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 Tyrifjorden

The Royal Blaafarveværk was established in 1773 to extract cobalt ore from the local mines. The cobalt was to be used in the production of cobalt blue pigment for the world´s porcelain and glass industry. Today it is a museum in pleasant surroundings with many attractions. The cobalt mines are seven kilometres from Blaaafarveværket and Haugfoss. We know that industrial activity has been pursued here since the early 16th century, when the king´s sawmills at Kongsfossen were in operation. Later, the Blaafarveværket set its stamp on the area for 120 years, from 1776 to 1898. The pulverizing plant and the meltery used water-power at the Haughfossen rapids.

The ore was mined from the Skuteruåsen ridge, 7-8 km to the north. Between 1830 and 1840, this was Norway´s largest mining operation with nearly 2,000 employees. The Blaafarveværket exported cobal dye all over the world, including China. The works was gradually forced to close down when cobolt was produced chemically at the beginning of the 1870s. The Blaafarveværket is visited annually by around 350,000 people, which makes it one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country.

Åmot´s once largest company, the paper manufacturer Embretsfoss, was shut down in 1971, but industry still keeps a firm hold on the area. There are various wood-product manufactureres here, as well as a metal foundry, a sponge factory, and production of electrical gods. The national Theodor Kittelsen´s museum: Paintings and wooden sculptures present this major artist with magnificent interpretations of nature and trolls in the deep woods. They were started in 1773 and closed down 1893. In 1993, His Majesty King Harald reopened them as a museum showing an extensive mining industry in beautiful agricultural surroundings. A whole community, with houses, roads and schools grew up around this part of the cobalt industry.


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