A clutch of Norwegian-Scottish Anniversaries
01 May 2012 An ambush in Gudbrandsdal, a highland lodge in Vest Agder, and Norway’s first oil refinery are the unusual features of a clutch of Norwegian-Scottish anniversaries this year.
Myth and reality mix in celebrations at Gudbrandsdal with the marking of the 400th anniversary of an unfortunate clash between Norwegian peasants and Scots mercenaries at Kringen in August 1612. En route to serve the King of Sweden in the Kalmar War, a small column of Scots was ambushed at the narrowest pass of the valley, and with their capture was born a lasting romantic myth of Norwegian peasant prowess and independence. The real story of Kringen is not in the least glorious, of course, but fact and fiction hardly matter, for friendships and festivities are the only theme of celebrations taking place in Gudbrandsdal 18-23 August this year. The organisers promise ‘peace, reconciliation and cultural collaboration’ as the focus of an exciting programme of exhibitions and tours. More here.
Meanwhile, in Vest Agder county in southern Norway, preparations are underway for two celebrations connected with the famed Salvesen family of Leith. Åseral municipality is marking the 100th anniversary of the idyllic ‘highland lodge’, Lordehytta, which was built for Scottish lawyer Lord Edward Salvesen (b1857) on a heathery outcrop overlooking a beautiful hill-sheltered loch. Both an exhibition telling the Salvesen story and a special guided visit are planned. The organisers are especially keen to renew old and happy connections with their Scots friends and hope to welcome all on the main anniversary day, 9th September, with a rousing skirl o’ the pipes! More here.
Out of the mountains and down to the coast, the Salvesen theme continues too in the nearby municipality of Mandal. At Risøbank house, built for the Salvesen family by Scottish architect Robert Lorimer, celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Salvesen-founded paraffin oil company Mandal Parafin-Olje Fabrikk will be marked too. Visitors to Risøbank can enjoy beautiful gardens, exhibitions, and lazy walks on the beach by the house. More here.