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Eastern Norway Hallingdal Hemsedal

Heritage sites off the beaten track

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Overgrown fields and farms
When walking in forests and fields, we often see traces of previous exploitation of the countryside where there is overgrown fields and farms that have fallen into disuse. These areas are often rich in vegetation.

Grain and sawmills – Brekkefossen and Hustadbekken
Small grain- and sawmills were often built near streams. We often find traces of these buildings, channels and other technical construction. At Brekkefossen Waterfall in Tuv and at Hustadbekken beck there are restored mills.

Deer traps
Many places you can see depressions in the ground. These were used for trapping larger animals such as moose, but the use of them ended with the introduction of guns. There are several traps along the «The Valley Route» from Holdebrua Bridge to Tuv. In the mountains you can see walled pits against ridges that were used to trap reindeer. Long guiding fences often extend from these pits. Shelters where the hunters hid during the hunt can also be seen. The area around Vavatn shows many traces of reindeer hunting. Animal hides and horns were important trading goods.

Charcoal production
Other depressions in the ground below the timer line can be traces of charcoal production. Charcoal was used to produce iron, which was an important trade 1,000 years ago, until the Plague. Tonnes of iron were transported from Hallingdal and Valdres. The area around Lykkja shows traces of this production. Viking expeditions, and later trade journeys abroad, brought the local population into contact with other cultures, resulting in Norway becoming a united kingdom. Christianity was introduced and stave churches were built throughout the country.

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  • Source: Hemsedal Turistkontor
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