Modum, Norway

Modum municipality are situated in the heart of the county of Buskerud, is most renowned for its rivers, forests and healthy climate. In the heart of Buskerud County there is a valley which was central to the golden age of Norwegian painting. the valley of artists it is called, because well-known painters such as Edvard Munch, Chr. Krogh, Tidemand and Gude, and others painted many masterpieces here.

What was it that triggered this creativity in these well travelled artists? The answer lies in the open, bewitching landscape, from where the shapes of trolls emerge – if only you keep your eyes open. Many put it down on the canvas, and the painters Chr. Krogh and Theodor Kittelsen took up residence here to be close to their motifs. Join a roundtrip through the valley which inspired so many.

The rivers, with their many rapids, provide beautiful scenery and recreation as well as having been the basis for industry in Modum since the 16th century. First the saw-mills, then Blaafarveværket (the cobolt mine works), and later the wood-processing industry have all been dependent on the rivers. The inclusion of the rivers in the municipal coat of arms is, therefore, no surprise.

Heggen Church, with beautiful ceiling and wallpaintings, have celebrate its 800 years anniversary in 1997. In year 2000, Vikersund, the largest ski jumping hill in the World, hosts the World Ski-flying Championships.

Simostranda village is located by the river Simões along county road 287, and is most famous for the biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen.

The municipality has been a popular health resort since the middle of the last century with Modum Bad, Vikersund Bad and several convalescent homes. The stable, healthy climate has attracted many visitors. At Vikersund there is a world famous ski-fly areana with a slope record of 171 metres. The municipality of Modum covers 516 square kilometres and includes farmland, forests, mountains and lakes.

More than half of the 12,550 inhabitants live in Vikersund, Geithus and Åmot, the three centers of population. Modum covers a area of 516,0 km2. Modum is a developing municipality and currently owns about 1,000 decares of vacant lots for, among other things, companies and industries. Modum is also an ideal starting point for excursions. The Randfjord railway line runs through Modum.


Tyrifjorden (Lake Tyri) is Norway´s fifth largest lake with an area of 137 km2. It is 295 meters deep at its deepest, and lies 63 meters above sea level. The lake´s primary source is the Begna river, which discharges into Tyrifjorden at Hønefoss where the river forms the Hønefossen waterfall. Its primary outlet is at Geithus near the lake´s southwest corner, where Tyrifjorden discharges into the Drammenselva river.

Utøya is an island in Tyrifjorden. The island is 10.6 hectares and situated 500 metres off the shore, where road E16 passes by, 38 km driving distance north-west of Oslo. Tyrifjorden is located in the county of Buskerud and borders the municipalities of Hole, Lier, Modum, and Ringerike. Tyrifjorden is a landlocked fjord. It consists of a main body, Storfjorden, along with the Holsfjorden, Nordfjorden and Steinsfjorden branches.


In Åmot lies the estate which has given the county its name: Buskerud. the name has nothing to do with bushes or trees, but means “the bishop’s clearing”. The bishop in question had his seat at Hamar. After the reformation, the estate was the county sheriff’s estate (district judge’s estate) and is now an agricultural college.

Several of the public institutions in Modum are situated in Åmot such as the senior high school, health centre, nursing home and sports hall. You will also find a postoffice, bank, pharmacy, a big shoppingmall and bustling commercial activity.

The Royal Blaafarveværk was established in 1773 to extract cobalt ore from the local mines. The cobalt was to be used in the production of cobalt blue pigment for the world´s porcelain and glass industry. Today it is a museum in pleasant surroundings with many attractions. The cobalt mines are seven kilometres from Blaaafarveværket and Haugfoss. We know that industrial activity has been pursued here since the early 16th century, when the king’s sawmills at Kongsfossen were in operation. Later, the Blaafarveværket set its stamp on the area for 120 years, from 1776 to 1898. The pulverizing plant and the meltery used water-power at the Haughfossen rapids.

The ore was mined from the Skuteruåsen ridge, 7-8 km to the north. Between 1830 and 1840, this was Norway’s largest mining operation with nearly 2,000 employees. The Blaafarveværket exported cobal dye all over the world, including China. The works was gradually forced to close down when cobolt was produced chemically at the beginning of the 1870s.

Of the three centres of population in Modum, Åmot, with 3,000 residents, has the largest population. The Blaafarveværket is visited annually by around 350,000 people, which makes it one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country.

Åmot’s once largest company, the paper manufacturer Embretsfoss, was shut down in 1971, but industry still keeps a firm hold on the area. There are various wood-product manufactureres here, as well as a metal foundry, a sponge factory, and production of electrical gods. The national Theodor Kittelsen´s museum: Paintings and wooden sculptures present this major artist with magnificent interpretations of nature and trolls in the deep woods. They were started in 1773 and closed down 1893. In 1993, His Majesty King Harald reopened them as a museum showing an extensive mining industry in beautiful agricultural surroundings. A whole community, with houses, roads and schools grew up around this part of the cobalt industry.


