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Alvøen is one of the oldest industrial places in Norway. As early as the 1620s a gunpowder mill was built here. The place itself was well situated for industrial activity, lying only 100 m from the waterfall, which provided power for the mill, and a good harbour wherefrom the products were shipped. The success of the gun-powder mill varied in the 1600s and 1700s, but what made Alvøen best known was its paper production.
“Fartein Valen is the key figure within newer Norwegian music. Not by way of being more popular than other younger composers, but because he aims at things higher, which he is fully confident of being able to reach since he commands all techniques. But there is a price to pay for reaching above the ordinary, and there is a price to pay for demanding more than the ordinary from the listeners. This is something Valen has experienced”.
Steatite is a type of stone that is abundant in Hardanger. There are large steatite deposits in the mountain below Folgefonna. These deposits are visible both in Krossdalen in Jondal, at Kveitno in Odda and at Måge in Ullensvang. There are many traces of steatite quarrying in Hardanger, and one of the largest fields is in the hillside above Måge.