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Bo Kommune

Pop. 5,518; Area 260 sq. km. (100 sq. mi.)Location in Telemark

Bø is open and inviting countryside that has been called "the most beautiful place on earth" in modern literature, including En Glad Gut by Nobel prize winning author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (who also wrote the lyrics for Norway's National Anthem).  

The town of Bø itself has had a period of great development in recent years. Bø is the educational center of Telemark. Telemark District College, home of Tele Historielag, is located in Bø. The Telemark Disctrict College has long been the center of traditional Hardanger fiddle-making and music, and is now home to a Hardanger fiddle museum.  A high school with boarding facilities is also located here.


Sights to See:


Lifjell is a popular winter and summer recreation area. The highest peak of the range is Gyrannaten. In 1870 two French balloonists escaped the German siege of Paris and landed at Lifjell. They were found by two local residents who helped them reach Oslo where they celebrated this first flight over Norway.

Bø churches lie side by side on a height overlooking the surrounding countryside. The Old Church is a romanesque stone church from the middle of the 1100's. The interior is in renaissance with a pulpit that has been termed a masterpiece. The New Church in Bø was consecrated in 1875. It is a long church built of wood. The altarpiece was painted by Victor Smith and carved in wood by Halvor Slettemeøs in the late 1940's.

The Bø District Museum has two separate locations: The Åheim General Store Museum, together with the local hall "Polen," at Oterholt Bridge. The interior of the General Store Museum dates to the early 1900's and the building itself is from 1898. Period goods and original equipment are displayed in the store, the office, the storeroom and warehouses. Just across the street is the local hall, "Polen," where old photographs and other mementoes of the old days in Bø are on display.

Østerli Farm has an old farmhouse, a "stabur" and a barn which give you an idea of how life used to be lived on a farm in this area. From the farmyard you get a fantastic view of Bø and the surrounding countryside.

Telemark Summerland is a family entertainment park built up in a forested area of over 10,000 acres. Features include the "Plunger" water slide, Water Wonderland, Fairy Tale Land, Tarzan's Jungle, and the Old Wild West, and Prehistoric Park. Top artists perform on the outdoor stage.

Gvålahaugen is a historic site with prehistoric grave mounds.


Telelaget Genealogy

Telelaget's Volunteer Genealogists for Bo

Emigrant Ancestor Database: Bø

Submit your emigrant ancestor information


Bygdebøker for Bø

What's a Bygdebøk?

  • B¢-soga: Telemark. Skien: B¢ kommune/O. Rasmussens Boktrykkeri.

  • Lunde, Gunnar. Bd. I. Kultursoga. 1972.

  • Nordb¢, G. Bd. II-III. Gards og Ættesoga. 1982-1984.

  • Henneseid, Stian. Bd. IV. Gards- og Ætte-soge. 1986.

  • Soga om H¢rtevereket. Av. Jon Hvitsand. Tug. H¢rtesogelaget 1984.



Norwegian Language

Official Bø kommune Website

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If you would like to add a link, submit photos of an historic site, or we've missed an important landmark you'd like to have listed in "Sights to See,"  please email!

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This page was last updated Saturday December 31, 2016 22:28:17 -0600