Experience industrial history
TEXT: ALYSSA NILSEN | PHOTO © NÆS JERNVERKSMUSEUM
Located in the lush green surroundings of Tvedestrand on the southern coast of Norway, Næs Ironworks Museum gives visitors a unique glimpse into the country’s technical industrial history.
Established in 1665, Nes Verk was the second largest, and among the longest running, ironworks in Norway. Using ore from nearby mines, the employees would produce iron that was used for beautiful cast-iron furnaces, forged steel cannons and high-quality steel, and on site, there were foundries, steel mills, rolling mills, a forge, a mechanical workshop and factories. In addition, the works engaged in farming and forestry, mills, wood processing, shipping and trade.
“Even though the works closed down for good in 1959, very little has changed over the last 170 years,” Director Knut Aall explains. “The buildings still stand, the farming area has been converted into a golf course, and the river, which previously powered the mill, provides fishing opportunities.”
The works were preserved as a technical cultural heritage site in 1967 and converted into a museum in 1992. These days, it is a popular destination for tourists, cruise guests, schools, companies and pensioners alike, and offers the opportunity to see the old water wheels and bellows in action. In addition, there is the chance to visit the old mines, go on guided tours, and watch old authentic film recordings showing the production of iron and steel way back when.
Knowledge and leisure side by side
And while in the area, why not visit one of Norway’s most frequented golf courses? The course caters to all levels and has an 18-hole course and a 9-hole pay&play. The golf club arranges annual regional and national championships and is immensely popular.
The nearby river is organised and facilitated for the public to be able to fish for salmon and sea trout. Fishing licences can be bought online, and August and September are the recommended months to do it in.
Næs Ironworks Museum is open daily from mid-May through to September, but groups can book guided tours independent of season and opening times.