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Photographer's Note

This photo is of a forgotten storage shed on Hafrsfjord, a shallow sided fjord in the county of Rogaland. The fjord stretches some 9 kilometres inland, and much of it was frozen in 2010 until mid-March. Not far behind where this photo is taken, the fjord opens out, under Hafrsfjord Bru, to the North Sea.

The fjord has had an exciting history. The battle of Hafrsfjord, fought between Harald Hårfagre, Harald "Fairhair", and Eirik King of Hordaland, was both hard and long; but finally King Harald gained the day.

The Battle of Hafrsfjord ranks high in the popular imagination of Norway. It was the conclusion of Harald's declaration to become the sole ruler of Norway. This battle may well have been the largest in Norway up to that time and for a good while after. Harald is regarded as the first legitimate King of Norway. Many of the defeated who would not submit to Harald's rule were said to have emigrated to Iceland.

The traditional dating of the event, 872, is a 19th century invention. The exact year of the battle is likely to be unknown, this is due to lack of sources, and partly because the Christian calendar was not introduced at the time. Most scholars will agree that the battle took place during the 880s.

Across the fjord, looking north, is the famous and much photographed monument to the battle, the 'Sverd i fjell'. It was constructed by Fritz Røed, a local sculptor from Rogaland. The monument has 3 huge swords in a rock, the largest one represents the victorious Harald. As well as being a memorial to the Battle of Hafrsfjord, the monument also represents peace, as the three swords are stuck in a rocky hill and will never be used again. It was opened by opened by Olav V of Norway in 1983.

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Additional Photos by Amelia Heath (Ascot) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 40 W: 1 N: 77] (339)
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