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Hamar in Norway Hamar municipality coat of arms


350,9 km2

Hamar Local Directory

Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Hamar

Hamar is the inland capital where everything comes together. Hamar covers a area of 350,9 km2 and approximately 29.500 inhabitants. Historically, geographically, culturally and even climatically Hamar is at the meeting point of the most important features which are "typically Norwegian" in this elongated and manifold land of ours. Geographically, Hamar is situated in the heart of the country, hedged in by fertile farming districts, deep forests, and stretches of wilderness and moorland. Its calm beauty is aptly mirrored in its reflection in the tranquil waters of Lake Mjøsa.

The modern town is the regional centre of trade and commerce, administration and service facilities, but it builds its traditions on the Viking Age settle ments at Aker, the ancient episcopal see, and the flourishing mediaeval marketplace. Two thousand years of settlement and two thousand years of culture have left their mark. At Aker (just outside the present town centre) archaeologists have unearthed Norway's richest hoard of ornaments. The prosperous farms in the area have always nurtured arts and crafts. In our day and age many artists choose to settle here, partly because of its proximity to the larger population centres but also because of the quality of life it offers.

But Hamar is probably best known for the most popular of all cultural activities - sport! The town made its mark on the world of sport as a sub-site for the 1994 Winter Olympics. The Viking Ship, one of the world's most spectacular sports halls, has become an internationally famous landmark. But best of all, we can all freely pursue our sporting activities in the parks and recreation areas or in the unspoilt countryside around us, thanks to a stable climate which ensures us crisp, white winters and warm, dry summers. Hamar combines much of what is best in Norwegian history and tradition, lifestyle and values.

Hamar, where old meets new, offers a wealth of opportunities for the visitor who wants to see and experience something different. Apart from its harmonious location and relaxed atmosphere it has a number of museums, galleries and other attractions which combine to enhance the feeling of Hamar as a modern regional capital which is rightly proud of its identity and heritage.


Kirsten Flagstad, Norway´s world famous opera star, was born in Strandsstuen in Hamar. The house, Hamar´s oldest, has been converted into a museum to commemorate "the voice of the century". The collection includes family mementoes, objects given by friends and admirers, and Kirsten Flagstad´s own photo-album and scrap-books. The Metropolitan Opera in New York have donated several of her original stage costumes which are now on permanent display here. The museum is in Kirkebakken, opposite the main church, and is open from mid-May to mid-August.


Mjøsa is Norway´s largest lake, as well as the one of the deepest lakes in Europe, after Hornindalsvatnet. From its southernmost point at Minnesund to its northernmost point in Lillehammer it is 117 km long. At its widest, near Hamar, it is 15 km wide.

The cities of Hamar, Gjøvik, and Lillehammer were founded along the shores of the lake. Before the construction of railways past the lake, it was an important transport route. Today, aside from minor leisure boating and the steamship Skibladner, there is no water traffic on the lake. Most of its shores are dominated by rolling agricultural areas, among them some of the most fertile grainlands in Norway. From the south European route E6 runs along the eastern shore of the lake until the Mjøsa Bridge connects Moelv on the east with Biri on the west.


Just north of Eidsvoll lies Mjøsa, the largest lake in Norway. "The white swan of Mjøsa" was built in 1856. Skibladner is the world´s oldest paddle steamer still in regular service. Originally intended as an extension of the railway which ended at Eidsvoll, it has plied the blue waters of the lake on its route to Hamar, Gjøvik and Lillehammer during all of the ensuing 140 years. Even the old steam engine from 1880 is still working! With expert help Skibladner has been painstakingly restored to its original splendour and is now a floating museum. It offers its passengers an unforgettable voyage along Norway´s largest lake with views of the rolling hills and well-kept farms on the shores.

The food on board is excellent: the standard menu consists of fresh salmon and a strawberry dessert. The boat calls in at a number of landing-stages with good rail connections, so that passengers can choose the route that suits them. In regular service to and from Gjøvik, Hamar, Moelv and Lillehammer. Sailing season are mid May to mid September.

