See the life in Norway

Setesdal'The farm from Setesdal.Photo: Astrid Santa, Norsk Folkemuseum

A visit to Norsk Folkemuseum in summer is like walking into the history of the people of Norway. Meet the 18th century farmer, the 1950s housewife and see the magnificent 11th Century wooden Stave church.


In a big Open-Air Museum, Norwegian history comes alive through exhibited homes, live performances and hosts in regional costumes presenting everyday life.

Life and death in Setesdal

The museum is organized with farmsteads from regions in Norway. In the farm from Setesdal, you can step into an everyday scene in 1739 and see how the house looked when Hallvor Jonsen lived here. Setesdal was a fairly isolated valley in the south of Norway. Most of Hallvor Jonsen’s possessions were produced at the farm or by someone in the valley. Unlike the seamen and traders along the coast, most farmers produced most utensils by themselves.

In the second dwelling from Setesdal, the funeral for Ånund Knuttson in 1700 is visualized. The room is decorated and Ånund’s belongings are on display. The guests are gathered, the men around the table, the women around the fire. Guests in a funeral were drinking beers and were cheerful, they believed that the dead person would get a better final rest if he was celebrated thoroughly when he passed away.

Privacy – 1769

The presentation of privacy is a new program this summer. In the old farming society, people gathered around the fire to have light and keep warm. Still, there are activities in life which requires more privacy than they could get with the whole family around. A dwelling in the Open-Air Museum is dedicated for reflection upon these issues. What about hygiene, how did they express feelings for each other – and how did they have sex?

1950s in museum

The 1950s housewife. Haakon Harris, Norsk Folkemuseum


In the home from Trøndelag, the farmer’s wife invites visitors back to the 1950s. Step into the modern kitchen with refrigerator, washing machine and electrical stove. See the latest fashion in the magazines on the kitchen table. Electricity and new technical appliances made a domestic revolution in the mid 20th century.  The housewife will tell about the big changes taking place. If you find the time period fascinating, you should also see the apartment building presenting homes from 1979 all the way up to 2002.

Norsk Folkemuseum is open every day 10:00 – 18:00 this summer. 


Source:  Norsk Folkemuseum / Norway Today