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Kraftmuseet - a cultural heritage site

Hydropower and Industry were crucial to the shaping of Norway in the 20th Century; the Powermuseum tells the fascinating story of how it all began.

The museum is located in Tyssedal, in Odda municipality in the midst of the beautiful Hardanger region. The nature is stunning, both in summer and in winter. Visiting the museum will give you an impression of the forces of nature and of man's efforts to harness them. 


Tysso I kraftstasjon sett frå vest The powerstation Tysso 1 down by the fjord, the penstock and the facilities in the mountainside Lilletopp and Oksla.

Photo: Dag Endre Opedal, Kraftmuseet




Bygging av vasskraftanlegget i 1907 Building the powerstation in 1907. Photo: Kraftmuseet archives


The power station Tysso I is the pride of the museum. The powerplant is the only larger powerstation in the world that has been protected for posterity.

The powerplant was built in several stages. The first stage was completed in 1908, less than two years after the planning began. By hand, using hammer, drill and dynamite, the workers carved a 3,5 kilometre long tunnel up in the mountainside getting water from the lakes in Skjeggedal, further up the mountain. They built the first two penstocks and the powerstation, as well as the first dam.


The work was rushed so that the plant would be able to supply electricity to the world's largest carbide factory that was being built simultaneously in Odda. The work was difficult due to the harsh terrain. The first two 730 meters long penstocks were built in the winter of 1907, so that in addition to managing the steep mountainside, the workers had to contend with bitter cold, snow and ice as they built the large iron penstocks.


In the following years, the powerstation was expanded, three more penstocks were built, and the impressive Ringedal dam, made from hand carved granite, was completed. Two more factories were aditionally built in the Odda region during the first three centuries of 1900.


Bygging av røyrgata Putting together the enormous iron pieces that should become the penstock. Photo: Kraftmuseet archives


The powerstation and several of the other buildings were designed by Norway's foremost architects - Thorvald Astrup and Victor Nordan, Morgenstierne and Eide. Today these buildings stand as monuments to the work, architecture and optimism of bygone days. In the year 2000 the entire powerplant was declared protected by the Director General of Historic Monuments. Since then the power station has been renovated and returned to its former glory.


The buildings and facilities are open to the public throughout the year. Our visitors will find the most complete hydropower station of that aera, included the best kept first generation control panel worldwide. We offer films, exhibitions and tours through the mountain tunnels, as well as guided tours at the museum.


In the town center of Odda you may visit old workers houses, a photo exhibition and a science center on the former carbide plant.





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Norwegian Museum of Hydropower and Industry

Naustbakken 7, 5770 Tyssedal
Phone: +47 53 65 00 50