Halsnøy Monastery is situated in the midst of the lush fjord country in Sunnhordland, on one of the old spits, or “necks”, that has given name to the island. Gently sloping fields lead down to the sea on both sides, in the south towards the Kloster Fjord, to the north towards the sheltered Klostervågen.
In front of Fitjar Church there is a memorial stone, sculpted by Anne Grimdalen and erected in 1961, for the thousand-year memorial of one of the most dramatic events in Norway’s history, the Battle of Fitjar. This was the place where Norway’s king, Håkon the Good, suffered his fatal injury in the fight with Eirik’s sons, probably in the year 961.
Rimsvarden lies high and unencumbered, an enormous stone mound on the highest top with a wide view of the Fitjar rural community. With its 30 meters across and almost 4 meters high, this is one of the largest prehistoric burial relics existing in Hordaland.
“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”.