On July 14th 2005, the West Norwegian Fjords represented by the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord with surrounding country, were included in Unesco’s World Heritage list. The landscape, considered to be among the most scenically outstanding fjord areas on the planet, was inscribed in the list due to it’s unique natural quality and beauty. Norway has a total of 8 areas in Unesco’s World Heritage List.
Unesco’s World Heritage Committee explains the enrollment of the West Norwegian Fjords i.a. by the classic, well developed fjords considered to be type locality (geologi) for the worlds fjord landscape. The area is believed to be among the most beautiful and scenic fjord landscapes in the world. The depth varies between 10 and 500 meters and the surrounding mountains are up to more than 1400 meters high. The 204 kilometer long Sognefjord, which the Nærøyfjord is a part of, is actually more than 1300 meter deep at the deepest.
Numerous wild and beautiful waterfalls and rivers characterize the landscape, crossing the rugged mountains and deciduous and coniferous forests on their way down to the fjords. Beautiful villages with a sustained cultivated landscape with remainders of old farms and mountain pastures and unique cultural monuments gives a extra dimension to the dramatic natural landscape. A heritage with a importance so high that we are obliged to look after this treasure for the future generations.
Pictures from the Geirangerfjord area:
Pictures from the Nærøyfjord area:
Other UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Western Norway
There are also two other World Heritage Sites in Western Norway;
Bryggen (The Hanseatic Wharf) in Bergen and Urnes Stave Church at Urnes by the Lustrafjord.
Bryggen in Bergen has since 1979 been on UNESCO´s list over World Cultural Heritage Sites. Bryggen is a series of wooden houses along Bergen Harbour, originating from the Hanseatic (German) activities in Bergen from around year 1350. There has been several fires during the years, and the oldest remaining building is reckoned to be from around year 1702. The buildings were taken over by Norwegians in year 1754.
Urnes Stave Church is the oldest of a total of 28 remaining Stave Churches in Norway. The church was built around year 1130, and is situated at Urnes by the Lustrafjord in Luster. The Lustrafjord is a branch of the 204 kilometer long Sognefjord. A nice way to explore Urnes Stave Church and the beautiful surroundings is to drive to Solvorn on the other side of the fjord and cross the Lustrafjord by ferry from Lustrabaatane to Urnes. From the ferry quay, there is only a short walk uphill to the church. During summer you can join a guided “tour” outside and inside the church.
Official page for Norway: www.visitnorway.com
Official page for Fjord Norway: www.fjordnorway.com
Plan and book fjord travel, accommodation and activities: www.fjordtours.com
Fjord Pass Discounts: www.fjord-pass.com
Fjord Tours: Norway in a Nutshell from Oslo to the Geirangerfjord
Fjord Tours: Norway in a Nutshell from Oslo to the Nærøyfjord
Visit Norway: The Geirangerfjord
Visit Norway: The Sognefjord
Official page for the Geirangerfjord: www.geiranger.no
Official page for the Sognefjord: www.sognefjord.com
Bryggen in Bergen
Urnes Stave Church