On July 14th 2005, the Western 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.
The UNESCO Protected Fjords
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
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.
Fjords.com: The UNESCO-Protected Geirangerfjord
Fjords.com: The UNESCO-Protected Nærøyfjord
Fjord Tours: Norway in a Nutshell
Fjord Tours: Plan and book fjord travel, accommodation and activities
Go Fjords: Big and Small Fjord Experiences
Fjord Pass: Great Discounts on Activities and Attractions in the Fjords
Visit Norway: Official page for Norway
Fjord Norway: Official page for Fjord Norway
Official page for the Geirangerfjord: Geiranger.no
Official page for the Sognefjord: Sognefjord.com
The UNESCO-Protected Bryggen in Bergen
The UNESCO-Protected Urnes Stave Church