


Last updated: 01/05/2024

Source: Visit Bergen

Bjørn West Museum – Museum Vest

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