Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sognfjord and Sogn Folk Museum. Heilberg preserved history and culture.

Visit the Heilberg Sogn Folk Museum and admire the ingenuity of rural people coping with cold, farming, husbandry, status. And find working areas, with real animals.  Great for a driving break.

 Norwegian Jaerhon, truly Norwegian chicken; light rooster, at Sogne Folkesmuseum, Sognefjord, Norway 

1.  The Norwegian Jaerhon.  This is no ordinary chicken. This rooster is a Norwegian Jaerhon, bred from a single gifted pair in the 1920's, and thriving.  Good layers of large white eggs. Find this fellow, or his successor in interest, at the Sogn Folk Museum at Sognefjord, or at  The breed was imported to the US in 1996.  They do well in the cold, of course; and like backyards, and tame well. Downside: they like space but fly like blazes, so need a covered run. This one can fly with impunity, apparently.

2.  The benefactor, G.F. Heilberg.  Why is this Norwegian Jaerhon here? Start with a tribute to a benefactor, a preserver of history and Norwegian rural life.  Meet G.F. Heilberg 1871-1944.  He replicated pre-modern Norwegian life, by moving town and country homes, barns, implements, furnishings into the Sogn Folkesmuseum.  Stop, get a map, and walk up and down the lanes, peer over the fences, into whatever is inside what. Wipe your feet. Get up close.

   G.F. Heilberg, benefactor, Sogn Folk Museum, Sognefjord, Norway

The Sogn Folk Museum is itself in a rural setting.  Its vision shows how wealth can be used for a greater good; to keep history and tradition alive.

1.   Turf roofs

Examine again the sensibility of the turf roof. These are also called green roofs, or living roofs, or sod roofs, and sprout in US cities these days as well in the country.  See, e.g., For roofs with mature trees growing on top, see

2.  How the upper crust lived.

Inside is a fine cast iron stove for heating, perhaps keeping things hot such as a teapot at that smaller area in the middle. This is too small to be a full kitchen stove, I think. In other parts of Europe, the cast iron stove followed an era of ceramic tile very decorative stoves, and perhaps the fancier tile was contemporary but for the wealthy in cities. Not sure.   

3.  The barn

This design looks universal for animal protection, agriculture.

Barn, Sogn Folkesmuseum, Sognfjord, Norway

4.  The farmhouse

There is much structural protection against weather: houses with entries above snow level, porch barriers against wind, place for animals below (see bars); some lower levels for animals are half below-ground.  The warmth of the animals, we were told, also kept the family warmer upstairs.

Design on the crossbeams:  Norwegian runes. Looks like two runes from the Elder Futhark system, the othala symbol, that means land-holding, or inheritance, is that so here? see

More on runes, the early Scandinavian-Germanic writing forms, at  It is possible, if not entirely accurate unless an expert intervenes, to put a contemporary surname into runes.  See Sweden Road Ways. 

Open areas on the first and/or second floor levels of village houses accommodate the needs of the housekeeper in cold and bad weather.  Driving by, see quilts drying out there, for example.

 Culture.  How people lived, day to day, from modest farmer to higher-ups.  Thank people like Gjert Falch Heilberg who valued his nation's past. Take your own walking tour, no rush. Many buildings are open. No guides, but there is a central administration building with information.

No comments:

Post a Comment