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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Oppland and Hedmark
South Norway - Norway TravelPuppy
Central southern Norway, comprising Oppland and Hedmark, is a land of mountains, spectacular glacial valleys, including Gudbrandsdal, one of country’s longest and most beautiful, and high plateaux.

Lightly populated throughout the region, apart from the larger centres of Elverum, Hamar, Kongsvinger and Lillehammer (site of the 1994 Winter Olympics), this is a region of small settlements suitable for those seeking solitude and wilderness – or the winter sports facilities.

Kongsvinger’s Festning (fortress) dates from the 17th century, but never came under Swedish attack. To the north is the Dovrefjell National Park – mythical home of the Mountain King (Dovregubben) immortalised by Grieg, and where musk oxen are occasionally spotted roaming wild on the high plateau.

Lillehammer

Norway's biggest skiing and winter sports centre, offering both Alpine and Nordic disciplines, Lillehammer stands on the banks of the Mjøsa Lake, Norway’s largest with an area of 362 sq km (140 sq miles), and which reputedly conceals a ‘Loch Ness’ monster.

Among non-winter-specific attractions in the town are the Norwegian Olympic Museum, the Maihaugen Open Air Museum (which features a collection of over 170 historic buildings from the Gudbrandsdal region), and the Art Museum, with its extensive Norwegian collections.

Hamar

At the northern end of the Mjøsa Lake, Hamar contains the Hedmark Museum, dedicated to the medieval period. There is also a Museum of Holography, unique in the country, and the Olympic Hall, which staged skating events during the 1994 Winter Olympics. The Cathedral, restored during 1954, has origins dating back to the 11th century dawn of Norwegian Christianity.