The author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson holds a prominent place in the hearts of Norwegians, primarily because he wrote the poem that later became the Norwegian national anthem in addition to many other poems and stories. He published his first novel "Synnøve Solbakken" in 1857. In this and many other novels he told the story of the lives of ordinary people, partly rendered in an everyday language based on the vernacular of the region, which was unusual among his contemporary writers. His historic and realistic plays have been staged to this day. Early in the summer of 1875 the Bjørnsons moved to their new home at the Aulestad farm, a former posting inn in Gausdal.
During the last two decades of the 19th century, with Aulestad as his vantage point, Mr. Bjørnson played an important part in literary, cultural and political life. He took an active stand in questions concerning human rights internationally. In 1903 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. After the death of his widow, Mrs. Karoline in 1934, their home was turned over to the state and opened to the public as a museum during the summer months. Time has been stopped at Aulestad to give visitors an opportunity to experience the house and its beautiful garden as the authentic setting of the last part of Mr. Bjørnson’s authorship.
Karoline and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson enjoyed life at Aulestad. You will too, if you pay a visit to the home of the poet and take part in a guided tour of the events of his life. You can also enjoy Bjørnson's favourite blueberry pancakes in the servant's quarters. The latest special addition to events at Aulestad is guided tours especially designed for the children, who get to know that when Bjørnstjerne was a small child he thought that pigs had very bad manners. They also get to see the silver spoon that he used to teach the pigs the finer points of etiquette.