In 1885, Lars Petter Olsen Valldal in the Valldal valley in Møre og Romsdal completed the barn. Then he spent seven years building this functional and beautiful barn bridge.(Photo: Oddleiv Apneseth)
Barns are an important part of Norwegian history that is not properly documented – until now. Photographer Oddleiv Apneseth and journalist Eva Røyrane made a journey through all the nineteen counties to document the varied buildings: Through 564 pages and 1200 photos you can make a unique journey through the Norwegian cultural history.
The Norwegian barn is the most important outhouse in Norwegian agriculture and an icon in the Norwegian countryside. The first Edition of “Norges låver”(English: Norwegian Barns) of 3000 copies is soon sold out and Tanum Publishing will print more to meet the demand.
– These buildings are so common that we hardly notice them. There are not so many who have cared about them, so this is why we would make a book, says Eva Røyrane to NRK.
This stone barn in Hodnesdal in Lindas Municipality was built in the 1930s and is still in use. The farmer became blind during the construction process, but continued to lead the building project with his sons. (Photo: Oddleiv Apneseth)
With assistance from the County Governor and the Director of Agriculture in Hordaland, Røyrane and Apneseth got help to get in contact with other agricultural offices and got tips about typical and special buildings in each county.
They have defined the barn as the farmer’s activity house, the outhouse containing everything the farmer needs: Enough space for animals, feed, and equipment.
The rationalization of agricultural sector – the number of active farms has decreased from 155,000 in 1969 to 43,525 in 2013 – has led to barn decay and demolitions. The book will therefore also be important documentation for future generations.
Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews