Jotunheim - Encyclopedia




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JOTUNHEIM, or Jotun Fjelde, a mountainous region of southern Norway, lying between Gudbrandsdal on the east and Jostedalsbrae and the head of the Sogne fjord on the west. Within an area of about 950 sq. m. it contains the highest mountain in the Scandinavian Peninsula - GaldhOpiggen (8399 ft.) - and several others but little inferior. Such are Glittertind or Glitretind (8380), and Memurutind (7966), which face Galdhopiggen across the northward-sloping Visdal; Knutshulstind (7812) and several other peaks exceeding 7000 ft., to the south, between lakes Gjende and Bygdin, and Skagastolstind (7723) in the west of the region, above the Utladal, the chief summit of the magnificent Horunger. The upper parts of the main valleys are of characteristic form, not ending in lofty mountain-walls but comparatively low and level, and bearing lakes. The name Jotunheim (giants' home) is a modern memorial of the mountain-dwelling giants of Norse fable; the alternative name Jotun Fjelde was the first bestowed on the region, when it was explored in 1820 by the geologist Balthasar Matthias Keilhau (1797-1858). In modern times;the region has attracted mountaineers and many visitors accustomed to rough lodging and difficult travelling.

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