Gaustatoppen (1883 m) rises majestically over the town Rjukan in Telemark. The town which is known for the "heavy water sabotages" during w.w.2, newly got on the UNESCO's world heritage list, and which has become world famous for the sun mirror!
Rjukan offers the whole family a variety of experiences. Spectacular nature is setting a frame for your visit in Rjukan. Gaustatoppen (1883 m.) is one of our most popular sites. The mountain, is by many claimed to be one of the most beautiful mountains in Norway. On a clear day you have views over 1/6 of Norway. You can choose to reach the peak either through a great hike or by taking Gaustabanen inside the mountain.
Rjukan is famous for the brave heavy water sabotages during World War 2. When Norwegian saboteurs bombed the heavy water plant at Vemork, to prevent the Germans to make an atomick bomb out of the heavy water that was produced at Vemork. This act is referred as one of the most successful acts of sabotage committed during World War II. The story is well preserved and told at the Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum at Vemork. You can also combine the outdoors and history with a tour “in the saboteurs' footsteps” - with or without a guide.
Rjukan is a UNESCO World Heritage site
Did you know that the heavy water was only a by-product of the Norwegian Hydro fertilizer production? And that fertilizers were the all-time major Norwegian invention for the world market, which in turn is the basis for Rjukan with Notodden now a world heritage site?
Did you think that the paperclip or the cheese slicer was the all-time major Norwegian invention? Well, now you know better.
The entrepreneur Sam Eyde had a vision to "put Rjukanfossen to do useful work for the people." It was the start of what would become Norwegian Hydro, and an industrial adventure Norway had not seen before. The invention of artificial fertilizers revolutionized the world food production, and resulted in that Norway went from being one of the poorest countries in Europe to the wealthiest within 100 years.
Norway's largest national park, Hardangervidda
Rjukan has not only an exciting story, but also great variations for hiking. Rjukan is one of the best places to start if you want to go on Hardangervidda. Norway's largest national park. You can either experience Hardangervidda through an interactive exhibition on the Hardangervidda National Park Centre, or at the outdoors by foot or by bike.
Krossobanen is the Northern Europe's first cable car and within 5 minutes it brings you up to Gvepseborg, at the foot of the national park, Hardangervidda. Krossobanen was built by Norwegian Hydro in 1928, so the locals could get up high enough to enjoy the sun in winter. Today we also have the sun mirror that brings the sun down to Rjukan square in the dark winter months.
Did you also know that Rjukan has Norway’s toughest bungee jump, a large and modern water park, mountain farms with many animals that children can get a close encounter with and vigorous rural communities that keep the old traditions alive?
There is only one thing to say; Come and visit us!