Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Vang
Vang muncipality has approximately 1.580 inhabitants and covers a area of 1.505,2 km2. Vang is a part of Jotunheimen, Nortern Europe+s larges mountain chain with several peaks over 2000 metres. All places in Vang are good starting points for trips, either by the marked routes or routes of your choosing. No matter what rout you choose you will have a wonderful chance to see many types of wildlife (birds, plants and animals) from all attitudes. Many people have come to Vang to experience the tranquility and insiration needed for writing of painting the magnificient view. Several waterfalls plunge dows steep slopes, some of which are Ryfoss, Sputrefossen, Drøsja and Eltunsfossen. The lake Bygdin has boat route in summer.
The pearl of Vang is Vangsmjøsa. Beautiful, yet capricious where it glimmers and twinkles in sunshine and calm. When the western wind chastens it, it sputters white with foam and the water drives high up the mountain hills. Legend says that Vangsmjøsa is very deep. A man wanted to find out exactly how deep it was. He took all the ropes he could find and tied them all together. For a sinker he used a pot of tin and a cured ham.
When the pot of tin reached the bottom it was melted, and the ham cooked. The rope reached from the farm Leine, across Vangsmjøsa and three times around the church. Measuring from the map that is 4500 meters. There is no reason to doubt that such a marvellous lake has its own sea serpent. On a totally calm day in 1910, several trustworthy people saw a tremendous big serpent swimming north through "Leirholsundet" (The passage of Leirhol).
Its head was held up high, and it turned from one side to the other. Behind it there were 5 or 6 windings. Unfortunately, the sea serpent was never seen again and wise surveyors have now found the lake to be only about 150 meters deep. But anyway; there are fish! Some years ago an 8 kilo fish was caught. And to enjoy a calm summer night on the lake is a blessing people in Vang really know how to appreciate.
Close to Vang church there is a rare picture- and rune stone (Vangssteinen). The stone was erected about year 1000, during the transition from heathen to Christian belief in Norway. "Vangssteinen" is one of the prettiest picture-stones made in this style, called the Ringerike style. This seems kind of strange we are sure the stone was made where it stands, and that it was made of 'local' mica schist. The reason is that 3 other picture-stones in this style are made out of sandstone from Ulvøya (The Island of Wolves) at Ringerike.
"Vangssteinen" is about 2 meters tall, and the frontside is well decorated. At the top there is a fable animal, most likely it is a lion figure. Below there is rich ramificated foliage and a ribbon for tying plaits with broad, secure and clear lines. At the bottom, the composition is closed with a border. A transversal bond with a simple geometrical pattern. To the right 42 runic letters are cut into the stone. In some of the first interpretations the runic letters were interpret to be; "The Goose-sons put up this stone after Gunnar, their brother".
But during the last 60 -70 years the runologists agreed about the following interpretation; "The Goose-sons put up this stoneafter Gunnar, their nephew. (In Norwegian nephew is "brother-son" so it's not all that different.) The Ringerike style and the motive on "Vangssteinen" probably is inspired by the trend from Europe. You can find similarmotives on picture stones in Denmark and Sweden.
In The Høre Forest there are clear remains of a rural fortress. The fortress stretches east-west about 150 metres and north-south approximately 75 metres. The remains of the fortress consist of three long walls. Under the castle is the "secret passage" through a narrow gap in the rock, and a large room under the castle called "Stallane". The fortresses explored in Norway shows that they are from the later Iron Age, the period 300 - 500 years AD.
HØRE STAVE CHURCH
The Høre stave church, by some called Hurum, was probably built about 1225 - 1250 AD. But, and as for many of the other churches, some parts of the church may be about 100 years older. The church was rebuilt about 1820. The carvings in the churchyard gate, originally a part of the church, are very beautiful.
ØYE STAVE CHURCH
This church, which originally dates to about 1250 - 1300 AD, was restored during 1956. It is a single-nave church. The church was reconstructed to its present configuration with the use of a 156 pieces of which had been found underneath the floor of the present parish church.
