Telemark - Encyclopedia




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TELEMARK, or Thelemark, a district of southern Norway, wholly comprised in the amt (county) of Bratsberg. It covers the uplands and fjelds of the southward projection of the country, having its highest point in the Gaustafjeld (6200 ft.); and contains several large and beautiful lakes, as Nordsjo, Bandaksvand, Tinsjo, Mjosvand and Totakvand. The two first are connected by the Bandaks canal, a fine engineering work giving access from the port of Skien to Dalen at the head of Bandaksvand. From Dalen, which may be reached by road from the railway at Kongsberg (3 8 miles) a driving road much frequented by travellers runs north-west. It traverses a precipitous wooded gorge, its course in parts hewn out of the rock, and skirts the Borte and Grungedal lakes, follows the Flaathyl river, passes the Vafos and Little Rjukanfos (waterfalls), and Lake Voxli, and culminates at Haukelidsaeter, a station grandly situated among the fjelds at a height of 3085 ft. It rises to the watershed (3715 ft.) and then, leaving the district, descends abruptly with a remarkable winding course to Rdldal (58 miles from Dalen), and soon divides, one branch surmounting the Horrebraekke pass and continuing to Odde, the other traversing the beautiful Bratlandsdal. On the Kongsberg-Dalen road is Hitterdal, with a good specimen of the Stavekirke or medieval timber-built church. A divergence from this route may be made by way of Tinsjb to Fosso, where the Maan river forms a fine fall (Rjukanfos) of 415 ft.

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