The village of Sogndalstrand was formally declared a small town (ladested) in 1798 and flourished mainly around 1875. The following 100 years involved little change or development locally. This makes Sogndalstrand a rare and important example of a Norwegian coastal town from the pre-industrial age. Most of the cultural landscape is also preserved, providing us with an insight into so-called ”town farming”.
Protection Order adopted by the King in Council on 24.06.2005
Urban wooden houses and cluster-type farms
The mouth of the River Sokna divides the settlement into two parts. On the western side are the urban wooden houses along the main street, with seaside buildings along the river harbour. Most properties also have a narrow strip of agricultural land running from the settlement towards the sea in the west.
The eastern side, Åros, consisted originally of a cluster-type (multi-family) farm with strip-partitioned infields and a common outfield area, according to traditional West Norwegian customs. Today, parts of the infields contain modern housing, but the main elements and large parts of the overall landscape are still intact.
Coastal village of national value
The formal protection of Sogndalstrand is meant to preserve a small coastal town of national value, which developed from a mixture of maritime industries and agriculture. Large areas of the cultural landscape around the old town have since the 1970s been under pressure from developments involving houses and holiday cottages. This is the reason for issuing a Protection Order now.
Sogndalstrand Culture hotel established
After 100 years of slow stagnation, there is again life in the old town, and most houses have been done up. Sogndalstrand Culture Hotel has been established, and several small shops are open during the summer months. Approximately 140 people live in the town permanently, and in addition nearly half of the houses are used as holiday homes.