in the Heart of Telemark
Morgedal is a small village centrally located in the county of Telemark, southern Norway. As a part of the municipality of Kviteseid, the village is situated about 200 kilometres or three hour’s drive from the Norwegian capital of Oslo, along highway E 134 between eastern and western Norway.
Morgedal has about 300 inhabitants. Most of them are working in tourism, the service industry or farming. The village has a hotel and other accommodations.
Also located in the village close to Lake Morgedal (423 metres above sea level) is the Norwegian Ski Adventure Centre (Norsk Skieventyr). On the hillside one can find Øverbø, the former cotter’s farm where ski legend Sondre Norheim (1825-1897) was born.
In the 1850’s a flourishing ski environment arose in Morgedal inspired by Sondre. Skiing became a very popular recreational activity where people experimented with new techniques and equipment. Later, Sondre and his followers came to the nation’s capital where they demonstrated their new way of skiing.
This Telemark style and the equipment used by the skiers from this valley became a model in the further developments of skiing as a sport, both in Norway and abroad. Because of this, Morgedal has been called the Cradle of Skiing, and Sondre the Father of Modern Skiing.
Because this small community has had such an important impact on
the history of skiing, Morgedal has been chosen as the place for lighting
the Olympic Torch three times. A statue of Sondre is located close to the
centre, a memorial stone erected in the same area, and an
eternal flame shines day and night from a special cairn in Lake Morgedal.
The Olav Bjaaland Museum which opened in 1966, has become a part of the
This centre opened in 1993.
© 2002-2012 by Anne-Gry Blikom and Eivind Molde