The saga regarding the settlement of Hordaland started off about 10,000 years ago. Most of this saga has been recorded in writing, not on paper, but on stone and on the earth in the forest and the marshes.
From 4,500 to 5,000 years ago most of Hordaland was a landscape of forest, right out to the coast and the islands. With our inner eye we can see old oak trees putting their stamp on the heat-loving deciduous forest.
Slepa, the ancient “drove roads” across the plateau, date back to prehistoric times. Through the centuries cattle have been driven to the markets in the east; the people of Hardanger went on their trading journeys with tallow and salt to the mining town and silver mines of Kongsberg, and soldiers and other travellers also used these roads.
Eitt av dei store samferdsleprosjekta på Vestlandet mot slutten av 1800-talet var opninga av Nesttun-Osbanen i 1894 – ei oppbløming av lokalhandel, turisttrafikk og «landliggere».
Marine activities expanded greatly throughout the 19th century, and provided a livelihood for many people. Fishing and shipping were probably the subsidiary activities which had greatest economic significance throughout the century. Marine activities brought, literally speaking, wind into the sails of many rural districts in Hordaland during that period.
Craftsmanship through two thousand years
Almost nothing is as solid, unchangeable and stable as the Norwegian Precambrian basement rocks. Here, there are no volcanic eruptions or violent earthquakes that can cause natural catastrophes. But, it has not always been that way! There have been periods when glowing hot lava flowed over it or when large parts of the Precambrian basement have "taken a beating", both in Precambrian times and during the Caledonian mountain-building event.