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Panorama picture from Haugesund Municipality in Norway




THE NATIONAL MONUMENT

Haraldshaugen, just over a mile north of the town centre. The saga chronicler Snorre Sturlasson records the burial place of King Harald The Fairhaired. He relates that the Viking king died of the plague in Rogaland. "Near Haugesund," we read, "stands a church, but by the churchyard to the north-west stands the burial mound of Harald's headstone, which lay over his resting-place in the mound, it is 13 1/2 ft. long and almost two ells wide."

The idea of setting up a national monument on this spot was mooted in the late 1860's and won nation wide acclaim. By the tenth centenary celebration in 1872 of Norway's unification the monument had been completed and was unveiled by Prince Oscar, later King Oscar II, with great ceremony.

The monument is designed to symbolise national unity. The 55 ft. high granite obelisk rising from the 15 ft. earth mound stands for the unity of the realm.