The industrial heritage Rjukan - Notodden on UNESCO's World Heritage list in one minute - visitrjukan
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Rjukan Foto: Mediteam/VisitRjukan

The World Heritage in one minute

The industrial heritage Rjukan - Notodden on UNESCO's World Heritage list.

The World Heritage List:

  • world wide outstanding value
  • be taken care of for the humanity
  • a mark of quality

The Industrial Heritage Rjukan-Notodden:

  • the start of the modern industrial revolution in Norway
  • the start of the welfare Norway: from poorest to richest within 100 years
  • using water to create electric power
  • using air to capture nitrogen
  • using Norway's most important invention for the world market; - Birkeland/Eyde method ,- create artificial fertilizer for the world market

Norsk Hydro

  • started in Notodden with power from Tinnfoss (waterfall)
  • Notodden is the pioneer place with development of methods for large scale production
  • Rjukanfossen was the main reason why "Telemark water ways" was chosen
  • Sam.Eyde was the entrepreneur, Kristian Birkeland had the knowledge
  • Wallenberg and Paris Bank had the capital
  • "Rallar’n" and the industrial worker did the work

The project was large and it went fast:

  • 1903: Birkeland and Eyde met, Sam.Eyde bought Rjukanfossen
  • 1905: Norsk Hydro was established with headquarter in Notodden
  • 1907: The town Rjukan is starting to be developed, Europe's largest power station was completed at Svelgfoss
  • 1909: The transportation route Rjukanbanen-Tinnosbanen (railways) opens by King Håkon
  • 1911: The world's largest power station was completed at Vemork
  • 1915: The world's largest power station was completed at Saaheim in Rjukan
  • 1920: The town Rjukan is totally built up as a ”Company town” with 10.000 inhabitants
  • 1928: New manufacturing method (Haber-Bosch) , byproduct heavy water
  • 1942-44: The heavy water war

Unesco application

  • Norway's most complex world heritage application
  • Interconnecting object from Møsvannsdammen in the north to the waterfront in Notodden, 92 km long, 97 significant objects

The application has 4 main chapters:

  1. Power with dams, tunnels and power plants
  2. Factory with the two production methods for fertilizers
  3. Towns Rjukan and Notodden, Company towns.
  4. Transport route Rjukanbanen-Tinnosbanen rail ferries on lake Tinnsjø
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