Pop. 12,313; Area
856 sq. km. (331 sq. mi.)
Notodden includes the towns of Gransherad,
Heddal and Notodden. Its name means "the fishing place." Its silver on
blue coat of arms represents the Tinn River with lightening bolts, depicting
hydro-electric power, emanating from it. The settlement of Notodden
was a result of the taming of the Tinn River in
the late 1800's. The resulting hydro-electric power was the reason for
locating Norsk Hydro's factories, one of the first nitrate factories, here
in 1905. The Tinfoss Iron Works is one of Europe's biggest ferro-silicon
smelting works. The town is built on terraces sloping down toward Lake Heddal. Telemark Teachers' College is located in Notodden.
Bolkesjø is a district with strong tourist traditions. One of the earliest inns in
eastern Norway was located at Bolkesjø. The "Old Cottage" at Bolkesjø
carries on with these old traditions. It has an unusually beautiful location
with a view over much of Telemark.
Gransherad school, built in 1866, still stands but is currently a private residence.
Heddal is a picturesque valley near Notodden running north
from Lake Heddal towards Hjartdal. Lifjell lies to the west.
Sites to See
Notodden Church is a modern building
consecrated in 1938. It has been decorated by Henrik Sørensen and Stinius
Fredriksen. A sculpture, "Devotion" by Anne Grimdalen from Tokke, stands
outside the church.
Nature Reserve in Elfterdalen is a
large protected area of virgin forest. It is located at Lisleherad, about
nine kilometers from Notodden.
District Museum lies on a hill overlooking the Stave Church. There is a fine collection of
buildings from the district including three cottages, a cotter's farm, a
summer mountain farm and storehouses. Ramberg Cottage from Tinnegrend has an
especially fine rosemaled guest chamber decorated by Ola Hansson in 1794.
The guest cottage from Uppigard Høve built in 1744 is also exceptional.
Church, five kilometers west of town,
is the largest of the stave churches still standing in Norway and the most
impressive. The present chancel is the oldest part and is thought to have
been built in 1147. The rest of the church is from 1242. It is built in the
form of a basilica, with 12 larger and 6 smaller interior columns. There is
a gallery around the entire building. The church has 4 richly carved
portals. The interior is decorated with old wall paintings and with
rosemaling from rosemaling from the 1600's. Much of the furniture and
fixtures have been removed to the Historical Museum in Oslo. However, the
old "Bishop's Chair" still stands in the chancel. It is said to have come
from the pre-Christian era. In 1952 an extensive restoration, financed by H.
B. Holta of Notodden, was completed.
Telelaget's Volunteer Genealogists for Notodden
Ancestor Database: Notodden
emigrant ancestor information
Bygdebøker for Notodden
What's a Bygdebøk?