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Visit Lillehammer Norway!

No doubt most of you know Lillehammer as the host city of the 1994 winter Olympics but there is so much more to Lillehammer and it is just two hours northwest of Oslo by train or car.

In the city centre there is a collection of wooden houses from the early 1800's and it is in a picturesque location with the influence of Lake Mjøsa the largest lake in Norway.

Of course, there are still venues left from the Winter Olympics of 1994, yet there is another attraction that should be of interest to all visitors and that is the Maihaugen Museum.

Anders Sandvig, the founder of Maihaugen, came to Lillehammer as a young dentist in 1885. He had contracted a serious lung disease and thought he only had a few months to live. The climate in the town was considered to be good for people with lung disease and he gradually recovered completely. He later passed away in 1950 at the age of 88.

As a dentist, Sandvig was responsible for all of Gudbrandsdalen. On his travels, he began to collect objects from the old farming culture that was in the process of disappearing. Nordiska Museet in Stockholm was buying old objects in Gudbrandsdalen at this time. Sandvig thought it was important for the old objects not to disappear from Norway.

He not only collected precious, special objects, everyday objects were just as interesting. He also bought old buildings and reerected them in his own garden in the centre of Lillehammer. This gave him the space to exhibit the objects. The collection was moved to Maihaugen in 1904.
Today the museum has nearly 200 historical buildings.

How about a visit to the Norwegian Olympic Museum it is the only museum in northern Europe that tells the entire history of the Olympic Games from 776 BC up until the present day. You will see collections from Sonja Henie who was the youngest Winter Olympics participant at 12 years old in Chamonix, France in 1924, and Kjetil Aamodt the most decorated alpine skier with 37 international medals.

Then there is the Norwegian Post Museum giving the visitor an historic view of the development of the Norwegian postal service.

There is much more to see and do including the Garmo Stave Church from 1200, hand craft and farm life exhibits from the 1890's.

When planning a visit to Norway a visit to Lillehammer and the Maihaugen Museum should be a part of your itinerary.

Portions of this blog are taken from the Maihaugen Museum Web Site. You may wish to visit the site for further information.

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