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Os


Os in Norway Os municipality coat of arms

Population:
19,097

Areal:
139,8 km2


Os Local Directory


Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Os

Os municipality is situated at Bergenshalvøya, 30 kilometer south of Bergen. Osøyro, the centre of the municipality, is a centre where several routes meet, by land and by sea, and you find it along the main road between Bergen and Stavanger, E 39. The ancient post road went through Os, but nowadays the buses have taken over for the horse transportation, and the car ferries have taken over for the rowing-boat.

The municipality has approximately 17,500 inhabitants and covers 139,8 km2. The centre of the municipality is Osøyro, the small town at the mouth of the Os river. Many of those who work in Bergen centre choose to move out to the beautiful countryside around Os and drive the relatively short distance to Bergen every day. But the people of Os do not need to travel to Bergen to find work. Commerce and industry in Os thrives with both traditional an new businesses. Several of the workshops in this area are among the market leaders in their industry.

Os is home to numerous monuments to a rich past, some dating back as far as 4000 BC. History from the 12th century in Os is dominated by the building of a cloisters in the village. Lysekloster cloisters was founded on July 10th 1146 by bishop Sigurd from Bergen. It was the first Cistercian cloisters in Norway. Today, only the ruins remain of this once powerful cloisters, but the site still evokes the wonderful atmosphere wich must have existed here so many hundred of years ago.

The beautiful, peaceful countryside of Os has drawn many, among whom was the violin virtuouso Ole Bull. In 1872, he purchased the idyllic island of Lysøya in the Lysefjord, where he had built the fairytale-like "Villa Lysø". The old boat-building traditions in Os have their origins in the viking age, and have been well preserved. The traditional wooden Oselvar boats have carried the name of Os far overseas. There is a whole lot of nature trails and well-marked paths criss-crossing Os. Every Tuesday and Sunday, the local walking club arranges guided walks to different parts of the area.

Between Bergen and Os, and further on to Halhjem and the ferry service on E 39 there is a very good bus connection. There are buses going to all parts of Os as well. It is the bus company Gaia Trafikk that operates the bus service at Os. From Halhjem there is car ferry connection with Sandvikvåg on E 39, the road to Stavanger, and to Våge at Tysnes. Another car ferry connection is between Hatvik and Venjaneset at Fusa. It is Hardanger Sunnhordlandske Dampskipsselskap that operates the car ferries. Halhjem is one of the busiest ferry ports in the country. The same company is operating a fast boat route between Osøyro, Tysnes and Kvinnherad. Os Minibuss Service is operating a bus service between Halhjem, Osøyro and Bergen Airport Flesland .

LYSØYA

Lysøya is situated in Lysefjorden, not far from Lyse kloster. The world famous violinist Ole Bull bought the island in 1870 and built a fabulous villa, inspired by a variety of architectural styles. Here you can find carved roses from the local tradition, Jewish symbols and Moorish arches inside the house and a tower with a Russian cupola as the most exotic part of the facade. Since 1984 the villa has been a museum, and naturally many concerts are arranged in the music hall during the summer months, when the museum is open for visitors. While the museum is open you can take a ferry to Lysøya from Buena in Lysefjorden.

Ole Bull transformed his 175 acre island property into a fairy tale kingdom by having romantic paths with white shell sand, ponds, and gazebos made, and by planting exotic trees and bushes in the native pine forest. The landscaping has been continued ever since his death, and today the island is a popular recreational area for the public. Secluded swimming and picnic spots. Cafe for light refreshments. Concerts for the Bergen Internationale Festival and Lysøen. With or without its music Lysøen stands as a monument of a time when sentiment rang high, or the man who was a great festival in the life of the people, and of the devotion which has kept the little island kingdom safe and protected until our own days.

OLE BULL

Ole Bull was born in 1810, and became very early known as a first class violinist. His solo performance with the great orchestra of the Paris Opera at the age of 25 marked the beginning of a series of concert tours which took him over the whole of Europa and America. He was one of the greatest violin virtuosos of his time, and awoke an interest in the qualities of Norwegian folk music both at home and abroad. This was of great significance to other composers - amongst them, Edvard Grieg. In 1850 Ole Bull founded the first Norwegian theatre, with Henrik Ibsen as the first instructor, followed by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.

LYSEKLOSTER CLOISTER RUINS

The Monastery of Lyse was founded in 1146 by bishop Sigurd in Bergen. He owned the farm Lyse at Os, and there he built the first Cistercian monastery in Norway. Its mother monastery was Fountains Abbey in England, from which he brought the first monks. The monastery grew to be big and powerful, and at the time of the Reformation it was one of the most important property owners in the country. After the Reformation Lyse kloster became the property of the Danish King, but during the following century a number of owners allowed a gradual destruction of the buildings to take place. Stone from the buildings at Lyse Kloster was used while building The Rosenkrantz Tower in Bergen and Kronborg Castle in Denmark. The ruins are today partly restored, and are beyond comparison the most frequently visited cultural monument at Os.

RELICS

There is a diversity of relics at Os, most of them in the outskirts of the community. At Søre Neset there is a great number of them, particularly in the area around Vargavågen. Here you will find burial mounds, Bronze Age rock carvings and soap stone quarries, and the characteristic Vargahola, a cave where soapstone was taken out, during the Middle Ages or even during the Viking Era. Another important relics at Os is a big soap stone quarry at Steinkulo, not far from Lyse kloster, and the burial mounds at Hauge, with the big Royal Burial Mound as a natural centre. Bergen Museum is responsible for the relics in this area.

