The Alvøen Hovedbygning museum features one of the oldest industrial communities in Norway. There is plenty to explore at this important historic site.

For almost 400 years, the mills and factories in the area have used the nearby waters from the Alvøpollen and Smavåtnet Lakes to generate the power needed to operate. The first factory opened as a gunpowder mill in 1626 and operated for more than 100 years until it was destroyed by a fire in 1733.

A historic stone mill wheel leans against a granite rock wall in Alvøen Hovedbygning one of the oldest industrial communities in Norway. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

A historic stone mill wheel leans against a granite rock wall in Alvøen Hovedbygning one of the oldest industrial communities in Norway. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

The museum opened in 1983 and features a charming country manor offering furnishings from the 1800s, together with production buildings and about 40 worker cottages from the same era. The grounds of the manor offer a lovely English garden, orchard and gazebo to explore in the serene atmosphere. You can also stop to enjoy a coffee at the cafe when it is open.

Walk in the lovely gardens of the historic country manor of the Alvøen museum. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Walk in the lovely English garden of the historic Alvøen country manor.  Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

The charming gazebo located in the garden of the Alvøen museum. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

The charming gazebo located in the garden of the Alvøen museum. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

The Alvøen Hovedbygning museum is one of the oldest industrial communities in Norway. There is a charming historic country manor, gardens and gazebo.The gunpowder mill, established in 1626, was destroyed by fire in 1733 then rebuilt in the 1760s. During the time of production the paper mill was the oldest in Norway. This mill supplied finer specialty paper and until 1908, some of the paper was used for making Norwegian banknotes.

The Alvøen museum has a charming cafe. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

The Fasmer family purchased the property and rebuilt the gunpowder mill in the 1760s before opening the paper factory in 1797. During its time of production it was the oldest paper mill in Norway. The mill supplied finer specialty paper and until 1908, some of the paper was for making Norwegian banknotes. The paper mill closed production in 1981.

The Fasmer family developed the area into a small community for their workers and therefore built many community buildings including a community hall, bank and school.

Alvøen is popular for recreational activities, walking the grounds and trails and riding horses. In the summer months, a variety of concerts, cultural events and art exhibits are offered.

Walking and riding trails offer outdoor recreational opportunities on the grounds of the Alvøen museum. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Walking and riding trails offer outdoor recreational opportunities on the grounds of the Alvøen museum. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Facts about Alvøen:

  • It is one of the oldest industrial communities in Norway.
  • In 1626 the first mill made gunpowder.
  • The paper mill made paper for Norwegian bank notes.
  • The Fasmer family lived in the Bergen and Alvøen area for 300 years.

Museum location and operating times:

The Alvøen Hovedbygning museum is located 12 km west of Bergen in Godvikis and operated by the Bergen Museum. Before visiting the museum, please check seasonal opening times. The museum is closed during the winter months, but usually opens on weekends the rest of the year.

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