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Osterøy in Norway Osterøy municipality coat of arms


274,6 km2

Osterøy Local Directory

Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Osterøy

Osterøy is Northern Europe´s second largest island located totally inland. It is partly covered with forests and a area of 274,6 km2. Osterøy is located just northeast of Bergen, and is surrounded by the fjords Osterfjorden and Sørfjorden. The 19th century musician and composer Ole Bull had a home on the island at Valestrandfossen. The Havrå farm is located on the island. The name Osterøy has had a controversial meaning through the years and may originate from the tall or the largest island. The population of Osterøy is today approximately 8.000 and lies in Hordaland. The highest mountain is called Høgfjell mountain and reaches a height of 869 metres above sea level.

The local administration building for Osterøy is located in Lonevåg which also houses the majority of the industry on the island. Lonevåg named after Lonelva river which flows into the sea in a narrow bay. From Osterfjorden is the narrow Lonevågen which is not more than 500 meters wide and 5 km from Osterfjorden. The FOSSEN Fjord Fish factory is located on Osterøy in the middle of the astounding Osterfjord. Borge Garveri located in Lonevåg were specialists in bridle, leathergoods and high-end bovine leathers. Borge Garveri was a family run operation for 120 years (established around 1870). A lot of the best known fashion brands aroud the world used Borge Garveri products in their leather handbags.

Osterøybrua bridge is located on the southern part of the island, from Kvisti on the island to Herland on the main land. The bridge has a main span of 595 metres, the third longest suspension bridge main span in Norway, and a total span of 917 metres. The local economy is based on farming, forestry, and a number of different kinds of industry. Smaller communities on the island are Hosanger, Fotlandsvåg and Tysse in the north, Bruvik and Haus in the south, and Valestrandsfossen in the west. Osterfjorden is the fjord that divides Osterøy from the Lindås. The fjord is 27 km long, 1-3 km wide, and reaches a depth of 639 metres.


The unique cultural memorial Havråtunet is beautifully located on the sunny side between Bruvik and Haus. Discoveries from Stone Age may indicate that people have been living at this location or near by for more than 3500 years. That is one of the reasons why they now are working on preserving this area. As you can see from the pictures it looks like a little village. Because so many of the buildings are preserved, we can get an impression of how it must have been on a farm in this area prior to the 1800's. Havrå was a big farm. It consisted of seven areas of the same size, and one smaller area. Tunet has a total of 30 buildings. The buildings where people lived were in the middle, and the barns were on the outside of them. At the beginning of this century there about 60 people were living at Havrå. Today there are only people living in two of the buildings on a permanent basis, while the other buildings are used as vacation homes.

The three streets penetrating the area are made of stone and are called Garden, Øvstegarden and Nedstegården.These names tell what part of Tunet they belong to, The oldest building at Havrå is Gulæksbuæ and is dated back to around year 1200. In most of the buildings we can find timber dated back to the Middle Ages. The barns here are constructed the same way as other barns on Osterøy. By the river west Havrå there are five grinded houses located in a row. The picture to the left is from Garden.


The Museum was created in 1920. The general idea was to show an old farm-yard with buildings in Osterøy. Further more to show different handcraft-traditions from Osterøy. The first building to be rebuilt at the Museum was Solbjørgstova around 1930. In the end of 1930´s Kleivelandsstova was rebuilt. This house was built in connection with Solbjørgstova, so they appear to be one building. Even more buildings have been rebuilt since then, and the latest was Kleiveland school in 1989, a school building. The interior of the buildings is also authentic. While visiting Osterøy, you simply have to visit Osterøy Museum. The Museum is a living proof of the islanders' rich traditions of woodwork, textiles etc. Osterøy Museum is located at Gjerstad, close to Gjerstad Church.


In the house Bullahuset, located at Valestrandsfossen, the world famous violinist Ole Bull spent several summers together with his grandparents while he was a boy. During the summer months several wedding-parades were passing by their house on their way to Hamre church. Ole Bull followed them, at a distance, and listened to the music that was played. When he got home, he played as much as he could remember of this music on his violin. When he inherited his grandfather's farm at Valestrand, he rode his horse all over the island to talk to the people and exchange cultural- and musical ideas.

