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The Gudbrandsdalen path with Peer Gynt

Henrik Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt” and the Pilgrim way of thought has much in common, as they both emphasize personal reflection and growth.

The pilgrim path through the Gudbrandsdalen valley leads you through the kingdom of Peer Gynt. This was the main road between Oslo and Nidaros (Trondheim) in the Middle Ages, and is the longest pilgrim route in Norway. Walk through small towns and a varied cultural landscape of Norway, and follow the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims, and the many artists that have been inspired by this valley for decades.


"Peer Gynt" by lake Gålåvatnet

A Pilgrimage

"Follow a path in search of a more profound inner understanding. A new start, the journey, the end goal. These are the basic elements of a pilgrimage."

A pilgrimage is a journey towards a distant sacred goal; which could be a holy place or something of personal, spiritual matters. Walking the path between Oslo and Trondheim gives the opportunity for a fulfilling pilgrimage in both ways.

The end goal is Trondheim and the Nidarosdomen Cathedral, where the Norwegian king Olav II Haraldsson is buried. When he was killed in year 1030 A.D., mysterious things happened on the fighting ground, and later also around his grave and to the dead body. He was crowned a saint, and his relics were placed in the Nidaros Cathedral, which Pilgrims have journeyed to ever since.

On the way to Trondheim, the pilgrim path takes you through open fields and mythical mountains, past waterfalls and quiet lakes. The silent but overwhelming nature gives peace to mind and body. Walk in a landscape that has inspired some of Norway's greatest stories, like Peer Gynt.

"Journeying through nature, journeying through heritage-laden landscapes, journeying through history, through thoughts about existence and our own history."

Peer Gynt and "the self"

Henrik Ibsen's "Peer Gynt" was inspired by the majestic nature of the Gudbrandsdalen valley and the local tales about Peer Gynt. Peer Gynt is a liar, a dunk, and a dreamer. He wants to become the emperor of the world, and says and does whatever it takes to get there – no one can stand in his way.

As Peer grows older and returns from his world travel, he is challenged to reflect on his life, on what he has achieved, both right and wrong. What did he make of his life? Who is he?


The stage play "Peer Gynt" at Gålå invites to a visual spectacular through professional performers and the view in the outdoor arena, and to personal reflection, through the music inspired by Grieg, and Peer Gynt's journey to answer the largest question in life: Who am I?

The modern pilgrim thought

The questions about the individual and our society are central in the modern way of thought for a pilgrim. The pilgrimage is about breaking free. All the choices we do as individuals and society is also about breaking free, and walking towards something new and unknown.

In our post-modern society, with its focus on technology and materialism, people have started to realize a need to discover their roots and their true identity. This can also be connected to the modern day definition on luxury – which to the western culture is no longer about money and materialism, but about the connection to nature, the time to think and exist.

A theatre production for reflection

Peer Gynt at Gålå gives the opportunity to experience the world famous piece in its most authentic form, in Peer Gynt's birthplace. Close to nature, in open air, you will be drawn in to the complex life of a dreamer, challenging the idea of the "self", and making way for new reflection on your own life.

During the summer season there are also organized walks on the Pilgrim path between Ringebu and Vinstra, which could be combined with the theatre production of "Peer Gynt".