The Old Rural Collection in Lillehammer, Norway

As promised, here is the next post from guiding in-laws around in Norway. We where in Lillehammer (winter Olympic city in 1994), three hours drive north of Oslo. There are so many great things to explore there. In this post I would like to give you some samples from the rural community, hundreds of years old, in the Gudbrandsdalen Valley. It can be seen at Maihaugen Folk Museum. Here you can find the timber-build farms, the stave-church, the summer-pastures and the lumber-camp.

All pics taken with my Nikon CoolPix cam – please click to enlarge!

Let me start this trip with the proof of that winter has finally found it’s way to the south-eastern part of Norway too. Above is a special kind of a Norwegian Church called a stave church.

Same church from different angels.

A stave church is built in the stave construction, which consists of a timber framework of corner posts filled with planks. The corner posts are called staves. There were no windows in a stave church, except for round peepholes high up on the wall, as there are in the Garmo church, built around 1200.

This Rural collection’s founder was the dentist Anders Sandvig. From the very beginning he was interested in the concept of the Home – homes furnished according to local and traditional custom, timber-built and the interiors created by local carpenters. His dentist’s trips up the Gudbrandsdalen Valley gave Sandvig much knowledge of cultural history. He understood that objects and buildings out of context would not tell people enough. Now he wanted to show complete farm complexes with dwellings and outbuildings, tools and all the objects that belonged there. Since this time is out of the season, we could not get in, but I do hope you’ll get an impression out of these outdoors pics too:

Moving entire farm complexes to a museum was a new and untried thing, and the moving of e.g. Bjørnstad’s was seen as a triumph. Twenty-one buildings were dismantled and then carried on horseback – up to 20 horses – from Lalm to the station at Otta, from where the state railways had promised free transport to Lillehammer. The houses were built from mid 1600 up to the beginning of 1800.

The next post will be about Winter Olympics in 1994, but please be patient as I also have work to look after:-)