A clutch of Norwegian-Scottish Anniversaries

01 May 2012  An ambush in Gudbrandsdal, a highland lodge in Vest Agder, and Norway’s first oil refinery are the unusual features of a clutch of Norwegian-Scottish anniversaries this year. 

Myth and reality mix in celebrations at Gudbrandsdal with the marking of the 400th anniversary of an unfortunate clash between Norwegian peasants and Scots mercenaries at Kringen in August 1612. En route to serve the King of Sweden in the Kalmar War, a small column of Scots was ambushed at the narrowest pass of the valley, and with their capture was born a lasting romantic myth of Norwegian peasant prowess and independence. The real story of Kringen is not in the least glorious, of course, but fact and fiction hardly matter, for friendships and festivities are the only theme of celebrations taking place in Gudbrandsdal 18-23 August this year. The organisers promise ‘peace, reconciliation and cultural collaboration’ as the focus of an exciting programme of exhibitions and tours. More here.

Heather - ScotlandMeanwhile, in Vest Agder county in southern Norway, preparations are underway for two celebrations connected with the famed Salvesen family of Leith. Åseral municipality is marking the 100th anniversary of the idyllic ‘highland lodge’, Lordehytta, which was built for Scottish lawyer Lord Edward Salvesen (b1857) on a heathery outcrop overlooking a beautiful hill-sheltered loch. Both an exhibition telling the Salvesen story and a special guided visit are planned. The organisers are especially keen to renew old and happy connections with their Scots friends and hope to welcome all on the main anniversary day, 9th September, with a rousing skirl o’ the pipes! More here.

Out of the mountains and down to the coast, the Salvesen theme continues too in the nearby municipality of Mandal. At Risøbank house, built for the Salvesen family by Scottish architect Robert Lorimer, celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Salvesen-founded paraffin oil company Mandal Parafin-Olje Fabrikk will be marked too. Visitors to Risøbank can enjoy beautiful gardens, exhibitions, and lazy walks on the beach by the house. More here.


Hjertelig Velkommen
 Warm Welcome to NSA

Our Association, which meets in Edinburgh, provides an opportunity for Scots, Norwegians and friends to get together and to celebrate important Norwegian events. Whether you have a family connection with Norway, or just a love of Norwegian or Scottish culture, why not come and join us? Ye'll surely find a 'hearty welcome'!


Norwegian Scottish Association


Did You Know?

Norway's tartans

Norway enjoys a long tradition of tartan. A tartan 'mønster' - not a euphemism for Scotland's 'Nessie' - is a tartan 'check' or 'skotskrutet'. Several Norwegian tartans, both tradtional and contemporary, are registered in the Scottish Register of Tartans, the national repository of tartan designs maintained by the National Archives of Scotland.

Norwegian Centennial Tartan

The Norwegian Centennial, for instance – which you'll see graces our website – was commissioned by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in Edinburgh in 2005 to celebrate 100 years of Norwegian Independence and to foster ever closer links between the people of Norway and Scotland. 

Tartan - Romsdal-2002Norway's traditional tartans are most closely associated with the valleys of eastern Norway: Gudbrandsdal, Valdres and Hallingdal, all the way through to Romsdal district in the west. The 'rondastakk' widely used in Gudbrandsdalen is a recognized and celebrated element of the 'bunad' or national dress of the region and is just one of several designs thought to owe origins to Norway's one and only skirmish with the Scots – the battle of Kringen 1612.

 Gudbrandsdal - Rondastaken

The origins of the tartans of Valdres and Hallingdal – where tartan is still woven - are shrouded in mystery and perhaps best pondered over a good glass of malt!







With the exception of Norwegian Centennial, all images Crown copyright, courtesy of National Records of Scotland Scottish Register of Tartans .