Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mountain vacation 2008. August 15th: Røros Museum

The last thing we managed to fit in on our sightseeing round (we also found time for dinner, but I didn't take any pictures of that ;-) was the Røros Museum. It is of course about the thing that the town's most famous for - the copper mine & works. This is to be seen in the old smelting house (left building) ...

... which is to be found right next to the old slag heaps, that you see in the background there. Sheesh. Doesn't sound very charming, I know. But it's pretty there too - look, bluebells!! :-D

Across the road from the museum is the place to go for Røros' most famous view. I took a picture of it, but I've seen better ones. Sadly, very many better ones. Sob. But at least this proves, though rather inconclusively, that I Was There. >:-) This is the old bell that used to be the heartbeat of the town - it was rung every time something vaguely significant happened in the mine or the works. As in, shift coming on, shift coming off, feeding time ...

What a life it must have been ...

The bell seen against the sky like this, with the famous church in the background, can be found on an infinity of postcards and the like in local area gift shops. Unsurprisingly. But it really is a very striking image. Especially when seen from a better angle than the one shown here. :-(

We went into the museum to see what we would see. Turned out that only part of the museum is used for their permanent exhibition ... they also have a couple of rooms on the middle level of the building which is used for temporary exhibitions, mostly art. Just then they had a couple of local artists - one doing some 'modern art' shit that I didn't like, and the other working in wool and leather and whatnot to create actual useful items. This I like much more. The main room though contained something my mother was really psyched to see - a collection of new(ish?) paintings by the crazy Austrian-Norwegian painter Willibald Storn. He be one mad mad man!! :-D He really has something seriously weird going on in his head. But I kind of like his work ... his use of color is so extravagant, I like that. His work is certainly, ahem, eye-catching. My mother thought it would have been really cool to have bought one of the paintings on display, but unfortunately we didn't have 12 000 crowns to spend on art just then. Not to mention that my father would have gone ballistic if she'd come home with one of those things. >:-)

Fancy something like this on your wall?? :-)

The lower floor of the building contains the permanent exhibition. Here you can learn about the history of the copper works, the growth of the mine system in the area (which is gigantic), what's so great about copper, and some political history to explain the ups and downs of the works' fortunes. They have a lot of old tools and that type of thing on display. But the really cool thing is that they have reconstructed a copper mine & works there in miniature - with running water, 'fire' and everything ... little workers, some of them moving around ... and horses too! ... so you can walk through this giant room and follow all this underground activity that brought the copper from the ground and to the open air as finished bars. It was a really long process and it was fascinating to see it all.

I took a few pictures although by this time my camera was just about dying on me. It has a shitty battery. I want a new camera.


kccat said...

Just wanted to drop by and say thanks for visiting my blog. Glad you liked the clip. I agree, every American should be shown that clip.

I love your message "TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN. I don't respect your religion. I don't care if you're offended." I couldn't agree with you more!!!!

Leisha Camden said...

Hi there, thanks yourself for stopping by. :-)

I'd actually already seen the clip; that episode of The Daily Show was on TV here not very long ago. I remember thinking when I saw it that ZOMG!! that is so fantastic, it is so well done, such deceptively simple buffoonery on the surface and yet so very clever. And such a very important topic. So I was happy to see it again when I stopped by your blog. :-)

I decided to add that little disclaimer because I post about religion and my views on it sometimes, and I just don't want to get into any discussions about how I 'ought to' show some respect to whatever religion and its followers, it 'deserves respect', and any related BS. I don't feel that way and I never will - and I think it's completely the right way to feel - so I just want to make that clear to everyone. This way everyone can see where I stand on that issue at least. ;-)