For 3000 years princes and kings ruled at Avaldsnes and controlled the ships that were forced to sail through the narrow strait Karmsund along “Nordvegen” – “the way to the north”, the shipping route that gave Norway its name.
Nordvegen History Centre tells the story about how Avaldsnes became The First Royal Seat of Norway. Harald Fairhair, the king who unified Norway into one kingdom, will present you for princes and kings who ruled the “North way” from Avaldsnes.
Some of these rulers we know from the sagas of the Norwegian kings, the heroic sagas and old skaldic poems. Others have become known to us through archaeological digs.
You will also get a glimpse into the magic world that people once believed to be true. You will meet sorcerers, shield maidens and Norse gods.
AVALDSNES – A PLACE FOR SAGATELLING
According to Snorre Sturlason, the God Odin came to Avaldsnes in 998 AD to tell King Olav Tryggvason great and wondrous stories about the past. In the 13th century Snorre himself visited the site. In the 17th century, Tormod Torfæus wrote the first Norwegian history in Latin while he lived at Avaldsnes. At the Nordvegen History Centre, we tell these stories of old using films, sound clips, lights, figures and objects.
A HIDDEN, UNDERGROUND BUILDINGG
Avaldsnes is one of Norway’s most important areas of cultural history. In order to best preserve the integrity of the church stemming from the Middle Ages as well as the historical landscape, most of the Centre is located underground.
From Karmsundet Strait, we are able to see the front of the majestic building with its glass and concrete front. From atop the plateau where the church is located, we can only see its round entrance which was built to symbolize Mime’s Well, the source of all knowledge and wisdom in Norse mythology.
Nordvegen History Centre was designed by Telje-Torp-Aasen arkitektkontor.
It was opened by Queen Sonja on April 29, 2005.
WELCOME TO AN EXCITING VISIT!
FOLLOW THE VIKINGS
Avaldsnes is partner in the European Viking Cultural Route called FOLLOW THE VIKINGS.
The project brings together a network of partners from across the Viking world to broaden and develop the audience to Viking heritage and its sites across Europe.