Located where the Tinn River flows into Heddalsvatnet Lake, Notodden is a former industrial town that’s now inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It’s famed for its annual blues music festival and waterfront museum and offers easy access to Norway’s largest remaining stave church.
Things to do in Notodden
Delve into Notodden’s fascinating history at the Telemarksgalleriet and the World Heritage Center, which occupies a monumental industrial hall that dates back to the early 20th century. Hear how the town’s mineral fertiliser production transformed the agricultural world and helped increase global crop yields. Rotating art exhibitions are on display in the Telemarksgalleriet, including several works from the Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum’s collection.
A short drive west of Notodden is the Heddal Stave Church, which is the largest of its kind in Norway. Constructed in the early 13th century using pine from the surrounding woodlands, it houses medieval incense vessels and 17th-century paintings within its interior. You can coincide your visit with a church service before relaxing over lunch in the first-floor cafe.
Adjacent to the church is the Heddal Local Museum, an open-air collection of 15 buildings that illustrate the changing construction methods used in Vestfold og Telemark over the centuries. Experience what life was like on a 19th-century smallholding and learn about the traditional folk costume creator, Anne Bamle, in the beautifully painted Rambergstugo building.
Getting around Notodden
Notodden Airport is a five-minute drive from the town centre and has regular flights to Bergen while trains connect from Porsgrunn to the Notodden railway station. Buses travel throughout Notodden, although the town centre is compact enough to explore on foot. Having your own vehicle is best for getting around the surrounding region.