Dragseidet is the lowest mountain pass over the Stadhalvøya peninsular. In order to avoid sailing the exposed Stadhavet sea, seafarers from prehistoric times dragged their boats over logs – hence the name Dragseidet pass.
This old route on Selje was important to the transport network along the coast and was used to avoid having to sail the volatile Stadhavet sea. Dragseidet is probably one of the oldest roads in Western Norway.
Together with the old road over Filefjell mountain, the route over Dragseidet was the first public road in the county. They were called ‘tjodvegar’ because it was important that a rider should be able to hold a spear (tjod) across the saddle, with two lariats on either end when he was riding. The road should thus be wide enough to ensure that the lariats were not knocked off.
Forced conversion to Christianity
In 977, Olav Tryggvason gathered the farmers from Sygna, Firda, Sunnmøre and Raumsdal county at the assembly at Dragseidet. With a large army behind him, the king ordered those present either to convert to Christianity or to do battle with him. The farmers saw that the king had the upper hand and agreed to convert to Christianity. In 1913, a large stone cross was erected at Kongshaugen, midway along the pass, to commemorate the events of 997.