VANG STAVE CHURCH
From the first part of the 13th Century, the church had a most extraordinary roof painting and the escutcheon of Sigvat of Leirholar, the consular and feudal overlord for Northern Valdres and Hallingdal. The congregation grew, and the old stave church was not big enough to hold everybody. Another church was built, and when the new church was finished in 1840, the stave church was sold at an auction. Through the art painter J.C. Dahl the church was sold to King Fredrich Willhelm the fourth of Preussen.
The church was "torn down" in 1841, brought by horse over Filefjell to Lærdal and then by boat to Germany.
The Stave Churches are constructions of high quality, richly decorated with carvings. In virtually all of them the door frames are decorated from top to bottom with carvings. This tradition of rich ornamentation appears to go back to the animal carvings of the Viking age. The dragons are lovingly executed and transformed into long-limbed creatures of fantasy, here and there entwined with tendrils of vine, with winding stems and serrated leaves. The elaborate designs are executed with supreme artistic skill. The stave church doorways are, therefore, among the most distinctive works of art to be found in Norway. However, it is difficult to connect them with the Christian gospel.
Back in the old days there were 13 water mills by the river "Leineåne," but a major flood in 1860 destroyed them all. A lot of farms were also destroyed in one afternoon by 8 dirt slides that loosened up in the mountain. The mills and the farms were rebuilt, and 5 of the mills are restored and are nicely located in the characteristic cultural landscape. Nearby you can find "Leinesanden" (Sand beach of Leine) where people say that Holy Olav tried to Christianize the inhabitants of Vang. On hot summer days "Leinesanden" can be compared to the beaches of the Mediterranean countries.
One of the most famous historic persons from Vang is the knight Sigvat of Leirholar, who was a consular under Håkon the 5th Magnusson during the first part of the 13th Century. The legend has it that Sigvat was suiting / wooing in Gudbrandsdalen, but the knight Ivar Gjesling at Sandbu who lived much closer got the girl "Skorvangsola" (The Sun of Skorvang) as she was called because she was so beautiful.
The girl fancied Sigvat, so one day there were a message to Sigvat from "Skorvangsola" that he should get on his horseback and come and get her, because Ivar was gone for a while. Sigvat of Leirholar brought a few men, rode over "Valdresflya", burnt down Sandbu and "stole" the girl. On their way back he did the famous jump over the river Sjoa. (The Knights Jump) Ivar Gjesling's men were then only a few horse-lengths behind the girl robber, when he took the girl in his arms and jumped over the frightening gorge, and saved both his and the girls life.
We still have two solid memories after the knight of Leirhol. In 1987 Vang municipality got a sanction to use his escutcheon as the Municipality Escutcheon (weapon shield?) And at the northern Leirhol the house of Knight Sigvat still stands. The ground floor is built during the 11th - 12th Century and the first floor is built around 1300. The house is today a museum where you can get a guided tour.
THE KINGS ROAD
The building of the old Kings Road through Vang and over Filefjell started in 1790. It was the army that built the road, and lieutenant colonel C.J. Hammer leaded the work. For that period of time the road was good, but it went uphill and downhill. Along the road you could visit well-known posting stations like Øylo, Grindaheim, Skogstad and Nystøga and there were a lot of fuss when famous persons like Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and
Edvard Grieg were out travelling.
English tourists were not always happy about the food, "raka-fish" and "gammalost (old-cheese) were not always popular. (Rakfisk = half-fermented trout). Hunting and fishing is both for the supplement, and for the fun of it. In most of the waters and rivers there are mountain-trout to be caught. Both wild and breed trout are especially enjoyed around Christmas either smoked or as "raka" fish. (Raka-fish is fish that is cleansed, salted and put in barrels where it is kept for about 2 months at 6-9 degrees Celsius, before it´s eaten.)
The posting station Øylo, is built in 1880, rich on traditions and looks the same way today as it did a hundred years ago. A lot of famous people visited Øylo travelling past Vang, and some of them became regular guests, like Gerhard Munthe, who has painted a lot of famous pictures from Øylo.
