Hallingdal is one of the major valleys in Eastern Norway. The valley is U-shaped and roughly coincides with the Hallingdalsvassdraget. The valley floor extends northwards, from the northern end of Lake Krøderen, through the north-eastern and northern parts of the landscape Buskerud in Viken county, and is surrounded by high mountains on both sides.

Hallingdal is one of the country's busiest valleys with the Bergen line and national road 7. With national road 52 and county road 50, national road 7 also has connections to Sogn.

At Gol, the valley floor bends westwards, the side valley Hemsedal takes off northwards, and the river Hemsil flows into the Hallingdal river. From Ål, a side valley turns north to Leveld and Vats. West of Strandafjorden, the valley splits in two. The main valley to the northwest leads to the village center Hol by the Holsfjord. Ustedalen leads west along the river Usta to Geilo.

The valley has been characterized by small farms, ranching and a barren soil, where wool, dairy products and meat production have been the main industries for centuries. Fishing has been a traditional food week in the many mountain lakes. Since the 1960s, the valley has had an explosive development in tourism and cottage construction. The valley also has a number of large and small hotels and accommodation companies, both down in the valley and up in the mountains.

The Hallingdal district comprises six municipalities with a total of 20,566 inhabitants (1 January 2015) and a total area of ​​5,830 km².


Geography and geology

Ustedalen is the upper part of the valley towards Hardangervidda and stretches from Ustevatnet to Hagafoss. Ustedalselvi flows from Ustevatnet south of Hallingskarvet and Åni flows from Strandefjorden north of Hallingskarvet, and the two rivers run together at Hol where they become Hallingdalselva. The valleys are formed by glaciers with thresholds between deeper parts and high, steep sides. At Hol there is a marked step in the valley. The valley floor is wide except for some narrow points ("clips"). At Gol, Hemsedal runs into the main valley and the town of Gol is located on a gravel fan deposited by Hemsil. From Ustevatnet to Gol, the river falls about 800 meters. From Gol to Krøderen through lower Hallingdal, the river falls only 70 meters. The valley sides are steep and wooded, and the buildings are concentrated in the valley floor where the river has laid out fertile plains. In the winter, cold air from the mountains descends into the valley floor where the air is further cooled, and the temperature can fall well below - 30 ° C. Nesbyen has the heat record for Norway with 35.6 ° C on 20 June 1970. Hallingdal has an inland climate, but not as pronounced as Gudbrandsdalen. The high summer temperatures are partly due to the fact that Hallingdal is sheltered by high mountains. Østerdalen does not have as high summer temperatures. There is more precipitation in the surrounding mountains than in the valley floor itself. Right after the ice age, the sea was about 200 meters higher than today and the salty fjord included Krøderen and stretched almost to Nesbyen.

Eel was a traditional center in the valley and has been bypassed by Geilo with its ski lifts and hotels. Gol is the most central place in the valley with traffic hubs, varied industry and high schools. In the side valley Votndalen, the farms have traditionally been laid out on the slopes of the sunny sides to avoid the frost in the valley floor. When a new road was built in the valley floor, side roads were built to the buildings in the middle slope. At Ål, the valley floor is also referred to as Åldalen.

Skogshorn and Reineskarvet consist of hard, crystalline rock.



The Old Norse name for Hallingdal was Haddingjadalr. The name form Hall- was first found in 1443 in the Diplomatarium Norvegicum. According to Sandnes and Stemshaug in Norsk stadnamnleksikon, A.B. Larsen transition to Hall- as a result of neighbor opposition. They believe that the first part may be the genitive majority of the popular name haddingjar and made in the same way as Hadeland and Hordaland, but are not sure of this. Another explanation they present is that the first part is the personal name Haddingi. In Flateyjarbok a Haddingr is mentioned as king over Hallingdal. In both cases, Sandnes and Stemshaug believe that this is probably a derivation of Old Norse haddr which means 'woman's hair'. Haddingi / Haddingjar must then be interpreted as 'the long-haired one'.



Hallingdal (Norwegian: Haddingjadalr) has its name from the time King Hadding had power in the valley. King Hadding was one of the small kings who ruled in rural Norway, before Harald Hårfagre united Norway into one kingdom in the ninth century. King Hadding's headquarters are said to have been at Garnås on Nes. The reason he lived right here was most likely the good growing conditions on the site, allegedly after a large meteorite struck in this area several million years ago. In addition, this location provided a good view of large areas of the valley, which was of course of great strategic importance. From the reign of King Hadding, and until the 15th / 16th century, the valley floor was called Haddingjadalr. Towards the end of this period, the Halling form was on its way to incorporating. The old name form came from haddr, which was Norse for "woman's hair", and may have referred to a man with long hair.

Traditionally, the northwestern areas of the valley have been closely linked to Western Norway, especially in the time before the Bergen line was laid through the valley. However, the central and southern parts have been more closely linked to Eastern Norway, especially Ringerike, which was strengthened with the opening of the Bergen line. Hallingdal and Valdres belonged period to the Gulatinget area and in the Middle Ages to the diocese of Stavanger.

Hallingdal was most likely mainly populated from Western Norway and was therefore originally under Gulatinget and belonged to the Stavanger diocese from 1120. After the change of spouse between the bishops in Stavanger and Oslo, dated 10 April 1631, the then Hallingdal and Valdres prostitute were placed under the Oslo diocese , and thus Oslo lagdømme legally. When the diocese of Hamar was re-established in 1864, however, Hallingdal and Valdres were divided, as Valdres was added to Hamar, while Hallingdal continued as a clerical district under Oslo, where Ringerike and Hallingdal prostitute were established. However, these were separated into two prostitutes from 1914, when Hallingdal prostitute was established as his own prostitute. The prostitute came under the diocese of Tunsberg when this was established in 1948, following a Odelsting decision on 24 November 1947.

The prosthetic seat is located in Ål, where Ål church is a parish church. Torpo Stave Church is the oldest building in the valley.