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Ryvarden Culture Lighthouse: where the sea meets the sky

Ryvarden Culture Lighthouse: where the sea meets the sky
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Ryvarden Lighthouse (Norwegian: Ryvarden fyr) is a coastal lighthouse in the municipality of Sveio in Hordaland, Norway. It was established in 1849 and automated in 1984. The lighthouse is situated by the Sletta sea area, at the end of the promontory, on the north side of Mølstrevågen. It stands 23.6 feet (6.9 meters) tall and 73 feet (22.3 meters) above the high-tide level.

Since the lighthouse was automated, no one has lived there permanently, but it has become a popular place to visit for many people. In 1992, Gallery Ryvarden was established, and it became a success with 30,000–35,000 visitors each year. Besides the gallery, there is a café and studios. There are many cultural events held here, including art exhibitions and concerts.

History

  • In the year 869 Floke Vilgerdson left the Smørsund farm in Sveio to travel west to find Snowland, or “Gardarsholm” to use another name. Floke, later called Ramnafloke (Ravenfloke), waited ashore in Ryvarden for the right sailing conditions. He held a ceremony and sacrificed to the gods to give three ravens power to guide his vessel. He built a varde, a stone fireplace, to mark the spot on Ryvarden, before they sailed west. The spot later was known as Ryvarden.
  • Ramnafloke’s journey is found in Landnamabok, a written historical record from Iceland, which is even older than the Norse record of  Snorre Sturluson. The cairn that Floke built before he left, was later given the name Ryvarden (Rycairn), and is probably the oldest cairn along the coast. With the help from the ravens, Floke found the land and named it Iceland.
  • Ryvarden was first illuminated in 1849, and the lighthouse was fully automated in 1984. Since then no one has lived there permanently, but it has become a popular place to visit for many people. In 1992 Gallery Ryvarden was established, and it became a success with 30,000–35,000 visitors each year.

Café and Gallery

The Café and Gallery are open every Sunday and public holidays, plus several more days in the Summer season. The gallery exhibits new art starting on the first Sunday of every month. There is a shop with both art and craftwork for sale. The Café offers coffee, tea, and local delicacies such as hot waffles with clotted cream and jam, and so on. Soup and light meals are available too.

Accommodations

In the quarters of the lighthouse keeper, there are accommodations for 8–10 people in five bedrooms. The house was renovated to a high standard in 2007. Here you can go back in time, with the wind howling around the lighthouse, and driving rain on the windows, or else sun from a clear sky and a completely still ocean. This is medicine for the body and soul.

Price of accommodation in The Lightkeeper’s House

  • 
NOK 1,400 per extra person
  • NOK 7,000 per week for up to 8 persons
  • NOK 2,700 per extra person
  • NOK 2,500 per extra person (Monday–Friday)
  • Washing and house-cleaning after the stay is included in the price.
 No charge for children under 6 years of age. 

Check-in time after 2PM at day of arrival. 
Check-out before noon at day of departure.

Contact Information

  • Enquiries about accommodations: 

Gunn Bente Håvardsholm, at Sveio municipal offices
  • Tel.: +47 53 74 80 00 (Manday–Friday 8AM–3:30PM), or mobile +47 95 19 58 00.
  • Email: ryvarden@sveio.kommune.no
  • Address: Box 40, 5559 Sveio, Norway
  • Website: www.ryvarden.no
  • Brochure: Download

Ryvarden Lighthouse—Where Horizons are Wide


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  5. Eileen September 24, 2016 at 7:18 am

    My husband’s paternal grandfather was a light keeper at this lighthouse. Do you have any literature about the light keepers available? Thank you for your time.

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