Painting dicectly on the wall surface and the funny "paintings" he made on the white scrubbed wall in the living room, looks just as nice today. A lot of authoritative and masterful women have worked here. One decided that the mailman could not spend the night there, even if it was Christmas Eve and there was a terrible snowstorm outside. And one cured Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson for his snow-blindness with her mother´s milk.
The most dramatic part of the Kings Road is, without any doubt, this part over Kvamskleiva (Kleiv = steep-path). It was built early in the 18th Century and was in use until 1860, when the road along Vangsmjøsa was built. Nowadays the old road over Kvamskleiva is an interesting hike with its starting point just north of the old dairy / cheese factory in Vang. To drive over Kvamskleiva when it was icy, probably was a doubtful kind of fun. Many wives were scared to death when their husbands were racing each other on the way back home from the Christmas sermon / service in Vang.
In 1844 the painters J.C. Dahl and Peder Balke drove over Kvamskleiva in a big canopy wagon, and it took four horses to pull it over. The farm of the country policeman; Kvam. After passing by Kvamskleiva and the road starts to flatten, grass-grown and idyllic, you get to the old farm of the country policeman Kvam. This is where Gjest Baardsen, a famous thief, had to sleep without anything made of iron, when he was transported to slavery for life at Akershus.
(Rakfisk = half-fermented trout). Hunting and fishing is both for the supplement, and for the fun of it. In most of the waters and rivers there are mountain-trout to be caught. Both wild and breed trout are especially enjoyed around Christmas either smoked or as "raka" fish. (Raka-fish is fish that is cleansed, salted and put in barrels where it is kept for about 2 months at 6-9 degrees Celsius, before it´s eaten.)
Valdres is well known for its numerous mountain waters and lakes as well as rivers and streams that are perfect for fishing enthusiasts. You can purchase fishing passes for more than 100 sites, or the recommended "Fishing in Valdres" pass, giving you access to almost 70 sites all over Valdres.
Aurdalsfjorden is a lake well organized with facilities for fishing. Excellent trout and perch fishing. The fishing licence is valid both for the Aurlandsfjord and the Begnavassdraget, all the way to the Sør-Aurdal county border.
Begna river, from Bagn in Valdres to Nes i Ådal, is one of this regions most popular rivers to fish trout. This is the river that the "writer of the wilderness" Mikkjel Fønhus named "the big river" in his books. Mikkjel Fønhus lived and wrote at the Begna´s riverside. In Begna you can fish for trout, perch, pike and whitefish. (Pike just south of Eid). It is the trout and the pike that is the most numerous. In early spring and late fall the most usual bait is worm. In May - August there is an exiting fly fishing season. The river is easy accessible from both sides of E16. Many beautiful fishing spots is marked and it is made several fishing paths along the riverside.
Vangsmjøsa, an idyllic lake in Vang surrounded at all sides by high mountains. You can buy a fishing licence for both rod and otterfishing and you are allowed to fish both from the shore and from boat. Vangsmjøsa have excellent facilities for the people with special needs and the fishing places and easy accessible from the road.
Fasle is a river with excellent facilities situated between the Strondafjord and the Aurdalsfjord. Good fishing with several goods spots for catching fish. Good trout and perch fishing. Easy to reach from Rv51.
In Eidsbugarden the lakes are situated 1100 - 1500 meters above sea level. Not too much fish caught in the last few years. Bygdin is situated 1050 metres above sea level. The other lakes are 1200 metres above sea level and higher. This is high mountain fishing. You will not find big fish in these lakes. About 20 km on a gravel road (fv 252) from Tyin to Eidsbugarden. From here you have to walk 1/2-1 hour to reach the lakes in question.
MOUNTAINS OVER 2.000 METERS
Kvitskardstind 2.193 metres, Slettmarkspiggen 2.163 metres, Sjogholstind 2.141 metres, Øvre Torfinnstind 2.119 metres, Torfinnstind 2.085 metres and Galdebergstinden 2.075 metres.