The sink museum, designed by architect Peter Zumthor, in summer.
Foto: John EikCaffery

Allmannajuvet ⚒️

Along the national scenic route in Ryfylke lies Allmannajuvet gorge

Experience Allmannajuvet – a deep gorge with a unique landscape and a rich industrial history.

The Allmannajuvet mines is a collection of abandoned mines located in the municipality of Sauda. Allmannajuvet is located 20 minutes from the town of Sauda in Ryfylke, and this gorge is one of the top 10 attractions along the national scenic route Ryfylke. 

Mining operations spanned 1881 to 1899, producing zinc ore. During its peak, around 200 people lived and worked in Allmannajuvet and around 120 000 tonnes of zinc ore was produced throughout the mine’s lifetime. The zinc ore was transported with steamboats and sold abroad.

The mining operation in Allmannajuvet became the forerunner to the establishing of industry and hydroelectricity production in Sauda.

The mining museum in Allmannajuvet was opened in 2016. Architect Peter Zumthor drew the plans for the buildings and they are meant to reflect the human history of the canyon; The buildings are a monument to the workers that lived their lives in Allmannajuvet.

The simple and spectacular buildings are industrial in appearance and contain the stories of the mines, a gallery, a mining café and restrooms.

The mining museum is open and the guided tours take place in the summer season. 


What are the scenic routes?

Norway’s scenic routes are 18 selected stretches of road that take you through unique landscapes in beautiful Norway. 

Ryfylke Scenic Route goes through Sauda, between Oanes in Lysefjorden and Hårå in Røldal, the road is 260 km long.  

Information about the area & guided tours

This year’s season is now ended.

Allmannajuvet mining museum consists of a gallery, a mining café, restrooms, parking space, paths and stairs.

Visitors will be equipped with yellow hardhats and flashlights. The air in the mines is cold and humid and it is important to wear appropriate clothing; an outfit that will keep you warm and good hiking shoes.

The guided tour duration is petween 90 minutes to 2 hours.

It is not permitted to walk on the mining path without a guide.

Get in touch with Sauda tourist office either via e-mail: [email protected] or via phone: +47 52 78 42 00

You can also visit the tourist office in Brugata 4. 

Prices for guided tours outside of season:

1 – 5 people: 1400 NOK

6 – 15 people: 2700 NOK

16 – 30 people: 4800 NOK

You can book in for a guided tour outwidth the season that includes a tour of the area with the museum buildings, along the mining path and inside the lowest mine shaft.

If you’d like a guided tour for more than 30 people, please get in touch with the tourist office. 

Group of tourists at the entrance of a mine in Allmannajuvet, Sauda, Norway

Allmannajuvet’s history

Discovery of the zinc ore is credited to Gregorius Hansen Birkeland, a crofter who discovers zinc, iron and copper ore in the gorge. The year after this initial discovery, Sauda Grubecompagni (Sauda mining company) starts production in Allmannajuvet with 20 workers.

In the beginning there’s no infrastructure, not even a road and all ore extracted is carried on the workers’ backs. Two years pass and in 1884 the mining road is ready and pack horses now transport the zinc ore from Allmannajuvet to the mouth of the fjord in Sauda (Saudafjorden).

In 1888 the mines are sold to The Norwegian Zinc Co Ltd for 40 000 GBP (aprox. 50 000 USD), the new owners invest aggressively in the operation and in 1897 the operation reached its peak with over 200 people working in the mines.

Unfortunately the mining operation reaches a disappointing end and production is closed down in 1899.

A whole century later the road to Allmannajuvet is incorporated into Norway’s Scenic Routes and in 2016 Allmannajuvet is open again, this time to showcase and educate about an integral part of Sauda’s early industrial development.