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The Rural Area

The Open Air Museum at Lillehammer is possibly best known for the houses in the Rural Area. The many sunburned buildings were the homes of farmers, craftsmen and local officials. Here you will meet the culture and the way of life of the old farming community. 

The Rural section, as a concept, was the idea of Maihaugen’s founder Anders Sandvig. The histories of the farmer, the crofters and the local officials are preserved in the large and small farms, the vicarage and crofts. The founder of Maihaugen was of the opinion that it was important that the culture of the old villages was preserved for future generations.

During the summer there is plenty of life in the Village. You might meet the farmers busy at work with the harvest and the daily tasks of the farm like in the 1700s and 1800s. You will also meet guides sharing their knowledge on how we lived in the past.

In the Rural Area you will also find the church, the local school, the sheriff’s farm and the military house.

The larger farms, Bjørnstad and Jørstad are found in the lower central parts of the village. There are a large number of spacious buildings to suit the needs of the many and varied purposes of a farm. Further up the hillside you will find the medium sized farm Øygarden.

At the top of the hill you will find the smallest crofts- rydningsbruket (an area cleared for farming) and the crofters’ place. This is possibly where the village craftsmen lived. They were necessary extra farm workers when needed. Looking towards the woods and the mountain we can see how woods and fields were a resource that was used. Here you will find the fishing rampart with its fishing shelters, the forest with the forest cabin and the mountain farming village with the many mountain farms, where the animals feed in summer pastures.