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The farms in Modalen are situated on old, fertile sediment beds from the river or the sea – between Mofjorden and Steinslandvatnet. As far back as the Middle Ages Mo has been a church location for the valley and the farms above.
In one of the frame-built haysheds at Nottveit, at holding No. 3, we discover that several of the staves have a medieval look, with large dimensions and carefully rounded edges. According to tradition, it was the farms Nottveit and Mostraumen that supplied the timber for the stave church at Mo, and it is not unlikely that these farms received the old timber in return when the new church was erected there in 1593.
Tthe Otterstad farms lie in the innermost part of Mofjorden, on the northwest side of the river. The row of stave-built boatsheds that belong to the farm were probably constructed a little after the middle of the 1800s. Both here and on the Mo side, the boatsheds were important storage places at the seashore; wood and other farm products intended for the town; corn and merchandise in return.
The large mountain area between Modalen, the Voss communities and Sogn is one of the finest mountain pasture areas in West Norway. In older times this area was called Steinslandsheimen, in our times it has acquired the name Stølsheimen. Power development and protection interests have been opposed here. The core area of Stølsheimen has now been protected as a landscape protection area, while some of the oldest mountain farms have been flooded. A register in the 1970s comprised almost 40 mountain farm settlements in the central area of Stølsheimen, belonging to Modalen, Høyanger and Vik municipalities.
Ferstad is well worth a visit. The farm lies on a little hillock south of Lekven: a beautiful official residence from the 1700s.
The 28th November 1914 was a day to remember for the Os inhabitants. This was the day they could turn the switch on the wall and have electric light in their houses. It was like opening the door on the future when the power station at Gåssand was put into operation.
At the bottom of Vargavågen on Halhjem lies Grødalshaug, a 30 metres high rocky outcrop between the bay and a moist valley cleft. On the south side of the rock is a steep rock cliff facing the valley, the bog and the stream. On this rock face we find rock carvings from the Bronze Age.
The small white-painted chapel with the red brick tiled roof just south of the monastery ruins at Lyse was built in 1663 as a local chapel for the monastery estate, following the takeover of the property by the District Recorder (Stiftskriver) Niels Hanssøn Schmidt two years previously. The chapel, with its harmonic proportions, lies in the cultural landscape beside the grand monastery estate, witness to a time gone by. But even today, there is a tradition of high mass on the 2nd day of Ascension in Lyse Chapel.