Friday, 25 May 2012

Mo i Rana, a norwegian polar fairy tale

Mo i Rana is a charming town in the municipality of Rana, Norway, located just south of the Arctic Circle and in the Helgeland region.

Mo has a population of around 18 000, the most populous city in Helgeland.

Coordinates: 66°18′ N, 14°08′ E

The name comes from the norse Móar, which means sand or grass lowland. Farming was then the main activity, but later mining, boat building, hunting and fishing got to be the main ways of life.

In 1860, wholesale merchant Lars A. Meyer started a trade center. Meyer traded flour, herring and tobacco, reindeer meat, skins and venison with the Swedes.

From the end of the Second World War until the early 1990s, Mo i Rana, with its steel mill, was dependent upon heavy industry. Following the decline of heavy industry, new service industries have now grown in the town.


is the old town of Mo i Rana; situated in a small peninsula by the Ranfjord, its wooden houses were carefully restored. Moholmen is now a small coulourful neighbourwood where anyone in town would like to live.

The old wooden houses are historical monuments deemed worthy of conservation, and give visitors a look how Mo i Rana was 100 years ago.

A norwegian fairy tale village

You can see two large wooden building at the site. They are known as Tower House and Bakery House, which once served as the main base of activities for the Meyer trading company.

Bakeribygget, the old city bakery building

The building is restored and now houses a bakery, café, gallery and gift shop with food and bakery goods from Helgeland.

Tårnbygget, the "tower house"

This wood building from 1893 in Swiss chalet style was built for the merchant Lars Meyer, with decorative carved mouldings of wood around the windows. The building has been restored, as the nearby wooden gazebo.

The old City Council of the municipality of Mo (until 1963).

Rana Museum

A statue of Lars Meyer stands in the front garden

Regional museum with two departments, cultural history and natural history. Exhibitions and collections with focus on the Rana area and Helgeland.

Mo church

Mo Church is the oldest building in Mo i Rana. Built in 1724, it is made of wood and has 400 seats.

Meyergården hotel

The Man from the Sea

Havmann is a sculpture made from Arctic granite located in the Ranfjord, in front of Moholmen.

It was made in 1995 by the English sculptor Antony Gormley.

Moholmen Lighthouse

View to the Ranfjord

The Polar Circle Center

The Arctic Circle is situated just 80 kilometres north of Mo i Rana. A marble path and several memorial monuments mark the site.