Norway is a country where the beauty of nature dominates unchallenged, but the country also presents interesting cultural aspects. These aspects are little known to most tourists who arrive in the country. But a visit to the sites that UNESCO has entered on the list of world heritage allows you to become aware of Norway important cultural heritage.
These are the UNESCO world heritage sites of Norway: the Bryggen (historic district of the city of Bergen), the Church of Urnes (Urnes stavkirke), the mining town of Røros, the rock carvings of Alta, the Vegaøyan (archipelago of the Vega islands ), the Geodetic Arch of Struve, the Fjords of Western Norway: the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord, and last but not least, the industrial heritage of Rjukan-Notodden.
THE NORWEGIAN FJORDS
Two of Norway’s most beautiful fjords are on the list, although many others probably deserve to be included on the UNESCO list. These are the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord. Also interesting is the cultural landscape of the Vegaøyan, the archipelago of the Vega islands, which are located just south of the Arctic Circle. The islands and inhabited centers of the archipelago present a significant example of man’s adaptation to the inhospitable climate of the polar region.
THE WOODEN CHURCHES
Among the artistic sites we find, in southern Norway, the beautiful wooden church of Urnes dating from the twelfth century. This church represents the oldest Norwegian church and the prototype of the so-called “stavkirke”, medieval wooden churches of Norway. Another very beautiful UNESCO site of Norway is the suggestive ancient port of the city of Bergen, the Bryggen, made of colorful wooden houses that overlook the old port of the city.
The Alta site in northern Norway is instead famous for its prehistoric rock carvings, more than 6,000 have been found, dated between 4,200 BC. and 500 BC
Another very interesting UNESCO site is the mining town of Røros, located in central-southern Norway, a short distance from the border with Sweden. Here copper was mined since the 17th century, and today the town retains many wooden buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
The last site in chronological order, was in fact included in the UNESCO list in 2015, is the industrial heritage site of Rjukan-Notodden. This site includes a group of pioneering hydroelectric power plants, transmission lines, factories, transportation systems and cities.
The country’s least interesting UNESCO site is certainly the Struve Geodetic Arc, a series of triangulation points used in the 19th century for calculating Earth measurements. 34 points of the original 265 are included in the UNESCO list, they are located in 10 different countries, 4 of these points are in Norway.