The rock carvings at Geithus are about 6,000 years old and indicate an early settlement in the area. All the figures are found along the Drammen River or on the islets out in the river. The hunting scenes carved into the rocks, were known to the local population in the 19th century. Most of the carvings (24 of them) were discovered 1975-77. As well as the carvings at Jatsundholm and Kløftefoss, and axe has been found which might be from the same period as the rock carvings. In addition, several axes and other artifacts have been found around Geithus.

Agriculture and silviculture were the main occupations until industry arrived in Modum in the 16th century. It was then that the king’s saw-mills were commissioned at Kongsfossen. However, Modum was really put onto the industrial map of the country with the arrival of Blaafarveværket. The works produced cobalt dye from 1781 to 1898, and in the 1830s was Norway’s largest mining operation with 2,000 employees. Drammensriver Papermills, the first mill in the country to produce paper using exclusively wood pulp as a raw material, is situated at Geithus.

The mill has produced paper since 1878 and is still one of the largest companies in Modum. Nowadays, manufacturing industry is the principal employer in Modum, but the big power stations, silviculture and agriculture are also major employers. The Tyrifjord is a beautiful stretch of water with superb opportunities for swimming and fishing. It is also a delightful place for boat sport. With its 134 square kilometers Tyrifjord is Norway’s fifth largest lake. On the island of Storøya there are the ruins of a hostel which was maintained by the bishop of Hamar in the middle ages.

Geithus is the most typical industrial area in Modum. This is the home of Union-Geithus, Drammensriver Papermill, which is the largest private employer in the municipality of Modum. Geithus has a population of of about 2,200 and is one of the areas in the municipality where big investments are being made. Among other things, there are the long-term plans for a large sports park at Furumo. There are also more than enough industrial lots.

The municipality can offer 17 hectares of vacant lots for industrial purposes. In addition, there has been intensive housebuilding in Geithus in recent years. There are shops, postoffice, bank and several nursing homes here. Many nursing homes located in Geithus have been shut down recent years.


Vikersund’s ancient name was Vikesund, named after Østre Virke, the old assembly place in the district. There is a ruined medival church here, built around 1250. It fell into ruins after the reformation of 1536. The name Modum comes from old Norwegian – Morheimr – and means home by the big calm river.

West side of Vikersund and Tyrifjorden is the “center” of Modum and has a population of about 2,000. The civil center and the local center of commerce are situated here. As well as a wide range of shops, there is a post-office, bank and pharmacy. By the court house you can find the statue called “Seljefløyten” (the Wooden Whistle) in memory of the painter Christian Skredsvig.

There is also a bust of Christopher Hornsrud, the son of Modum who became the first prime minister for Norwegian Labour Party. Vikersund is the starting point for the longest museum in the country, the Krøder railway line. Vikersund is also the home of the only skiflying arena in Northern Europe and the Vikersund Slope.

Modum Bads Nervesanatorium, a psyciatric hospital and family therapy-center, is found here, too. Most of the jobs in Vikersund are within the municipal sector, in commerce, at health institutes, in industry and in agriculture and silviculture.


Norway´s longest museum railway line, runs between Vikersund and Krøderen. The veteran train is a living museum. 26 kilometers of smoke and steam. The steam locomotives and the wooden carriages are from the end of the last century and the beginning of this. and are one of the big tourist attractions in the county. A journey on the Krøder line is not just a trip through magnificent, beautiful scenery, but also a journey in time.


The big ski-fly slope makes Vikersund Jump Center a literally great sight both in summer and winter. The ski-fly slope has a critical point of 185 meters. The record for the slope was 219 meters, set by Roland Müller i 2004. Modum has had its own World Champion in ski-flying, Ole Gunnar Fidjestøl.

In 2011 Vikersund, become the largest ski jumping hill in the World. On February 11th 2011 the Norwegian jumper Johan Remen Evensen jump the world´s largest ski-jump 246,5 meters in Vikersundbakken. Johan Remen Evensen from Molde is now the man who has the 2 longest flights in the world at 243 and 246,5 meters.

In 2015 Vikersund, is still the largest ski jumping hill in the World. On Februar 14th Peter Prevc jump 250 meters, but on the 15th Anders Fannemel set the new world record when he jump 251,5 meters.

On Mars 18th 2017 Robert Johansson (Norway) jumped 252 meters and 33 minutes later he lost the new world record to Stefan Kraft (Austria) when he jumped 253,5 meters!

Vikersund Alpincenter have 1 ski lift and 2 runs in difficulty levels, the lies close to Tyrifjorden Hotel. The skiing area ranges from an altitude of 800 to 1.600 metres, and the terrain is varied with lots of features for snowboarders and freestylers.


Fishing possibilities are good in Tyrifjorden.


Modum Golfclub have 9 holes. The course lies close to Tyrifjorden Hotel and the alpin slope.