We know that it has been settlement around Østerbø and the Aurlandvalley since the 15th century. There are some evidence of settlement before that, but it is uncertain. The place lies in a mountainpass that connects the east and the west of Norway, but one can wonder why they setttled here? Even today in our modern world it takes 30 minutes to drive to the nearest settlement, so it is pretty remote. Still, that is the way people have lived around Norway ever since the first migration here 10 000 year ago.
The weather conditions up here is harsh, with short summers and long winters. On the other hand, there is more hours of sunshine than further down the valley.
You can find many ruins like this around here and elsewhere in Norway. This one has probably been used to house cattle. It is hard to say how old it is, though. When it was in use, it probably resembled something like the house in the photo below.
The lodge where I work used to be a farm. We know that it was permanent settlement here untill 1911 when the last full-time farmer here died. The family continued to use it in the summertime. In 1938 they started to develop the lodge.
The photo below is from the main building where there is a wall with the inscription Anno 1772.
These are two old stabbur - storehouses. Traditionally they where use to keep salted and dried food in. Now they serve a completly different purpose. They are mainly for show and a part of our cultural heritage. The one above you can actually rent and spend the night in. We know that it is from 1742. They are built in a traditional building style dating back to the Viking ages here in Norway called laft, where you don't use iron or nails, only wood. This style has in recent years become popular again and you can see a lot of new buildings in this style.
The photo below shows a building in the traditional buildingstyle - laft - anno 2013.