Experience world class and historic architecture while driving through a spectacular landscape over mountains and along fjords, rivers and lakes in Suldal, Sauda and Røldal. Highlights of the route include Allmannajuvet in Sauda by Peter Zumthor and Geir Grungs architecture for Røldal Suldal Kraft in Nesflaten. The Architectural Route has the best collection of architectural work in fjord Norway and is the only tourist route in Norway highlighting both modern and historic architecture in a day trip format. The route in a part of the National Scenic Route Ryfylke.
The route also has several historic architectural sites with the oldest, the Røldal Stave Church, dating back to the 1200s. The area has long farming traditions and there are several prime examples of traditional farm buildings, such as Kolbeinstveit from 1850, along the route. Industrial architecture in the area includes the housing for workers of the smelting plant in Sauda from 1920s.
The Allmannajuvet zinc mines were in operation from 1881 to 1899. During these years a total of 12,000 tons of zinc ore were extracted. Today, the mining area is a museum. Designed by Peter Zumthor and opened in 2016. The buildings in the gorge are designed in an industrial construction style to embody the story of the mines. The installation consists of a gallery, a café building, toilet and parking facilities, paths and stairs. For opening hours see www.saudaferie.no
Geir Grung (1926-1989) designed the hydro power station, which opened in 1965, housing, and the hotel, Energihotellet, which is located beside the hydropower development plant in Røldal-Suldal. The area is one of the best-preserved examples of functionalistic style in Norway. Park your car at Energihotellet and take a stroll down the power station and residential area. For more information or questions about the architecture, contact Energihotellet.
Høsebrua lies in the village of Sand, Suldal. The bridge is a footbridge over the Suldalslågen salmon river. It lights up beautifully on dark autumn and winter night and leads to the recreational area across the river. The bridge won Bridge of the Year from Travel + Leisure Magazine in 2014. Architect: Sami Rintala/Eggertsson and Ivan Kroupa.
Located in Ropeid, a peninsula in Suldal, Venterommet, which translates to the waiting room for travelers with the express boats to Sauda and Stavanger. The building has large glass panes that make for close contact with both the fjord and the mountainside. Venterommet opened in 2004. Architect: Jensen & Skodvin.
The Svanddalsfossen waterfall is a mighty spectacle when the river runs high. The 540 steps, completed in 2006, bring visitors into close proximity with the powerful waterfall and the lush, magical vegetation that characterizes the area. Architect: Haga & Grow Sivilarkitekter.
Røldal Stave Church
The church was built between 1200 and 1250, and is famous for its healing crucifix still in the church. Røldal was one of the most important sites of the pilgrimage in Norway during the middle ages and pilgrims continued to come until 1835. The church is beautifully decorated, and is still the parish church for Røldal.
Total driving time 2,5-3 hours (not including time spent at stops along the route). Please note that the road from Allmannajuvet in Sauda to Røldal is closed during winter months (varying dates).
Hiking along the route: Svandalsfossen, Hylsskaret and Røynevarden. All are shorter hikes suitable for most.
Museums along the route: Ryfylkemuseet in Sand, Kolbeinstveit with Rogaland's oldest wodden building and Industriarbeidar-museet in Sauda.
Stops particularly suitable for families with young children: Kolbeinstveit, Røynevarden, Allmannajuvet and Svandalsfossen.
For more information kindly contact the tourist information.