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 Tinn Kommune

Pop. 6,010; Area 1,858 sq. km. (717 sq. mi.)

Tinn is comprised of the former districts of Hovin and Tinn. The rural population of Tinn makes its living in agriculture and forestry. The kommune's Tinn's location in Telemarkemblem is made up of 5 drops of blue water on a silver background, representing the district's five rivers and the hydro-electric power plant in Rjukan.  Atrå and Tinn Austbygd are villages in the area but most of the population lives in the administrative center of Rjukan. Vacation cottages are numerous in the valleys of Tessungdalen, Skjervedal, and Nystøldalen. Tinnsjøen is Europe's second deepest lake with a depth of 461 meters. The historical municipality of Hovin was incorporated into Tinn in 1964. The township also includes Vestfjord, Mount Gausta and parts of the Hardanger moors.

Rjukan was created by Norsk Hydro around the turn of the century. Its name comes from the Rjukan Falls, meaning "smoky." The falls, in Maristujuvet Gorge, were a famous tourist attraction until they were tamed to produce power for the new industry and town. Until Norsk Hydro established the factory here, Vestfjord Valley had no roads and was an isolated place. Within a few years the area had been transformed into a bustling industrial town with a total of 9000 inhabitants. This venture was unparalleled in Norwegian industrial history. It is therefore only natural that the National Industrial Workers' Museum has been established in the old power station at Vemork. Vemork power station was the site of the German attempt to make "heavy water" for an atomic bomb. The sabotage which stopped their efforts was the basis for the movie "Heroes of Telemark" starring Kirk Douglas.


Sights to See

TinnThe Krosso Cable Railway was built by Norsk Hydro so that the people of Rjukan could get up into the sun of the mountain plateaus during the winter months when the town is immersed in shadow. It was the first such railway in Norway to be enclosed. Gvefseborg, the station at the top, lies 890 meters above sea level. From here is an impressive view over the Vestfjord Valley towards Mt. Gausta.

The Rjukan and Tinn Museum has 22 old buildings from various parts of Tinn collected in Rjukan. They are well-furnished and give a good idea of living standards in this remote district before industrialization. There is an open-hearth room from the Middle Ages. Displayed in the old school house are costumes and other examples of folk art. The museum also has a special Home Front section illustrating the the life of Norwegian Resistance fighters during World War II.

Gaustadtoppen, 1,833 meters above sea level, has a fantastic view of southern Norway.

Mår Power Station has the world's longest wooden stairway with 3,380 steps. Guided tours are available on weekdays.

Maristijuvet, about 7 kilometers west of Rjukan, gives a view of Rjukan waterfalls old river bed. There is a 260 meter drop from the trunk road to the bottom.


Telelaget Genealogy

Telelaget's Volunteer Genealogists for Tinn

Emigrant Ancestor Database: Tinn

Submit your emigrant ancestor information


Bygdebøker for Tinn

What's a Bygdebøk?

  • Einung, Halvor H. Tinn-Soga. Oslo: Borums Offset-trykkeri, 1978. (Also Rjukan, 1926.)

  • Bd. I. Soga.

  • Bd. II. Nytt Opplag.

  • Svalestuen, Andres A. Tinns emigrasjonshistorie 1837-1907. En undersøkelse med sørlig vekt pa den demografiske, økonomiske og sosiale bakgrunn for Amerikafarten, og en statistisk analyse av selve utvandringer. Oslo: Oslo Uistisk analyse av selve utvandringer. Oslo: Oslo Universitetesforlager, 1972. 337p.

  • Dahl, Helge. Rjukan. Tinn; Tinn kommune.

  • Bd. I. Fram til 1920. 1983.

  • Bd. II. Fra 1920 til idag. 1984.


Norwegian Language

Official Tinnkommune Website

Historical Pictures of Tinn

English Language

Heroes of Telemark


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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 22:28:14 -0600