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Kviteseid's Emblem

Kviteseid Kommune

Kviteseid Kommune has presented Telelaget with both volumes of their bygdebøker - Mange Takk Kviteseid Kommune!


Pop. 2,546; Area 625 sq. km. (241 sq. mi.) Kviteseid's location in Telemark

Kviteseid is a tourist area with a landscape of mountains, forest ridges and lakes. Its emblem is an old-fashioned black lock on a yellow background, symbolizing safety. The farm Austenå has two storehouses which have been dated at 1775 and 1795. North of Austenå is Knutsås, where the houses seem to be wedged between boulders. Anne Knutsdotter, the heroine of a Norwegian folksong, is supposed to have lived here.

Kviteseid village lies along highway 39 south of Brunkeberg. It is the township's administrative, business and service center. It has a beautiful, peaceful location on the Sundkilen, a bay opening off Lake Kviteseid. The Kviteseid Seminary , opened in 1819, was the first teachers' college in Norway. Kvitsund High School, the first Lutheran boarding school in Norway, was built in 1917. The canal boat "Victoria" makes scheduled stops here during the summer.

Morgedal is known nationally as "the cradle of skiing." At a small crofter's farm high up in the hills, now a museum, lived a man called Sondre Nordheim. The "Father of Modern Skiing"  made two important contributions to skiing: first, a simple sort of ski binding that held the heel of the boot on the ski; and second, a ski that was slightly narrower towards the middle and thus easier to swing.  The Olympic torch has been lit from the hearth of Nordheim's cabin three times - for winter games in Oslo in 1952, Squaw Valley USA, 1960, and Lillehammer in 1994.

Vrådal is the center of the tourist industry in Kviteseid. Tourists can participate in a program of activities which emphasize the fine terrain on the northern shore of Lake Nisser. Boat tours can be arranged on Lake Nisser and on Vråvatn. The ferryboat "M/S Fram" also has a regular schedule on lakes Nisser and Vråvatn. A chair lift brings tourists up to a magnificent view and to excellent skiing in the winter. A special hikers' map of Vrådal, showing trails and paths is available.

Straand Hotel and Conference Center features Summerland with water sports activities on Lake Nisser and horseback riding. Winterland has skiing, ski-jumping, sledding, and sleighriding. The old Straand was built in 1864 with logs in the typical Telemark style. It is used today as a lounge area for the new hotel. There is also a fishing school at Vrådal.

Vråliosen is a little village in innermost Vrådal, where you will find a hotel, campground, cottages, and apartments for rent.

Kilen is a village on the shore of Lake Flåvatn. Nearby are Trollebotn (Troll Valley) and the Overlandsheiene (Heaths) where the saga of Sterke-Nils took place. On the north shore of Lake Flåvatn is Jutulbrua (Giant's Bridge), a wharf which legend says was built by a giant who was tired of getting his feet wet crossing the lake.


Sights to See

Olav Bjaalands Museum in Morgedal contains displays of mementos and equipment both from the pioneer age of Norwegian ski sport and from the South Pole Expedition.

Brunkeberg Church stands on the same site as a stave church built about 1200. This stave church, known as "Bruggaberga Kirkja" was torn down sometime before 1790 when the present wooden cruciform church was built. The church is beautifully decorated with biblical motifs painted on the center section of the ceiling and has fittings from medieval times. It was restored in 1939/40 by the artist Ulrik Henriksen. In the churchyard are the graves of  skiers Mikkel and Torjus Hemmestveit and Olav Bjaaland, veteran of the South Pole Expedition.

The Kviteseid District Museum contains 8 buildings collected from different parts of the township. Most remarkable is the Flekstveit Cottage from what was once Western Telemark's largest farm. The interior was decorated by rosemaler Talleiv Mølar. The museum grounds also display traditional storehouses, a stall, a cowbarn, and a crofter's cottage.

The Old Church of Kviteseid lies near the District Museum on a beautiful site sloping down towards the lake. It is a stone church built about 1150. The ceiling was decorated by Thomas Blixius in 1714. The original portal with a carved wooden arch showing two fighting dragons remains.

Utsondhalli is part of the District Museum but stand slightly apart from it. It has been built to commemorate a local sculptor, Gunnar UtsondClick for a photo of one of an Utsond sculpture (1864-1950). On display are 62 of his sculptures, plus numerous plaster casts and drawings. Utsond retired to his place of birth after many years as a professor at the Academy of Art in Oslo.

Kviteseid Church lies at Hamaren, just opposite the village center. It is built of local granite and was consecrated in 1916. Sondre Norheimstogo, the cotter's cottage where Sondre Norheim was born, is a museum with ski artifacts.

Moen Storehouse built in 1666 and rebuilt in 1762 has many carved decorations.


Telelaget Genealogy

Telelaget's Volunteer Genealogists for Kviteseid

Emigrant Ancestor Database: Kviteseid

Submit your emigrant ancestor information


Bygdebøker for Kviteseid

What's a Bygdebøk?

  • Skarprud, John. Kviteseid, Heimbygdsoge til skolebruk. Kviteseid 1976-1977.

  • Kviteseid bygdesoge. Kragerø: Eigi Forlag, 1956.

  • Loupedalen, Torjus. Bd. I. Ættesoga. 1956.

  • Bakken, Olav. Bd. II. Gardsoga. 1962


On this website

Sondre Norheim


Norwegian Language

Official Kviteseid 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 22:28:15 -0600