HAGAVIK

Hagavik is a village lies immediately to the west of the municipal centre of Osøyro on the shore of the Skeisosen, an arm off the main Bjørnafjorden. Hagavik´s population is approximately 1,700. The actual size of the village is no longer tracked and it is considered part of the urban area of Osøyro. Production of Askeladden Boats is placed in Hagavik. Nore Neset Church is located in the village, as well as the Kysthospitalet, an orthopedic hospital that is part of the Helse Bergen network.

THE OSELVAR BOATYARD

The Oselvar Boatyard builds boats and takes care of the ancient handicraft of building small, clinker built wooden boats. Here young and old boat builders are working together; the young ones to learn the handicraft of building in the oselvar tradition from the older ones. The living tradition and knowledge of building the small oselvar boats in this way is more detailed and complete than for any other type of small, clinker built boats in Norway, perhaps even in Europe.

That means that the boat builders are able to build a boat with a variety of characteristics making it perfectly fit for its purpose. Some hours each week visitors are welcome to visit the boat yard and talk to the boat builders, and to watch them working as well. The boatyard also has an exhibition on the first floor showing thousand years of building and using small boats. The boatyard offers guided tours in the exhibition for groups of visitors by appointment.

THE ANCIENT MAIL ROAD

The ancient mail road between Bergen and Stavanger went through Os. Most of the old road is today under asphalt or cultivated earth, but some parts of it are left and give a good impression of the road standards of the late eighteenth century. Between Bergstø at Søfteland and Hetlefloten about two kilometres of the mail road is still intact running through meadows. Here you will find among other things a beautiful stone bridge from 1786. Also between Osøyro and Hatvik some parts of the old road still exist. Some places you will find it visible, but unused in open terrain, other places gravelled and used as a motor road.

OS STATION

Another interesting part of the history of communications in the district is Nesttun - Os-banen, a narrow-gauge railway that was opened in 1894, and later on, in 1935, became the first railway in Norway which was closed down. At Os station, the terminus, three buildings are left: The main station building, whose facades have been partly restored, the 70 metres long carriage shed and the repair shop for the carriages. The facades of the carriage shed are now being restored to 1907 standards. Inside it will be furnished to be a workshop for sculptors and painters.

KYRKJEFLATEN

Kyrkjeflaten is the Millennium place at Os. By means of a generous donation from Per Grieg the municipality was able to develop Kyrkjeflaten as a park, which has turned out to be perfectly fit as a “parlour” for the inhabitants of Os. The park is surrounded by beautiful buildings, among them the church, and gradually sculptures from various artists have left their mark on the park.

LYNGHEIM

Lyngheim is a seaside property between Osøyro and Solstrand. The municipality bought the property some years ago, for the purpose of giving the public access to this beautiful area. Currently the property is under development. It is not quite clear what it will be looking like, but most of the area that is park today will most likely be untouched in the future too.

SØFTELAND

Søfteland or Syfteland is a village along the European route E39 highway, about 6 kilometres north of the municipal centre of Osøyro and about 20 kilometres south of the city of Bergen. The mountain Møsnuken lies about 3.5 kilometres east of the village and the mountain Lyshornet lies about 2.3 kilometres west of the village.

THE GREAT OUTDOOR

Sea, river, forest and mountains, boat trips, mountain walking and salmon fishing in the river. There are about 20 prepared recreation areas at Os, most of them near the sea. The biggest and most well-known are Ervikane at the island Strøno (185 acres) and Lysøya (160 acres). In particular in the areas facing Krossfjorden and Bjørnefjorden there are idyllic places in abundance. The coast nature at Os is perfectly fit for boating, as well as a start point for trips to all the beautiful natural parks in the Bjørnefjord and Krossfjord area.

MOUNTAINEERING

Mountain walking is good recreation! The eastern parts of Os are dominated by steep and comparatively high mountains. There are prepared paths to all the mountain tops, and they are frequently used. As the mountains in Os are situated near the open coast scenery, the view from the tops is very wide. From Møsnuken or Svinningen you can look over the most of the county of Hordaland!

HUNTING

In the mountains and the forest the life of wild animals and birds is an experience, with or without a gun. Deer hunting yields the biggest catch, but you can also find some of the most well-known flights of woodcocks in the country.

CYCLING

You can enjoy the fresh air on the country roads as well - by bicycle. The North Sea Cycle Route is a marked cycle route circling The North Sea. Bergen is the northernmost point of this route, which comes to Os over Fanafjellet through Lysefjorden to Osøyro and further to Halhjem.

SWIMMING

The coastline around Os has many of the region's best bathing areas, in particular Mobergsvika right in the centre of Os, and Ervikane on the island of Strøno. Solstrand Fjordhotell has an indoor swimming pool.

FISHING

The rivers and lakes of Os are rich in salmon and trout. Søfteland river, Oselva river, Os watercourse, Ulven lake, Øvredal watercourse. Perhaps fishing for leisure in the fjord will not give the same excitement as river fishing, but on the other hand you can count on a bigger catch. There are many good fishing spots for various fishing gear, either you use longline, net, fish trap or fishing line, or for that matter crab or lobster pot. If you are lucky you will find a person who will tell you where the best fishing spots are.

OSELVA RIVER

Oselva is a well-known salmon river, and one of two or three salmon rivers in Hordaland that still is not destroyed in one way or another. The original salmon population is increasing, as well as the catch. The last few years the catch has been about two or three tons of salmon and sea trout. The biggest challenge today is the pike, which has invaded the upper parts of the river. The Oselva River is permanently protected against development.

GOLF

Bjørnefjorden Golfclub is a golf course with 9 holes and a variation of difficulties. The course lies approximately 30 km from Bergen City Center.

Vildmarken Golfclub is a golf course with 9 holes and a variation of difficulties. The course lies approximately 15 minutes from Os.