The outdoor museum The Heiberg Collection at Kaupanger is a beautiful oasis where you are brought back in time, to different eras where you can see and experience what life in the Sognefjord area was like before.
It is a great experience to walk around the outdoor museum and look at the old buildings and the animals and enjoy the silence and the beautiful view towards the Sognefjord and the mountains in the distance. Here you can get the feeling of what life was like in the old days.
Visit Sognefjord is the official destination company for the Sognefjord area.
Sogn Outdoor Museum (The Heiberg Collection) was established as early as in 1909 on parts of landowner Gert Falch Heiberg’s property in Amla at Kaupanger.
Heiberg had collected more than 3,000 objects from Sogn in addition to a house, and in 1909 he donated the collection to Historielaget i Sogn, which then established the Sogn Outdoor Museum. The museum was Heiberg’s great passion, and he managed the museum until his death in 1949. By then he had more than 20,000 cataloged objects in the collection.
Below is a picture of a postcard that Heiberg sent to Mr state consultant Teig in Fana in which he thanked for the help in connection with him being able to buy a complete wooden shoe tool collection from Ole A Olsen Haugland in Os outside Bergen in 1910. This tool collection includes a home-forged ax that was used for chopping the wooden shoe blank. On the postcard, which also has a picture of the old Heibergske Museum in Amla, the following text is written:
Mr. State consultant Teig, Stend i Fane (Fana) pr Bergen.
From Ole A Olsen Haugland in Os, I received today complete wooden shoe tools for a very moderate payment. I take the liberty of sending you my most obliging thanks for your kindness in obtaining this for me. May I never abuse your goodwill.
With respectful regards, Yours truly, G.F. Heiberg
In 1980, the museum was moved to a new building in Kaupangerskogen between Kaupanger and Sogndal. It includes a large indoor museum in addition to an outdoor museum with buildings from different eras, from the Middle Ages right up to modern times when the museum was moved.
At the outdoor museum there is a museum farm with cows, sheep, pigs and chickens. The animals roam freely in fenced areas. The rooster and the hens enjoy themselves indoors, you can go into the old barn to see (and hear) them.
The outdoor museum consists of around 40 historical buildings surrounded by a well-maintained cultural landscape and beautiful nature where you can stroll around and see and experience and get the feeling of what life in the areas around the Sognefjord used to be like.
There are beautiful walkways and paths between the old houses and farmyards. There is also both an outdoor and an indoor playground where children can play with old toys, among other things.
The indoor museum has exhibitions on three floors with different themes. There is an exhibition of folk costumes, there is a collection of antiques from Sogn, a silver buckle with a chain that belonged to Gjest Baardsen, and there is a collection of tools and equipment from traditional farming in Sogn.
There is an exhibition of toys from when great-grandmother was little, and an old dentist’s office, and you can see what a country store (a small shop on the countryside) looked like in the old days.
The museum has a museum shop in addition to Café Heiberg where you can buy coffee and where there is simple food serving. The indoor exhibitions are open almost all year round. The outdoor museum is open in the summer, see the museum’s website for more information about the museum and the opening times.
Kaupanger Stave Church has been in continous use since it was built around year 1140 AD. It is one of the largest Stave Churches in Norway, and is built with wood from the forest around Kaupanger.
The church is situated on the hillside above the Kaupanger Bay by the Sognefjord, which originally is an old Viking trading town. The name Kaupanger origins from the two norse words “Kaup” (to buy) and “angr” (bay).
Kaupanger Stave Church is still in use as a parish church and is used both for services, baptisms and weddings. Apart from Kaupanger, Sogndal is the closest town to the church, it is about 12 kilometers to drive from Sogndal to Kaupanger Stave Church.
Kaupanger Stave Church is open for visit during summer and is not part of The Heiberg Collection.
The Sognefjord, the king of the fjords, is the longest fjord adventure in Norway. The Sognefjord is 204 kilometres long and 1308 metres deep at its deepest.
Join a guided glacier walk on the Nigardsbreen glacier. Take a short hike to Mt Molden in Luster and you will get a fantastic view down towards the Lustrafjord. See the beautiful stave churches around the Sognefjord. Urnes Stave Church is one of them, it is located at Ornes by the Lustrafjord and is part of our common world heritage.
Join a fjord safari or a fjord cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. Experience the view from Stegastein viewpoint above the Aurlandsfjord. Flåm Railway has been named one of the ten most beautiful railways in the world. This is the train journey from fjord to mountain, and many people take the train ride both ways.
In the middle of the Sognefjord, where the fjord is at its widest and the mountains starts to rise, you’ll find Balestrand, an idyllic village down by the fjord. The fjord village of Fjærland is located deep in the Fjærlandsfjord. It is so beautiful there that it is almost unreal. Fjærland is also called The Norwegian Book Town because of all the book sales in the tiny village.
Borgund Stave Church was built around year 1181 AD. and is the most visited stave church in Norway. Close by is the old Vindhellavegen Road that runs between Borgund and Husum in the Lærdalen valley in Lærdal. The old Vindhellavegen Road is part of the old King´s Road between east and west in Norway.
The Fjærlandsfjord, Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, the Årdalsfjord and the Lustrafjord are all branches of the Sognefjord. These side fjords are perhaps even more famous than the Sognefjord itself, which is located in the middle of Western Norway. The Sognefjord is so long that it almost divides Norway in two.
Hotels and Accommodation at Kaupanger and in Sogndal, near The Heiberg Collection
- Amlasanden Fjordcamping at Kaupanger
- Vesterland Feriepark at Kaupanger
- Sogndal Fjordpanorama between Kaupanger and Sogndal
- Kjørnes Camping – At Kjørnes between Kaupanger and Sogndal
- Hoflsund Fjordhotell in Sogndal
- Sogndal Hotell in Sogndal
- Lægreid Hotell in Sogndal
How to travel to Sogndal
It is easy to travel to Sogndal and the Sognefjord, you can travel there by a combination of car, bus, train or plane.
The nearest airport is Sogndal Airport at Haukåsen near Kaupanger. Most flights that go to and from Sogndal Airport come from and go to Oslo and Bergen. The driving distance from the airport to Sogndal is 19 kilometers, there is a bus connection between Sogndal and Sogndal Airport.
You can travel by train from Oslo or Bergen to Myrdal station. Then you get to experience the Bergen Railway between Oslo and Bergen and Flåm Railway, one of Norway’s most spectacular railway lines, from Myrdal station to Flåm, which is located down by the Aurlandsfjord. If you take Flåm Railway, you get to experience the beautiful Flåmsdalen valley at the same time. The driving distance between Flåm and Sogndal is approximately 72 kilometres, including a ferry crossing over the Sognefjord.