Rjukan - the city at the center of the "battle for the heavy water"
Rjukan is a small town of Tinn municipality in Telemark. The town got its name from the waterfall "Rjukanfossen" located just west of town.
In the early 1900 century grew Rjukan because the Norwegian Hydro established "Rjukan nitric acid". Much of the reason why the factory was established right there, was the large supply of electric power after Rjukanfossen was laid in pipes. Production continued there until about 1960, when production was moved to Hydro's factories at Herøya in Porsgrunn.
The engineer Sam Eyde, founder of Norwegian hydro, are also considered to be the founder of Rjukan. On the town square you will find a statue of him. Sam Eyde created including the Norwegian fertilizer production.
Rjukan is such that much of the year the sun is hidden behind the precipitous mountains to the south. Sam Eyde had an idea that he wanted to provide citizens with sunlight on snow, but it was only after his time that his idea was initiated by the large "sun disc" was set up in the mountains just north of Rjukan.
Best known is perhaps Rjukan for its heavy water production. In 1930 century built Norwegian Hydro world's first commercial heavy water plant at Vemork in Rjukan. During WWII the plant was run by Germans. The plant was sabotaged repeatedly by Norwegian saboteurs to prevent the Germans from developing a nuclear bomb from the heavy water that was produced there.
Krossobanen is Northern Europe's first cable car takes you up to the foot of Hardangervidda. It was built in 1928 as a gift from Norwegian Hydro to the townspeople so that they could move up the sun during the winter. Lower station has ample parking. From the top station you have a great view of Rjukan, Gaustatoppen, Vemork and area for heavy water sabotage.
Gaustatoppen is Telemark's highest mountain (1883 masl), and an easily accessible destination for hikers. From here you may find what is Norway's most amazing and expansive view. The trip up to the top gives you a fantastic view of large parts of Telemark and Buskerud, and if the weather is nice you can catch a glimpse Oslomarka in the distance.
On Stavsro find the start of the marked trail that leads you to the top. There is also a car park with toilets and a kiosk.
Good shoes must be included on this tour where you climb totaling approximately 700 meters. Estimate about 3 hours on the trip up - about 2 hours on the trip back down. Just before the top you will find one of the association's cabins that also serves food.
Gaustabanen is a seasonal cableway that transports people from Long Fonn at the foot of the mountain and up to the top of Gaustatoppen. The hike up takes about 15 min.