There are 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Norway. Of the list, 7 are cultural sites and only 1 is a natural site. Discover more about these UNESCO sites below:
- Bryggen (1979)
- Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site (2015)
- Rock Art of Alta (1985)
- Røros Mining Town and the Circumference (1980)
- Struve Geodetic Arc (2005)
- Urnes Stave Church (1979)
- Vegaøyan — The Vega Archipelago (2004)
- West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord (2005)
This cultural site in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Norway is a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings located in Bergen, Norway. The site was inscribed into the UNESCO list in 1979. These buildings line the eastern side of the Vagen harbour.
The history of the city of Bergen dates back to 1020 AD during the time of its establishment in the Middle Ages. There were pier constructions in the city and they date back to 1100. Meanwhile, some of the buildings in the area date back farther than that. In 1350, an office of the Hanseatic League was established in the city. From there, the trade activity in the city flourished and wharfs underwent improvement. Eventually, the Hanseatic merchants took over the buildings in Bergen that formed what is now considered as Bryggen, which is an important cultural emblem in the region.
Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site (2015)
This unit of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Norway is located in Telemark County. It is a cultural site that was established to protect the cultural landscape near Lake Heddalsvatnet and Vestfjorddalen Walley. The plant built by Norsk Hydro is the primary feature in this cultural landscape. It was established to produce fertilizer using atmospheric nitrogen.
Within the same complex, there are also other types of plants including transport systems, hydroelectric power plants, social institutions, workers’ accommodation, transmission lines and other factories. Visiting these sites will provide a glimpse of the past that helped to form the identity of the towns of Rjukan and Notodden. The site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.
Rock Art of Alta (1985)
These rock carvings are located in the municipality of Alta in northern Norway. The first carvings were discovered in 1973 and there were over 6,000 of these carvings spread throughout various sites in Alta. In fact, one site in Jiepmaluokta was converted into an open-air museum as it showcases thousands of individual carvings. The other sites that were included into this entry on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Norway include Kafjord, Storsteinen, Transfarelv and Amtmannsnes. This is the only prehistoric site included in Norway’s list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Røros Mining Town and the Circumference (1980)
When you explore this town and its surrounding area, this site reflects the basis for the current existence of this community. The two main industries that helped this town survive are mining and agriculture. Hence, you can get a glimpse of those when you visit the Røros Mining Town and the Circumference – one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Norway.
Mining in the town of Røros was established in 1644 and continued to operate until 1977. Eventually, settlement developed near the Hitterelva River that was the main source of power for the copper works in the mine. Aside from the mining and agricultural past, the unique square-grid renaissance pattern of the town also made it unique. When the town was restored after it was burned down in the late 17th century, the same pattern was also restored. There are 80 buildings that are currently protected once the site was named a cultural heritage site.
Struve Geodetic Arc (2005)
This transnational property is another cultural site in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Norway. It is a chain of survey triangulations that start from Norway’s Black Sea and travels through 10 countries for over 2,800 kilometers. This survey was responsible for reaching the accurate measurement of the meridian. It was German-born Russian scientist, Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve who initiated the project in 1816 until it was completed in 1855. This helped to determine the exact shape and size of the planet Earth. The first point of the Arc was in the Tartu Observatory in Estonia – this is also where Struve conducted the majority of his research and study at.
Urnes Stave Church (1979)
This entry to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Norway is another cultural site on the list. It is located in Sogn og Fjordane County, which is a stave church that features Romanesque architectural style. The church was built in 1132 and was designed by architect Bendik Urne. The church is made out entirely of timber. It was inscribed to the UNESCO list in 1979.
The church stands on the eastern site of the fjord in Sogn of Fjordane County right across the village of Solvorn. Its current location is still the original location of the church. It is the oldest church of its kind in the country. It showcases the link between Christianity and architecture, as well as showcasing the unique Ürnes style of animal art. There were also several archaeological investigations in this church and a few other churches within the region. Since the parisk of Urnes was abolished in 1881, the church has no longer been used.
Vegaøyan — The Vega Archipelago (2004)
The Vega Archipelago is the last cultural site in the list of UNESCO sites in Norway. It was inscribed into the list in 2004 and encompasses a group of islands belonging to the Norwegian Sea. Most of these islands are part of the municipality of Vega. There are approximately 6,500 islands covered within this site.
The island was noted by UNESCO for its showcase of how the settlers in the area lived a frugal way of living. The settlers survived through harvesting and fishing. Moreover, they were notable for surviving such a frugal way of life in the most inhospitable environment. When you visit the villages within these islands, you will find quays, fishing villages, farmlands and lighthouses that provide a clue on how the people lived in the region. Moreover, the Vega Archipelago has built a generation of farmers and fishermen over the period of 1,500 years.
West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord (2005)
This fjord is the only natural site inscribed into the UNESCO list. It was recognized as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Norway in 2005. The main feature of this site are the two fjords in Sogn og Fjordane County in Norway: Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord.
The Geirangerfjord is the first of two fjords included in this list. It belongs to the Sunnmore region and stretches up to 15 kilometers long. It is one of the most visited tourist spots in Norway. It is listed in the UNESCO list together with another fjord, Nærøyfjorden. The Nærøyfjorden is considered as one of the most beautiful fjords in the world. There are ferry tours that take tourists to the area in order to witness the surrounding green valleys and mountains and the overall landscape in the fjord. It is longer than the Geirangerfjord at 18 kilometers. These two fjords are located 120 kilometers apart from each other.