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A barren belt where almost nothing grows, runs through the forest on the east slope of Gullbotnen. But, along the west side of the main road there is a fertile zone that flourishes with several finicky plant types. The contrasts arise from the extreme variations in the nutrient content of the bedrock.
Håkons Hall, Domkirken Church, Bergen Børs Stock Exchange, Permanenten and other well known buildings in Bergen are decorated with soapstone from Øvre Kvernes. The quarry is a big hole in the mountainside by the cliff just east of the farm buildings.
Jondal has one of the country’s oldest slate quarries. Roof tiles have been extracted here since the end of the 1700s, but the quarry is much older. Kvernurdi is mentioned in a diploma in 1421, when Bård Sigurdsson at Torsnes became the owner through a settlement. Already then it must have been customary to cut millstones here.