Skibladner´s name come from the god Frøy´s magical ship in ancient Norse mythology. The ship was built by Swedish Motala Shipyard and assembled at Minnesund in 1856. In 1888 she was refitted, lengthened by 20 feet and received a new triple-expansjion steam engine, which she has to the present day. Skiblander is 165 feet long, her beam 16.7 feet and her draft is 5.6 feet. Her operating speed is 12 knots at 42 rpm, max. number of passengers is 230.


This is one of Norway´s finest and most comprehensive mediaeval museums, created around the ruins of the 13th century cathedral priory which was sacked by the Swedes in 1567. In the museum barn, built on the foundations of the old bishop´s palace, the architecturally acclaimed reconstruction now houses permanent exhibitions of artefacts from the Iron Age, the Middle Ages and the post-Reformation era. In the summertime, a mediaeval market-place is reconstructed, and outdoor church services are held. In the beautiful lakeside park more than 50 old buildings from the surrounding districts have been re-erected to create the atmosphere of the rural past. There are guided walks through the park during the summer months, and evening lectures throughout the year.

The park can also boast one of Norway´s largest herb gardens, with more than 30 different varieties. This is one of the museum´s most popular attractions, and has given rise to an active group of herb ethusiasts who cultivate their hobby through talks and lectures, demonstrations, plant swapping, culinary evenings and so on. The museum is situated in a beautiful park land area sloping gently down to the shores of Lake Mjøsa. The large lawns, ancient trees, and long beaches make this park - the historic centre of Hamar - a popular area for picnics, sunbathing and all sorts of outdoor activities.


Holograms are pictures which are not pictures! They are laser-made 3-dimensional illusions which "hover" in space. They appear to be just as "real" as normal objects, but as soon as you try to touch them, they simply dissolve in the air. The effect is astonishing. In Hedmarksmuseets park you can visit Norway´s only perrnanent display of holograms. Open every day (except Mondays) in June-August, and on Sundays in the winter months.


Since the early days of railways in Norway, Hamar has been a "railway town". It is therefore natural and fitting that the National Railway Museum should be situated here. In the museum halls there are exhibits of railway stock and equipment, historic locomotives and an impressive model railway. Norway's largest steam locomotive, "Dovregubben", is housed in the engine shed. As from the jubilee year 1996, the major attraction is the steam locomotive "Caroline" with its unusual non-corridor carriages from the 1880s and 90s.

Since it is a standard gauge train set it can still run on today's railway net as well as in the museum park, where there is also a railway station and a signalman's cottage. While here, you might like to take a trip on the museum's pet, "Tertitten", a charming narrow gauge train which is the delight of youngsters and the young-at-heart. And should you feel hungry food is served in an old restaurant carriage on a side-line. There are plenty of picnic places in the park, and it's only a few paces down to the lake shore. Open from May to September.


The Viking Ship is the building most people associate with the 94 Olympics. With its radical support construction and daring design inspired by the graceful Viking ships of old, it has become a "sports cathedral without equal". The Viking Ship is a multipurpose hall with a surprising range of activities - summer sports. exhibitions, concerts, dances, giant parties and so on. With a capacity of up to 10,000 guests there are few, if any, localities in the country that can compete with the Viking Ship when it comes to organising and hosting major events.

The Gathering is the second largest computer party in the world. It is held annually in Vikingskipet Olympic Arena in Hamar, and lasts for five consecutive days (starting on the Wednesday in Easter each year). Each year, TG attracts more than 5200 (mostly young) people, with attendance increasing every year.


Also known as Hamar Olympic Amphi, this is the world´s largest hall constructed in wood. It was erected for the 94 Olympics as the venue for figure skating and short-track events. It is now the home stadium for Storhamar Hockey team, one of Norway s leading ice hockey clubs.


Lake Mjøsa has 20 species of fish. Among the most common are pike, European perch, common roach, greyling and the Hundertrout, a Brown Trout which can reach a weight of more than 20kg. Another common species is the European smelt, which is the most important baitfish for the predators. Historically, the most economically significant species is the Lågsild (European cisco).


Mjøsen Golfclub a golf course with 18 holes and a variation of difficulties and lies approximately 25 km from Lillehammer.