Kongsberg municipality is situated 161 meters above sea level, covers a area of 792,3 km2 and have approximately 26.000 inhibitants in Buskerud. Whoever visits Kongsberg, the "Silver City", is surprised to find how much this city has to offer. Kongsberg is reknown for its long and active skiing tradition, with a stable, continental climate, is a focal point between hills and mountains, popular with both residents and visitors. In the city of Kongsberg there is a lot to do all year round. You might visit the picturesque the Old Town (Gamlebyen) with its special atmosphere: charming places to eat, antique shops, arts and crafts and ancient, venerable buildings. The Kongsberg surroundings offer many opportunities both in summer and winter, while the city itself offers nice resturants and overnight stay, making you feel welcome.
The stable inland climate of Kongberg provides outstanding opportunities for outdoor activities in all seasons. Popular Kongsberg Ski Center, one of Norway´s best ski lodges, offers alpine and Telemark skiing and snowboard runs. For people who enjoy cross-country skiing, there are many locales for memorable, fresh powder touring or track skiing.
The traditionally Kongsberg-Marken (Fair) is arranged in February every year, and 25.000 visitors come to the city for a some days of fun and bargains.
Roaring Nybru waterfall cascades the lively Lågen river through the center of Kongsberg. Close by its wide arc of silvery torrents are Gamlekroa (the Old Inn), the Royal Norwegian Mint, which has been operating in Kongsberg since 1686, the Norwegian Mining Museum, The Royal Mint Museum, Kongsberg Ski Museum, The Kongsberg Industry Museum and Magasin Park. Norway´s largest baroque church, built in 1761, is just a brief walk from Nybru falls.
Another way to explore Kongsberg´s heritage is to hike past abandoned silver mines in the hills above the city. Or get on board the pit railway at Saggrenda, eight kilometers from the city center, to travel 2.3 km into the mountain and centuries back in time - with a guided tour of the King´s Mine. An exciting experience is the Mining Safari. This unique adventure is a 5 km long walk through the 250 year old adit; "Underbergstollen". The guides from the Mining Museum will tell you what you see as you walk past the old silvermines at a depth of 150 metres.
In 1814, at a time when silver mining activities were in elipse, Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk was established by royal degree. The Krag-Jørgensen rifle was developed here in the 1880s. Its smooth action, accurancy and reliability led to the manufacture of nearly one million rifles in Norway, Europe and the United States. The rifle entered full-scale production at the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts in 1894.
Today, more than 100 years after, Kongsberg is still a town with a large industrial competence. Kongsberg township has about 26.000 inhabitants. Based in Kongsberg, more than 4.000 people are employed in international high-tech companies which competets all over the world. The main areas for the industry are defence, aerospace, offshore, maritim systems, car part production, EDP and optics. The city´s college works closely with industry in a mutually beneficial environment that encourages ongoing development of resources and talent.
INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
For 50 years, the Kongsberg International Jazz Festival
has brought internationally recognized performers to Kongsberg for a few hectic days in July. Kongsberg Jazz Festival brings together music lovers public to week 27 every year and has done so every year since 1964. Festival features Norwegian and international stars in the world, from the groundbreaking to established heavyweights. During the festival, there are crowds of people from the Church Square to all of the city nightlife and scenes. Kongsberg Jazz Festival offers several side program, which Barnivalen (Kids) and Jazz Film at the Kongsberg cinema.
The King´s Mine and Kongsberg´s baroque church are among the specially selected concert settings that give the Kongsberg Jazz Festival its unique atmosphere.
Discover the unique history of the Silver Road (Sølvveien). In 1624 the Dano-Norwegian King Christian IV ordered that a national highway be built from Konings-Bierg (Kongsberg) to Bragernes (Drammen). Life was to change dramatically for farmers in Sandsvær and Eiker over the next couple of centuries.
German mining engineers arraived in the district. Danish nobles amassed huge fortunes from the silver which was transported along Sølvveien.
The river Numedalslågen is Norway’s second longest river. From the western part of Hardangervidda – the highest mountain plateau in Europe – the river runs through the Numedalen valley to the town of Larvik. The lower part of the valley is called Lågendalen. In the upper regions there are a number of hydroelectric power plants. Downstream from Hvittingfoss, however, the river runs wild, constantly changing from quiet parts to rapids and waterfalls, through the natural and cultural landscape. This is the salmon-bearing stretch of the river.
