If you take bus number 143 from downtown Oslo, it will take you to picturesque and wonderful little place called Bærums Vern. The bus ride would only last for 30 to 45 minutes.
Bærums Verk is a village in Baerum municipality on the west coast of Oslo in Norway. It is situated on both banks of the River Lomma.
Handelsstedet Bærums Verk, the center now known simply as Baerums Verk to tourists, is part of the village and reside on the site of the 400 years old foundry, nestled in a narrow valley along the river. Spectacular waterfall and river flow through and divide the buildings in the center with pedestrian bridges connecting them.
You will see many exquisite iron sculptures erected along the river and throughout the center area which also includes cafes, restaurants, two supermarkets, art galleries, shopping center plus local studios and workshops of blacksmith, glassblowers, patchwork makers, carpenters ect ect.
This workshops, stores inside shopping center and quaint specialty shops in the outside area sell products of those workshops and other traditional Norwegian handicrafts and souvenirs.
Shopping is one of the main attractions here. Everyone always end up buying something as excellent finds are everywhere here. Many unique and different kinds of handmade products to choose from and at reasonable prices too in our opinion.
The lovely retail, leisure and cultural center is the creation of the Løvenskiold family, a Dano-Norwegian noble family of German origin, originally named Leopoldus. The family was one of the first patrician Norwegian families to be ennobled, in 1739, when it was also given the name Løvenskiold.
They are the owner of the foundry since 1889 but the history of foundry & Bærums Verk began much earlier than that in 17th century when iron ore was discovered in the nearby area.
In 1610, King Christian IV of Denmark & Norway granted a man named Paul Smelter the right to build melting hut, not on the current site but little bit further down the river in doren.
Although current foundry wasn only built in 1641, under new ownership, Paul Smelter did purchase the farm land it built on in 1615. You will learn more about the whole history of the foundry and it’s many ownerships through guided tour available at the center.
The foundry now had been converted into a shopping centre and also host a museum, featuring unique antique cast-iron ovens produced in the foundry. You will see all the different designs and styles of ovens from early 1700’s until the end of production in 1964.
The site was mostly deserted after 1964 but area surrounding Bærums Verk saw an extensive housing boom in the early 80’s which created the cornerstone for the development of Handelsstedet Bærums Verk.
Løvenskiold family envisioned that beautiful green surroundings, river, waterfall, old buildings around the foundry and wooden houses that used to be the quarters of former workers would make a great setting for a center where public can come and visit.
Restoration began in 1985 to revitalize the old buildings into a charming cultural and social centre and the extensive refurbishment of the old production locations such as foundry, the furnace and the iron stock took place in 1997.
More developing continue afterward and more attractions, more retail and dining options were added over the year. Today, Bærums Verk has become a unique shopping centre in beautiful and historical surroundings luring visitors from all over the world.
The center is especially famous these days for its Christmas market in December. It turned into nicely lit magical place around Christmas. Open market with warm open braziers , snow park for children , special seasonal activities such as reindeer-drawn sledge rides , pony rides and trap rides altogether creating wonderful Christmas atmosphere for its visitors.
It also is a great place for picnic in the summer when you can enjoy activity like horse-drawn carriage ride around the surrounding country side.
The eateries at Bærums Verk are also popular with public. There is two in particular that drawn our attentions there although all eateries @ Baerums Verk are receiving great reviews around the web.
One is part of the chain and another is one of a kind.
1)the cafe over looking the waterfall called Baker Hansen
Norwegian cafe chain Baker Hansen had been around since 1861 and this particular branch @ Baerums Verk offer scenic view of the waterfall and surrounding area. You will also be spoiled with numerous choices of delicious cakes, pastries and Norwegian delicacies here
2) Restaurant Vaærtshuset Bærums Verk (aka) First Tavern of Norway
This over 350 years old restaurant’s the country’s oldest eatery and diaper built in 1640.This is the very cozy, very romantic classic & timeless place. Present day’s hosts Ulla and her husband Bob Laycock will warmly welcome you at this red-painted timber house situated by the river Lomma.
There are many room inside, both small and large. Needless to say that all the rooms are very cozy and full of history. The menu changes according to the seasons. As soon as the autumn hunt starts, you will find game or fowl on the menu.
From whatever angle you look at it, Handelsstedet Bærums Verk truly is the great place to visit all year round offering different views, different attractions and different activities through out the years. So let’s end this article by final encouraging words directing at all of you visiting Norway in the near future ……
~ Go for the scenic views… gift shopping or dinner for two..
~ Go on tour of all the workshops, site by river your picnic spot..
~ Well preserved cottages made of wood … amazing place for photo shoot …
~ Cuppa by old fall such a bliss … this is one place you can’t mis
Opening Times :
Monday – Friday 10AM–8PM
Sunday – 12–4PM
? Written by George Read & Silly Sam ( Shoppifo )