Monday, 22 August 2016

Solvorn, the prettiest village in the Sognefjord - and Urnes Stave church just across.

Solvorn is a tiny village located on the western shore of the Lustrafjorden, in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. Solvorn sits directly across the fjord from the village of Ornes, place of the precious 12th-century Urnes Stave Church.

Coordinates: 61°18′ N, 07°14′ E
Population:  ~ 230

The fjord waterfront of Solvorn.

Solvorn has a long history as a trade center, with a church, a courthouse and a harbour serving the people who lived around the lake Hafslovatnet and its surrounding villages.  Solvorn received a post office in 1841, which was recently closed in 1995.

Most houses are painted red or white, as usual in Norway's arctic and sub-arctic latitudes.

Many of the houses date back to the late 19th century. Presently, Solvorn has a church, a store, school, hotel and café. There are a couple of farms but the majority of the population is working either in the tourist industry or elsewhere in the region.

Picture postcard main street.

The charm of Solvorn - colourful wooden houses with fenced gardens with a view to the fjord.

A small green yard, then a boathouse, opening to the bay.

Along the beachfront, the boathouses were owned by local farmers and merchants, who took their products by boat to towns and markets around the fjord.

Some of the wooden red painted boathouses are newly restored.

The Wallaker Hotel

Solvorn is home to the historic Walaker Hotel, a classified house dating back to about 1650. 

The rooms are also finely decorated to feel centuries old - though with all modern amenities.

A magnificent garden overlooking the fjord.

The romantic gazebo in the garden.

Linahagen Café

A combined grocery shop and café, the only 'urban' public place where you can buy goods, meet people and have tea or coffee and a cake.

There has been a regular ferry route from Solvorn to Ornes, across the Lustrafjorden, since 1859. The beautiful crossing is a must before the visit to Urnes church.

Urnes Stave church

The wooden church of Urnes dates back to the Viking age (c. 1130), in transition to Chritianity, and is the oldest one of its kind.

Stave churches constitute one of the most elaborate and advanced wooden buildings in North-Western Europe during the Middle Ages.

The wood carving decor of exquisite quality on the outside includes elements of Viking tradition from the 11th century.

Wood carved pannels: above, a snake curling upwards being bited by another animal, probably illustrating a theme of norse mythology.

Deep into de fjord, the night comes down softly in the late hours of Summer days. Tranquility reigns in the small village of Solvorn.