At the southernmost tip of Karmøy, with its lighthouses facing the Skudefjorden fjord and the North Sea lies the charming sailing vessel town of Skudeneshavn. Its history goes back to the 1800s when the herring fisheries created a hectic activity in the town and when what we today refer to as the old part of town was built.
Skudeneshavn´s old town (Gamle Skudeneshavn), consisting of 225 wooden houses, is regarded as one of the best preserved in Europe. It could be said that the Mælandsgården Museum presents the town´s history in a nutshell. Today Skudeneshavn is one of the best preserved of all our small towns. Guided tour of the quaint historic districts in Skudeneshavn starting from the Tourist Information Office.
STATUE of LIBERTY
Did you know that the copper of the Statue of Liberty in New York came from Karmøy? Only a few people know that the Vinsnes mine, at the turn of the century was northern Europes largest mining community, supplied a number of projects with copper, among them the Statue of Liberty. The mines has since been transformed into an attractive museum.
VINSNES MINING MUSEUM
The mining community of Visnes is the home of the largest copper mine in Norway, which among other things delivered copper for the construction of the Statue of Liberty in New York. The Statue of Liberty contains 179.000 pounds of copper, and was fabricated by French artisans. Visnes consisted of about 3000 inhabitants in the 1800s, and can be obtained at the Mining Museum. Nordvegen History Centre presents Norway´s history through 3,500 years. The copper mines at Visnes were in operation until as recently as 1972. Guided tours in Norwegian, English and German.
Geitungen Lighthouse stands regally like a proud beacon on the summit of South Geitungen island, due west from Skudeneshavn. It is possible to take an evening trip to the island with the MS Skudeholm. Every monday between 13 June 18 August.
Every year, Skudeneshavn hosts a "boating" festival known as Skudefestivalen. It usually runs for four days (Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun) at the end of June or beginning of July (it is a moveable date). The festival is the largest gathering of coastal culture in Western Norway, with boats of all categories - old wooden boats, vintage boats, modern boats, sailing boats, tall ships - the town is full of life around the harbour - both on land and on water.
Markets stalls are set up in the Town Square. Craftsmen demonstrate handcrafts from olden days connected to sea and shipping. Boat builders, ship models, old engines.
An art exhibition in Søragadå, the main and narrow street in "Old Skudeneshavn" is held with a new festival artist chosen every year. Visitors can see the exhibitions in Bytunet in the old part of town. Entertainment is provided in the daytime, and in the evenings in the festival tent featuring national and international artists and in the many sea houses Celtic music, blues and middle-of the road pop.
Travelling amusement rides and arcades usually time their visits to coincide with this popular festival, providing extra enjoyment for younger children and teenagers. Every year about 35.000 people visit the festival and it gathers more than 600 boats.