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The Bondhus area in Maruanger has been a magnet for tourists ever since the stream of tourists to Norway's west coast began in the middle of the 1800s. The magnificent landscape with the "ice trail" up to Bondhusvatnet Lake, the ice falls from Bondhusbreen glacier and Keisarstigen trail up to Folgefonna are still popular tourist attractions.
The beautiful vicarage on the Fjelberg Island lies a few minutes walk up from the fjord, in a compact enclosure with the church south of the main building and the bishop’s residence to the north; a rare harmonic cluster.
Hadde ikkje Hardangerfjordbreen mot slutten av istida rykt fram over fjordbotnen, ville Halsnøy ikkje eksistert som éi øy, men som mange småøyar. Breen skuva framfor seg så mykje leire frå havbotnen at Brattåsen, Toftåsen, Landåsen og Svartaberg vart samla i eitt landområde.
The stately Kvinnherad Church with its characteristic profile set out against the mighty Malmangernuten in the background, gives you a rare feeling of being present in a historic landscape as you come around Nes and face the well-kept houses at the Skåla farm. The church at Skåla is one of four “fjordungskirker” (one of four main district churches) and this farm was the centre of this coastal administration district.
Skorpo - Polished by glaciers and meltwater
There is still a lot of ore in the abandoned mines on Varaldsøy Island. If today's prices and availability of ore continue, it is doubtful whether the mines will resume operation. But, the pyrite is there, if the market should return. On Varaldsøy Island one finds at least nine mines and prospect pits, that for the most part date back to the latter part of the 1800s.
Ølve has a special soil type. Here one finds an extra hard clay soil. This is especially noticed by those who work with excavating for building foundations and the like. Often it is necessary to use especially big digging machines and sometimes even dynamite in order to break up the compact masses. The reason for this is the growth of the glaciers toward the end of the Ice Age: The clay, that was first deposited in front of the glacier, came under great pressure when the glacier later grew and slid out over the clay.
All in all there are ten known copper mines and two iron mines on the Ølve peninsula. Geologically, the nine mines on Varaldsøy Island also should be figured in. The industry began at Lilledal in 1642 wth the mining of iron ore. From Jernsmauget by Dyråsen, the iron ore was sent to the iron works in eastern Norway.
Ænes has been one of the prosperous farms at the Mauranger Fjord in medieval times. At the time of Harald Gilles, around 1130, we hear of GAUT at Ænes. The noble families around the Hardanger Fjord were prominent in the political sphere from early on, and it is obvious that the fine and openly situated farm at Ænes was also a good place for a Church.