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Directorate for Cultural Heritage

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Cultural environments

A cultural environment is an area where monuments and objects form part of an integrated whole.

Sør-Gjæslingan in Nord-Trøndelag is one of the cultural environments that is protected by law. Photo: Kjell Andresen / Directorate for Cultural Heritage

The term "cultural environment" was introduced into the Cultural Heritage Act when it was revised in 1992. A new provision provided the legal authority to protect a cultural environment because of the value of the area as a whole, even if protection of the individual elements would not be justified. So far, nine cultural environments are protected by the Cultural Heritage Act.

Examples of what may be designated as a cultural environment include a cluster of historically valuable farm buildings round a courtyard, situated in an agricultural landscape that still shows characteristic features of traditional farming methods, or a fishing village with houses, boathouses, quays and other buildings and installations related to fishing activities. An industrial area with factories and workers' houses is also a cultural environment.

The protected cultural environments are:

  • Havrå farm complex (Hordaland)
  • Utstein monastery (Rogaland)
  • the east-Sami settlement Neiden (Finnmark)
  • Kongsberg silver mines (Buskerud)
  • Sogndalstrand (Rogaland)
  • Birkelunden (Oslo)
  • Sør-Gjæslingan (Nord-Trøndelag)
  • Bygdøy (Oslo)
  • Tinfos (Telemark)
  • Ny-Hellesund (Vest-Agder)
  • Levanger (Trøndelag)
  • Skudeneshavn (Rogaland)