Kongsberg Tourist Attractions
Kongsberg owed its foundation and early prosperity to the nearby silver-mines, which began to be worked in 1624, during the reign of Christian IV, and were closed down only in 1957. The town - the oldest in Norway after Bergen - lies in the southern Numedal on both sides of the river Lågen, on which there are a series of rapids in this area.The Kongsberg Jazzfestival, an annual event, has hosted prominent acts since it inception in 1964. The Kongsberg Skiing Museum highlights medals and equipment for a very popular winter sport.Kongsberg is also home to the Mint of Norway.
In the market square of Kongsberg, on the right bank of the river, stands a large wooden church (1741-61), with a fine organ and church plate. Opposite the church, to the north, is a statue of Christian IV and in Hyttegate, to the east of the church, a small Silver-Mine Museum. On the other bank of the river, spanned here by the Nybro (New Bridge), is the Lågdal Museum, with a collection of antiquities from the surrounding area.
The Heddal is reached by taking the road which runs past the old silver-mines of Kongsberg and then turning west on E 11. This passes through Notodden (pop. 9,000) and comes in 38km/24mi to Heddal stave church.The stave church in Heddal is Norway's largest. The church was completed at the beginning of the 13th century and restored in the 1950's.
There is a very attractive road up the Numedal to Geilo. The valley, with particularly fine scenery in its upper reaches, is traversed by the river Lågen, which rises in the central Hardangervidda. Leave Kongsberg on Road 40, going north. Beyond Flesberg (31km/20mi) the valley narrows. At Djupdal station (46km/29mi) the road crosses the river, here flowing through a deep gorge, and runs past the old church of Rollag and beyond this the Mykstufoss hydro-electric station.
The town of Rødberg is home to an hydro-electric station (Nore I and II), powered by water from two lakes in a side valley to the north, Pålsbufjord and Tunnhovdfjord.
Shortly before coming to Vasstulen the road reaches its highest point (1,100m/3,610ft). To the left can be seen the Sigridfjell (1,231m/4,039ft). After going over two other hills the road comes to Geilo in the Ustadal, a popular holiday and winter sports resort (several ski-lifts). There is a chair-lift up Geilohøgda (1,056m/3,465ft); restaurant at the upper station. To the northwest is the Prestholtskarv (1,857m/6,093ft), with a road ascending to 1,350m/4,430ft.