Jonsknuten, known locally as Knuten, is the highest mountain in the municipality of Kongsberg. It measures 904 moh. Jonsknuten is a popular hiking destination. Around the top on the north, west and south side is the Barmen nature reserve.
KONGSBERG SKI MUSEUM
Offers a comprehensive collection of equipment and prizes of famous Kongsberg skiers, like the Ruud-brothers. More then 5.000 trophies are exhibited (included 7 Olympic Medals). The latest is a silver medal from the 1998-Olympics.
THE NORWEGIAN MINT
The Norwegian Mint was established under the name of The Royal Mint in 1686 The company was part Kongsberg Silver Mines and its purpose was to make coins of silver from the mines. Upon transfer to Norges Bank in 1962, had mint in the meantime, including been centrally controlled from Copenhagen and the Ministry of Finance, but the connection to the silver mines remained until this was discontinued in 1957. The Norwegian Mint mark all Norwegian coin, and the traditional mining mark - crossed pick and hammer - is still used as the mintmark on all Norwegian coins.
THE SILVER MINES
The Silver Mines are situated in Saggrenda, 8 kilometres west of Kongsberg, towards Notodden. The other museums are located in the centre of Kongsberg. Silver was first discovered in the year 1623, and this was the start of a mining period that lasted 335 years. In 1770 Kongsberg was the second largest town in Norway and more than 4 000 men were employed at the Silver Mining Company. Nowadays you can experience this fascinating history both above and below ground! The guides will tell you about peoples' living-and working conditions as well as mining technology, geology, the history of coin making and the glorious history of ski jumping in Kongsberg.
A mine train brings you 2.300 metres into the King's mine where professional guides will give you a guided tour. The visiting area is located 342 metres below the surface.
Five different museums under one roof. Situated in the old Smelting House (Smeltehytta) next to the waterfalls, in the centre of Kongsberg. One ticket gives admission to all museums. Conducted tours lasts approximately 45 minutes.
THE NORWEGIAN MINING MUSEUM
In this department an historic survey of the varied Norwegian mining history is presented. A thorough documentation of Silver mining in Kongsberg, and the largest collection of silver in the world.
THE ROYAL NORWEGIAN MINT MUSEUM
The collection gives a good insight into the coinage of past centuries; Comprised coins from the silver dollar of Christian IV to the current nickel coins, medals from the Great War to the Nobel Peace Prize of today.
KONGSBERG INDUSTRY MUSEUM
This museum opened June 2000 and presents Kongsberg Industrial History from 1814 and up to the present time.
NORWEGIAN MINERALS and MINING
Exhibition of Norwegian Minerals and history of Mining in Norway.
THE LAAGDALS MUSEUM (LÅGDALSMUSEET)
Lågdalsmuseet is the regional museum for Kongsberg, Numedal and Øvre Eiker. The museum was founded in 1924 and celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1999. The open air museum is situated on the old Glitre farmstead, and consists of 32 old buildings. The indoor exhibitions include the local resistance museum, folk art, interiors, old workshops and Norway´s only specialized optics museums.
NUMEDALSLÅGENS TIMBER FLOATING MUSEUM
The Timber Floating Museum in the old Damhouse, illustrates the importance of wood and timber in Numedal´s watercourse. The old "slide" at Labro is one of the longest which is preserved in the country.
THE LABRO MUSEUMS (LABROMUSEENE)
The area of the lower level consists of Skollenborg Power Station, the old Labro Power Station and workshop. The upper level consists of the Damhouse and buildings from the time of the Labro Paper Mill at the end of the 19th century.
THE WATERCOURSE MUSEUM LABRO
This is a special museum where the history of nature, trade and culture alongside Numedal´s watercourse is the main theme. The museum also present an exhibition where electricity production is a theme.
NORWEGIAN ROAD MUSEUM
The story of the Highway Department in Buskerud is presented in this museum. In the old road station from Flesberg you can see a workshop, a forge, machinery and various kind of equipment from Buskerud Highway Department.
Kongsberg Church was officially opened in 1761, and is the largest and most beautiful baroque church in Norway. The altar, pulpit and organ are built together as one gigantic wall. With its 3 magnificent chandliers and rococo interior, the building has a central position in the art history of Norway. The beautiful Gloger organ from 1765 is now fully restored, after not having been in use for more than one hundred years.
