Filefjell - jern og samfunn år 1000 Cultural Heritage

  • Photo: Thor Østbye

  • Photo: Dag Nordsveen

  • Photo: Dag Nordsveen

  • Photo: Dag Nordsveen

Essential info

  • Destination Valdres
  • Season January–December
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Distance 0.3 kilometers
  • Elevation 10 meters
  • Duration 0.5–1 hours

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About Filefjell - jern og samfunn år 1000

Iron manufacturing was a major industry in Filefjell from year 0 to 1200 AD. 17 iron production plants and 80 coal pits are registered within a perimeter of 500 meters at Otrøvatnet. The cultural heritage trail on the south side of Otrøvatnet takes you back to that time and past iron production plants, coal pits and house foundations.

Gro O. Kyvik, says the rich graves from Valdres put the area in a unique position in the period compared with the other East Norwegian valleys. The wealth is associated with extensive iron production which created a financial surplus for the people of Valdres throughout the Iron Age.

Archaeologist Espen Finstad says: Many people were involved in iron exposition. Coal pits had to be dug out, trees had to be cut down, stoves had to be built, bog removed and much more. At times, work had probably been organized so that several farms went together about the production of iron, either for own use or for sale. It is conceivable that the work was managed centrally in the community by chiefs, small kings, and later the king and church. Poor peasants and even slaves may have constituted the workforce. Some researchers believe that iron manufacturing was run by specialists and could not be done by anyone.

Access: E16 to Filefjell. Take off to the ski center and park your car there. From here you walk the Gamlestøgovegen for 700 m along Otrøvatnet to the islet right by the land. Here, on the left side of the road by a small stream is the sign that tells you that the Cultural Heritage Trail starts. You cross the stream on a small bridge and continue up a small hill along the stream for about 50 meters to the first signs. From there you will find your way.

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