• Nynorsk
  • English

Universitetet i bergen logoUniversity of Bergen

Search form

Stalheimskleiva. Photograph from the 1890s.

Stalheimskleiva, an impressive road construction. Photograph from the 1890s. (Knud Knudson, owner: Billedsamlingen, Universitetsbiblioteket i Bergen (KK 8819(13x18))).

From the oldest times on record in Norway one of the most important traffic arteries between west and east Norway has passed across Bolstad – Voss – Stalheim – Gudvangen and Lærdal. The post road between Oslo and Bergen was established here 1647, but in Stalheimskleiva there was only a packhorse track right up to the 1840s. Wheeled transport and carts were in little use in the mountains in West Norway up to that time.

In the 1840s the government put a great effort into improving road connections between the various parts of the country. In order to promote a faster post delivery between Oslo and Bergen, Captain Finne was given the assignment to chart a new road in Stalheimskleiva.

This road construction required a lot of mountain blasting. Everything was drilled by hand and blasted with dynamite. A number of work gangs participated in the work, which attracted workers from many parts of the country. The high walls have stayed unaltered until this day. Some bends have been expanded, and in place of the iron railings, there is now a concreted edge, but otherwise the road is the same. Almost 2km with a rise of 270m and 14 bends from the bridge up to Stalheim. Bendiksvingen and Hatlebrotsvingen are names derived from work foremen.

The work took three years, and the new road was driveable in 1846. From 1936 the road could be driven by cars and buses, today it is a cultural monument and a great attraction. The road is open for one-way driving during the summer season.

  • The post road between Stalheim and Oppheim is a fine recreational path.

The post road Stalheim - Vinje

In 1647 an arrangement with fixed postal delivery in Norway was established. To promote the traffic in 1648 the king also instigated an arrangement of traffic on land and sea. Some of the post-farms also became transport stations, such as Tvinne, Vinje and Stalheim were in the 1800s. Between Stalheim and Vossevangen there are still remains of the old post road in several places. The post road from Stalheim is in good order, 400m west of Stalheim Hotel, westwards through the farmyards of Sleen, Tveito, Lunde to Hage and Rygg at Oppheimsvatnet. Here a lot of work was done on the road in the years between 1780 and 1800, when Von Krogh was Roadmaster General. The beautiful stone arch bridge across Giljarhuselvi is from this time. On the farm Hauge is the court building from the 1300s. The road is a fine recreational walk through old cultural landscape, with fine views over the valley and the mountain area to the south and southeast. The present highway route in the bottom of the valley was chosen at the re-routing of the road in the 1840s.


On the north side of the Oppheimsvatnet the post road passed through the farmyards at Løn, 200m above the present one along the lake. From Oppheim church the old post road is in good condition to the old church location on Øvre Vinje and down to the present Vinje centre. Between Oppheim and Vinje there is now a recreational path along the old post road of around 4 km. A fine stone arch bridge from the 1780s passes over Sundvålselvi. At Øvre Vinje lies the old graveyard for Vinje church, and from the farmyard at Øvre Vinje there is a fine view over Holbygdi towards Lønahorgi.