The industrial founder Tinius Olsen, is a combined technical college and secondary school. The school offers several courses covering trades and industries related subjects, general area of study, technical college and a foundation year for colleges of advanced technology. A section of Tinius Olsens School, "Tinius Ressurs", offers various up-grading courses, as well as arranging courses on request from the industry in Kongsberg. The college of advanced technology in Kongsberg was earlier a part of Tinius Olsens School.
The founder, Tinius Olsen, started his working carreer at Kongsberg Weaponfactory. Later he went on to study mechanical engineering in Horten, and then he emigrated to Philadelphia in USA, where he in the year of 1880 founded Tinius Olsen Testing Machine Co Inc. Tinius Olsen never forgot his hometown in Norway, and he donated money for various projects in Kongsberg. One of his main concerns was the education of young people. Today, Tinius Olsen is regarded as the main benefactor in the history of Kongsberg, and a monument to his remembrance is therefore raised in the park next to the school.
THE KONGSBERG GROUP
Kongsberg Gruppen is an international high-technology enterprise. The Group has 3800 employees. More than 900 of the Group's employees work abroad, and it is represented in more than 20 countries. Kongsberg Gruppen has two main business areas: Maritime and Defence.
Kongsberg Maritime is the world leader in several niche markets for maritime electronics and systems. The business area has three main divisions: Offshore and Ocean Science, Yachting and Fishery and Ship Systems.
Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace develops and manufactures high-tech defence and aerospace products, and is far and away Norway´s premier defence supplier. The business area is currently a niche supplier mainly of anti-ship missiles, communications, and command and control systems.
A walk through some of the old adits of The Kongsberg Silvermines. Guides tell you about the various challenges the miners
had to face in everyday life.
Abseiling along ropes (stage by stage) down through the King´s Mine (total lenght 112 metres). This is a unique experience - not for the faint hearted.
Above the King´s mine, the surounding hills are full of relics of this and other silver mines. Among them 300 mine shafts, large and small (now fenced off), remains of waterwheel houses, horse driven treadmills, shaft-top buildings and the remarkable system of articifial lakes, connected by channels which provided power for the mines. A guide will take you through the Sachsen area and tell you the exciting stories. The guided tour take approximately 1 hour.
Kongsberg ski resort is only 1 hour drive from Oslo, offer 10 km of groomed runs, and has a drop of 330 metres. There are 5 ski lifts, including a 4-seat express lift, and the combined lift capacity is 7.200 persons per hour. Starting from Kongsberg ski resort, Nordic skiers can access 55 km of prepared cross-country tracks, as well as 400 km additional marked trails in the area. Kongsberg, the famous skitown of Norway, has a modern alpine ski-area. Long trails, four of them more than a mile long, has a perfect mixture of easy, medium and difficult terrain. A new Snowcross-area with halfpipe, funboxes, quarterpipes and big jumps are important for the new group of participants in wintersports. Kongsberg Skisenter also has a spesial slalom-hill for competition, and a separate hill and lift for children.
You can be sure that you don´t have to spend your time waiting in line at the lifts. Three of the lifts are 1.600 metres long. One of them is a quadruple chairlift with detatchable chairs (express lift). The other two are traditional T-bars. We also have a lift for the competition hill, and, as we have already mentioned, one for the children´s area.
A complete rental department with alpine, telemark, touring equipment, and snowboard is at your disposal. A roomy lodge is part of your guarantee that your stay in Kongsberg Skisenter will be comfortable. The skiing centre includes a modern chairlift, excellent opportunities for slalom, telemark, monoski, halfpipe and snowboards, as well as a fine sledging run, which together with many kilometers of cross-country tracks contribute towards making the area very attractive indeed. The cosy ski pub offers a pleasant atmosphere between runs!
Fishing is a favorite sport in the Kongsberg area. Anglers can hook a trout in the city center - or relax amid the beauty of mountain lakes and streams. Kongsberg´s hilly woodlands and river valley are readily accessible for leisurely visits and challenging sports activities.
Kongsberg Golfclub is one of the longest 18 hole from yellow tee 6.025 metres. Kongsberg Golfcourse is perfectly integrated alongside the meandering path of the river Lågen and the mountain Skrimfjellene. The golf course is designed by architect, Jeremy Turner.