The Forgotten Town Hiking Trail

Discover the hidden treasures of Gildeskål

Essential info

  • Destination: Helgeland
  • Season: January-December
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 0.6 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
  • Elevation Gain: 30 meters
  • Duration: 0.5-1 hours

About The Forgotten Town

Only a stone throw’s away from Road 17 in Gildeskål, you can walk up a little gravel road and be transported to a town that has been forgotten in time. The Forgotten Town is a 400 square meter quartzite and limestone construction reminiscent of a theatre stage. It was completed in 1996 by the Swedish artist Jan Håfström in cooperation with the architect Johan Celsing and is a part of the Artscape Nordland project.

The Forgotten Town allows you to experience past and future as coexistent. The artists wanted to explore the traces people leave behind, and you’ll see elements inspired by Indian culture, and stone floors reminding you of Ancient Greece. The stone construction resembles both a ruin and the basic structure of something yet to be built. It’s an empty stage where something could have happened in the past, but which now awaits its future.

The location of the construction contributes to its feeling of being hidden away and forgotten. As an observer, you’re placed high up in the formations of the landscape, allowing you to see onto the fjord, sky, and the surrounding mountains. Yet between you and this magnificent view, there’s a busy road, a reminder of human intrusion in the landscape through time. This gives you a feeling of being in a town that has been concealed within the complex folds of time.

However, The Forgotten town is more than a sculpture. The artists have designed it as an area, an open-air stage, a place where people can meet and enjoy life.

Getting there

Park at Oterstranda along Sørfjorden, about 15 kilometers south of Inndyr. There’s a sign that says “Skulpturlandskap” along Road 17.  

Trail description

From the parking lot, follow the little gravel road below the cliff. Climb up at the back of the cliff a couple of hundred meters in order to reach the highest point. From the top, you have a magnificent view of The Forgotten Town, the fjord and the surrounding mountains.

Facts

Not far from The Forgotten Town, beside Kjellingvatn lake, is a Thai house and a Sami turf hut. Both are open to visitors and places where you can spend the night.

The Thai house has a beautiful location by the lake. In summer, when the water lilies bloom, the landscape almost looks Thai. The Thai house is a place for mindfulness and meditation.

As well as being a tribute to Sami culture and the north Norwegian landscape, the Sami turf hut is a refuge for those who seek harmony with nature. Inside the turf hut, you’ll find everything you need for a simple stay.

The Thai House and the Sami Hut are parts of the artistic project “Sørfinnset skole / the nord land.”

Amenities

  • Free parking

Map

Questions or comments? Let us know.

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