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.
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.
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.
In the Middle Ages the stone church in Fana was a place for pilgrimage, containing a miraculous silver crucifix that could heal the sick. A hill to the west of the church is still called Krykkjehaugen (the crutch hill); according to belief this is where the sick threw away their crutches. Perhaps this church, lying where it does at the old half county boundary , also held a special position in relation to the district churches in the county.