Ulvik has a long, rich cultural history. A host of fascinating traces of a time long gone remain in the nook of the “Pearl”, with several well-preserved pieces of cultural heritage in the dynamic little town.
Ulvik municipalty was founded in 1891 after the three-way division of Granvin municipalty into Ulvik, Granvin and Eidfjord, but historical traces go all the way back to the 17th century. The village was gearing up to become an industrial town with a power plant in the Osa-mountains, but efforts were finally halted upon the German invasion during WW2. Since then, the town has experienced continual cultural and economic growth, but the traces of the past live on.
The cross-style church in Ulvik town center was consecrated in 1859, including several pieces from the 17th century at display. The chuch was one of the few places left untouched during the bombing of the town during the Second World War and has preserved several pieces of cultural heritage from the previous village-churches. Some of the pieces available for viewing include an antependium from 1250 (believed to be one of the oldest in Norway!) and an altarpiece from 1630. The interior is rose-painted by local artist Lars Osa in the 1920s. The old church bell that rung during the war is also displayed. For more information, contact Ulvik Soknelag at www.kirken.no/ulvik
Village mill Mylna
The old village-mill Mylna is situated by the stone bridge and river Tysso and is one of the few remaining traditional village mills in the region. The mill was built during the 1600s and has ground grains using the river current of Tysso. In later years, the mill has been fully restored and open to the general public. You may see the turbins at work on the ground floor, and experience the whole process from grain to finely ground flour. For more information and viewings, please contact Skeie-mylna | Facebook
The Mindelheim-sword and bridal bunad
In the 19th century, a sword was found in a mountain crevice at Lekve by a local boy. This sword is one of the nine remaining swords of its kind in the entire Northern Europe and most likely originates from the Bronze Age. The original has been submitted to Bergen Museum, but archeologiest Ørjan Engedal has created a wooden replica for display at Handelslaget in Ulvik. The shop also features the bridal bunad – the traditional national costume many would wear during special occasions. The bunad is a joint project by Ulvik Konelag and was created in 1934. The bunad is comprised of nine pieces and has been a part of nearly two hundred weddings over the years. The pieces include a crown in gilded silver, the main dress piece, the undershirt with black embroidery along the collar and an embroidered chestpiece. For more information and viewing, please visit Handelslaget | Facebook
Discoveries of grave tombs from the Iron Age have been discovered in Tunheim, and has gained a protected status under the Cultural Heritage Act. Coal pits used to produce coal have also been discovered in the area.
Osa Fossekompani started cultivating the area around Osa during the early 1900s, intending to establish an industrial town fit for 5000 inhabitants. Tunnels in the mountainside were carved out to lead water to the turbines, but progress was halted due to a lack of funds. The work resumed in 1940 under German Wermacht, who aimed to build both a power plant and an aluminum factory. Shortly after, the progress was halted again and never resumed after the Second World War’s German invasion. If you want to explore the tunnels in the Osa mountainside, contact B-Nature | B-Nature (bnature.com)