He was well liked and was welcomed everywhere and he had quite an influence on the people in the area. Numerous famous people visited him at his farm; among them were Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Edvard Grieg, and Myllarguten.


The Kossdal road from Svanheim to Hole has become one of the most well known tourist attractions on OsterØy. In 1997, the Kossdal road could celebrate 100 year of existence. No cars are allowed on this road, and it is built through the narrow and beautiful Kossdalen alongside the dark Kossdalsvannet. Here, according to old folk tale, a whole wedding parade disappeared through the ice.

Through Kossdalsskaret the road is build through a large assembly of rocks using high rock fences on both sides of the road. The road has a maximum inclination of 27% through 17 curves. The construction of the road started in 1885, to relieve an older road that was very difficult to travel through the steep pass. In 1978, several of the rock fences were repaired, and in 1993 some of the curves had to be rebuilt, since a large piece of rock had loosened.

Kossdalen is to day utilized a lot for trips on foot and by horse back. During the spring of 1997, people living in the area removed trees and bushes. The authorities are spending taxpayers money to maintain this facility.


The Osterøy-bridge between Kvisti at Osterøy and Herland was open in October 1997. Osterøybridge has a major length of 595 metres, and the tower stretches itself 121,5 metres above the sea. The opening took place 28 years after the first plans about a connection without a ferry between the island and the Bergen area were presented. The location of the bridge was a bitter strive between the islanders. A lot of the islanders worked in Åsane outside Bergen and lived at Valestrand area at Osterøy, and they have to travel much longer than before.


Herlandsfoss Kraftverk was founded in 1916 and completed the development of the Herlandvassdraget by 1920. Approximately 400 people were working on this project. The water powering the hydroelectric plant came from lakes Storavatnet and Loetveitvatnet. During Christmas 1920, the electricity was turned on and this changed the life for everybody living on Osterøy. The oldest and largest building at the power plant looks like a large church made of stone. This is a beautiful building, which was included in the celebration of Osteroey's past and present culture in 1997. In 1995 this building was converted into a museum.


There is not much knowledge about when the first church at Hosanger was built. The most probable time was around year 1200. The church was build from floating timber. The next church was built in the year 1610, but it did burn to the ground during Christmas year 1795. Only a silver chalice from year 1687 was saved. This is still in use in the church. The next church was built in stone and opened in October 1796. The Hosanger church is therefore the oldest still standing church on Osterøy.


The first church on Osterøy was located at Hamre. On this location there has been tarred timber churches since year 1028. The church there today is a wooden church constructed in year 1620. As you can see from the picture, the church exterior is impregnated with tar and the tower has a wooden roof. The type of lofting used for Hamre church is quite unique compared to other Norwegian churches. The church is built using zinc logs and the tower is built using timber framework. Inside the church, the baptismal font, made from limestone, is the oldest piece of interior in the church. It was constructed around year 1250. The second oldest part of the church is the main section of a triptych constructed around year 1480 in Lübeck, Germany. The beautiful wood carved pulpit and altarpiece are from the period between year 1622 and 1640. In the year 1653, the interior of the church fitted with large pictures which visitors can still enjoy.


There is good fjord and sea fishing in Nordhordland and Osterfjord. Not far to the west there are a lot of good fishing spots in the sea, where you can catch large cod, catfish and other types of fish. The open sea, the sounds and the calm waters of the fjords offer many good places to fish both from a boat or from the shore; salmon, trout, mackerel, cod, saithe, ling, pollack, tusk, halibut, flounder, angler fish and catfish. Get hold of a good sea chart with information about depth and the sea bed, and an angling guide with information about where to find the various species of fish together these can provide you with a fine catch!

Here you can find your own fishing along the bay in a river or a mountain lake. You can wander up into the mountains along the old mountain roads or along the marked T-squares. A boat trip on the fjord give the memory of bygone days with abandoned villages, laksegiljer, båtmiljø and stunning fjord environment.


Golfclubs in Hordaland.