The home of Sigrid Unsted is a short walk from downtown Lillehammer. Undset was a Norwegian novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1928.
The home of Sigrid Unsted is administered by the Maihaugen Museum and is a short walk from downtown Lillehammer. Undset (20 May 1882 to 10 June 1949) was a Norwegian novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1928. Her best known work is Kristin Lavransdatter, a trilogy about life in Scandinavia in the middle ages as experienced by one woman, from her birth to her death. The three volumes were published between 1920 and 1922.
After living and writing in Oslo, she travelled to Rome, where she met and married her Norwegian artist husband and had two children. They then travelled to London, back to Rome and while Sigrid was pregnant with her third child, the family moved to Lillehammer for a short period, before moving back to Oslo. Her marriage breakdown and subsequent divorce meant Lillehammer became her permanent home. Within two years, Bjerkebæk, a large traditional Norwegian timber home, was completed and she was now able to concentrate on her writing.
It was during this period that all her major works were completed. In April 1940 Undset was forced to flee Norway due to the German invasion. She had strongly criticised Hitler in her writing and as a result, her works were banned in Nazi Germany. After spending the war years in the USA she returned to Bjerkebæk after Norway’s liberation in 1945 but never wrote another word, dying at the age of 67, in Lillehammer.
Her home has been lovingly restored and is available for guided tours, where visitors learn about her life and experience how it was when Undset lived there. The expansive gardens are also open to view. A cafe and gift shop are on site, featuring unique mementos of this famous Norwegian writer.