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Directorate for Cultural Heritage

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Cultural heritage protection strategy up to 2020

Skudeneshavn, a small town in Rogaland county in Western Norway, is known for the many well-kept white wooden houses in the historic centre. The Directorate began the process of protecting central Skudeneshavn as a cultural environment in February 2015. Photo: Karmøy municipality


The Directorate for Cultural Heritage has drawn up a strategy for protecting a more representative selection of buildings, structures and sites that are not automatically protected under the Cultural Heritage Act. The Directorate has identified ten thematic priorities, and will protect important elements of the cultural heritage related to each of these.


The Directorate was asked by the Ministry of Climate and Environment to draw up a cultural heritage protection strategy. All the county authorities have provided input during this process, which deals with buildings, structures and sites that do not have automatic statutory protection under the Cultural Heritage Act.
The strategy will be used as a basis for protection work in the next few years. It sets priorities for protection and is intended to make the administrative procedures involved in individual protection orders more efficient and provide a greater degree of predictability for owners whose buildings are protected.

Ten thematic priorities

A survey of the individual protection orders that have already been issued showed that there is a lack of buildings, structures and sites from several important periods of Norway’s history, and that some thematic categories are poorly represented.
New protection orders in the period up to 2020 will be related to the ten thematic priorities identified for the strategy. These are:

1. Defence and war history
• The line of defence against Sweden (ca. 1640–1905)
• The Second World War: occupation and resistance (1940–45)
• The Cold War (ca. 1945–90)

2. National minorities
• National minorities (the Kven people, Jews, Forest Finns, Roma, Romani people/Tater)

3. Cultural heritage on uncultivated land
• Hunters’ and trappers’ cabins
• Forestry
• Summer farms/transhumance
• Freshwater fisheries

4. Trade
• Retail trade (shops and retail complexes, 20th century)
• Coastal fisheries and fish processing
• Maritime trade and transport

5. Community and democracy
• Primary schools
• Chapels/village halls
• Town halls/municipal buildings
• Historical sites/development of democracy

6. Recreation, leisure and public health
• Hotels/other accommodation/restaurants
• Holiday cabins
• Sports facilities
• Parks and gardens

7. Travel
• Historical routes
• Important ports of call along the historical coastal shipping route

8. Industrial heritage
• Small-scale industry/crafts/workshops
• Medium-scale industry

9. Housing post-dating the Industrial Revolution
• Apartment blocks in the larger towns (ca. 1870–1920)
• Housing types in towns and built-up areas (1900–45)
• Innovative post-war architecture
• Working-class housing

10. Archaeological monuments and sites post-dating the Reformation
• Cultural layers in towns and built-up areas
• Farm mounds
• Important post-Reformation churchyards and graves/burial sites