Hardanger is a traditional district in the western part of Norway, dominated by the Hardangerfjord. It consists of the municipalities of Odda, Ullensvang, Eidfjord, Ulvik, Granvin, Kvam and Jondal, and is located inside the fylke of Hordaland.
In the early Viking Age, before Harald Fairhair, Hardanger was a petty kingdom with its capital at Kinsarvik.
The region is one of Norway's most important sources of fruit
and constitutes approximately 40% of the national fruit production, including apple
, wild cherry
. Apples have been cultivated in Hardanger since the 14th century
, the agricultural experience brought by English monks
who first arrived at Lyse Abbey
in 1146. The climate, soil and seasonal conditions of the region are believed to be particularly beneficial to the growth of apples. In 2005, juice produced from Hardanger apples became Norway's third product to be granted protection of origin name
, with applications pending for other regional produce.
In 2006, an Ulvik farmer and producer of sparkling cider, Nils Lekve of Hardanger Saft og Siderfabrikk, successfully navigated the narrow and complex directives of Norwegian alcohol laws, and completed a distribution agreement with monopoly alcoholic beverage outlet Vinmonopolet, making Hardanger Sider Sprudlande available for national sale by July 2006.
Lekve's efforts earned him a top 3 finalist nomination for the Bygdeutviklingsprisen, (Local community development award) awarded by Innovasjon Norge.
is a type of lefse
unique to the region.
is a type of whitework
that takes its name from that region. It is made with geometric designs of kloster (blocks), "ships", diamonds, and other embroidery techniques. It is worked on Hardanger or linen fabric which has a "count" of 22 to 29 threads per inch. Traditionally it is worked on white fabric with white cotton thread but in recent years other colors and threads are popular. Norwegian bunads
(native costumes) from that region often feature this embroidery on the bottom of the white apron.