Friday, 4 July 2014

The graveyard...

There is an old mountain graveyard here at Østerbø. It was in use between 1859  and 1911.  The last person that was buried here, was the last person who ran the lodge as a full-time farm. He died in 1911.

The graveyard serviced the farms located in the upper part of the valley. In all there are 29 people buried here. Conditions where harsh. It is 800 meters down to the village and there where no proper roads going through the valley at this time. Only a footpath. Sometimes they had to postpone the funeral for weeks due to weather conditions. In winter even for months. 

The story goes that sometimes they just buried the body and marked it with a pole. When the weather conditions allowed it and the priest could make his way up the valley, they would keep the funeral. It could be months later.

The graveyard is now protected by the Norwegian governement. When you look at the location of it, so remote here at the top of the valley, you can be struck by respect for the people who lived their life here in this valley and you can admire their work and the stammina they must have had.


  1. Fascinating -- hard times indeed, and strong people.
    This post reminded me of Canadian writer Anne Michaels' novel, The Winter Vault (a winter vault was a place in which those who died in winter were kept until the ground thawed enough to permit burial).

    1. I will definetley try to read that book.....