VISIT A CULTURAL HERITAGE SITE

 

The rock carving panels in Hjemmeluft

 
The largest of the rock carving areas in Alta that have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List is located by the World Heritage Rock Art Centre– Alta Museum (WAM).

Here you can experience rock carvings from different time periods, from the oldest, made more than 6000 years ago, to the youngest, which are about 2000 years old.

A 2.9 km long system of footpaths starts at the museum and connects the panels to each other. The footpaths are partly wooden covered, partly asphalt and gravel, and are suitable for physically disabled visitors and wheelchair users.

A guidebook, available in twelve different languages, is included with the ticket for individual visitors during the summer season. 

Guided tours for groups take place during the entire summer season, and must be booked in advance.


Photo: Kjersti Bang, WAM ©


Photo: Karin Tansem, WAM ©



The northern lights observatory on Haldde  
The restored buildings after the first permanent northern lights observatory in the world are located on the mountain top Haldde in Kåfjord, Alta municipality. On clear days the view from the top is amazing, both towards the inland and out over the Altafjord.

The observatory building has sleeping places for up to ten people. You can find more information here.

An old cart road starts at E6 about 400 meters north of Kåfjord church. There are parking opportunities at the beginning of the cart road and at the church. The hike is 9 km and takes about 3 hours at a normal speed. You can find a map here.

 


 


Photo: János Kolostyák, WAM ©


Photo: János Kolostyák, WAM ©



The Alten Copper Works in Kåfjord  
In Kåfjord you can see the remains of the first major industrial enterprise in this part of the Arctic – the copper mine – which was worked by British owners from 1826 to 1878 and Swedish owners from 1896 to 1909.

A historic trail equipped with information signs has been laid out through some of the relics that can still be seen. It is 1.2 km long. The church, built in the style of an English village church, and the churchyard, are also well worth visiting. The church was built in 1837, and it is one of the few buildings in Alta which were not burnt down during the Second World War.

The Copper Mine in Kåfjord is Alta municipality’s contribution to the project “Fotefar mot nord - en veiviser til historien i Nord-Norge og Namdalen”.













Photo: WAM ©



The evacuation cave in Lille Lerresfjord  

When the Germans ordered a forced evacuation of the inhabitants of Finnmark and Northern Troms in the fall of 1944, 25 000 people escaped and found shelter in caves, tents and turf huts for longer or shorter periods of time.

The evacuation cave in Løkengdalen in Lille Lerresfjord was built in a couple of days after the order to evacuate was given. A provisional wall of birch trees and turf was put up against a big rock. The space was widened through digging out the bottom underneath the rock. Bunk beds were made, and people brought stoves, woolen blankets, kitchen items and other necessities from their homes.

A total of ten people lived in the small cave from November 1944 until the winter/spring (May) of 1945.

The hike to the cave is about 1 hour long along a clearly visible path in a rough landscape. There are two possible paths, both marked with signs in Lerresfjord. Sturdy footwear is recommended. Lille Lerresfjord is located in Alta municipality, about 90 km NW of the town of Alta.

The cave has been restored with the help of contributions from Finnmark county administration.
 

 

 
Photo: WAM ©



The storehouses in Lille Lerresfjord  
In Lille Lerresfjord you can also find three storehouses from the 1800s. The storehouses escaped the burning of Finnmark in the fall of 1944 because they were dismantled and hidden. After the war they were put back up and used as temporary lodgings, and later they were used for their original purposes again.
 
The storehouses have been moved to the area between the school and the ocean.
 
Photo: Jan Roger Eriksen, WAM ©


Seidekjerringa / Áhkku

 

A 5-6 meters tall Sami sacrificial stone on the outside of the Komsa Mountain. A clearly marked path begins by the parking lot at the end of Lineveien on Amtmannsnes.

In the Sami pre-Christian religion nature was perceived as animated and alive, meaning that mountains, boulders and lakes were living beings which could be of help to humans who worshipped them and made sacrifices to them.

Sacrifices to the gods could be offered by large protruding rocks or glacial boulders that stood out in the landscape. The sacrificial places were called sieidi. Sacrifices could be for example fish fat or reindeer products.

Áhkku is the Sami word for grandmother/old woman.
 
Photo: János Kolostyák, WAM ©


The Lille Raipas Mountain and the Struve Meridian Arc - A UNESCO World Heritage Site  
The top of the Lille Raipas Mountain in Alta (286 m.a.s.l.) is one of 4 points in Norway, and one of 34 points in 10 European countries along the Struve Meridian Arc between the Black Sea and the Arctic Ocean which were included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005. Alta thus became one of very few communities in the world with more than one listing on the World Heritage List.

These points represent the monumental Russian-Scandinavian survey work carried out between 1816 and 1855 to determine the size and shape of the Earth. The Lille Raipas Mountain top is reached by a pleasant 45 minutes walk along a cart road/trail. Information signs in Norwegian, Sámi, English and German are found at the parking lot at the start of the trail. A bronze plaque has been mounted on the top of the mountain commemorating the UNESCO World Heritage listing. From the top you can enjoy a magnificient view of the town of Alta, the fjord and the sorrounding mountains.

A free information brochure in Norwegian, German and English is available at the museum. 

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