Historic property takes on new role

The City of Oslo has paid NOK 338.2 million (USD 40 million) for two square blocks of historic barracks located adjacent to the historic Akershus Fortress and Castle. The plan is to both preserve and use them, by turning the brick structures into what’s likely to be a new high school. “We think the property is […]

Lærdal struggles to rebuild after fire

The crisis is far from over in the mountain town of Lærdalsøyri, which was ravaged by Norway’s worst fires since World War II in January. Locals are now struggling with reconstruction, planning regulations and the fight to secure NOK 60 million (USD 10 million) from the government. The blaze destroyed 40 buildings, many of them […]

World War II treason suspects named

The names of more than 16,000 Norwegians suspected of treason during the Second World War have been published in a controversial book. While the publishers have removed some contentious names, the book has sparked debate over the ethics of naming suspects who were never actually convicted of crimes. The names were collected by the resistance […]

Lærdal fire flares up again

Norway’s worst fire disaster in 50 years is beginning to take its toll on fire crews, who dealt with yet another flare up in the hills above Lærdal overnight on Tuesday. Meanwhile police have started interviewing witnesses, including the owner of the home where the devastating blaze broke out. The new fire was reported shortly […]

Devastation worse than estimated

Fire flared up again in the devastated mountain town of Lærdalsøyri during the night, while damage from its weekend inferno was proving to be worse than even the prime minister was told during her visit to the area on Monday. At least 35 homes are now listed as destroyed, and investigators faced a daunting task […]

Investigation begins into ‘tragic’ fire

The firestorm that swept through a mountain town in western Norway over the weekend was “deeply tragic,” according to top state officials, but no lives were lost and a majority of the old wooden homes in its most historic district were spared. As investigators began probing the ruins to find the cause of the blaze […]

Charred ruins and broken hearts

As day broke after a night of inferno in Lærdal, the charred ruins of a mountain town that was an important part of Norway’s cultural heritage came to light. One witness to the destruction, Daniel Laabak, took this video of the still-smoking remains, which was posted on YouTube Friday morning: Scores of residents in the […]

A cultural treasure before the blaze

UPDATED: The Norwegian mountain town of Lærdalsøyri, hit by a devastating fire over the weekend, has long contained what historians call a “unique” concentration of small wooden houses on par with the better-known preserved districts of Gamle Stavanger and the neighbourhood behind Bryggen in Bergen. Conservationists were cautiously optimistic on Monday that the majority of […]

Inferno ravages historic town

UPDATED: Lærdalsøyri in the mountains of Sogn og Fjordane, known for its unique concentration of historic wooden buildings, was evacuated and cordoned off on Sunday after an inferno that swept through the town during the night led to danger for explosions. Police also set up a “no-fly” zone over the town. Lærdal was the scene […]

Oscarsborg, Høyblokken on preservation list

Norway’s state agency in charge of historic preservation (Riksantikvaren) has targeted the historic fortress of Oscarsborg, the area around it and, farther up the fjord in Oslo, the government high-rise known as Høyblokken. All deserve to be protected and restored, claims Jørn Holme, Norway’s director for cultural heritage. Holme wants the island where Oscarsborg sits […]