Rjukan–Notodden Industrial Heritage Site is created to protect the industrial landscape around Lake Heddalsvatnet. The landscape is centered around the plant built by the Norsk Hydro to produce fertilizer from atmospheric nitrogen. The complex also includes hydroelectric power plants, transport systems, including railways, transmission lines and factories, and workers' accomodation and social institutions in the towns of Notodden and Rjukan.
In the 1900s, Norway experienced rapid industrial development through the availability of cheap hydroelectric power. Kristian Birkeland developed a method to extract nitrogen from the air, which, after an initial trial in Notodden in 1907, looked superior to existing technologies. Nitrogen was needed to produce fertilizers. Norsk Hydro was founded in 1905, and industrial development began in the Eastern Telemark region, previously an underdeveloped and underpopulated agricultural area. To produce fertilizers, it was essential to build factories, power stations, infrastructure for workers, as well as facilities for exporting the production. The fertilizers, artificial salpetre, eventually surpasses the Chilean naturally mined salpeter, at the time the most widely used fertilizer.
At the beginning of construction, in 1907, the power was provided by the Svelgfoss Hydroelectric Power Station, which at the time was the largest in Europe and the second larges at the world. The station is still in operation. Subsequently, two more station were built. Vemork, built on a waterfall near Rjukan, in 1911 was the largest power station in the world. A plant producing heavy water and most famous for the 1943 sabotage events (Operation Gunnerside) was built nearby. The original building of the station has been destroyed, but the station is in operation. Another power plant, Såheim Hydroelectric Power Station, started operation in Rjukan in 1915. The building survived but the station operates elsewhere.
One of the 36 towers of the salpetre factory's towerhouse, which was in operation between 1911 and the 1980s, has been conserved and is protected as a cultural monument.
In 1925, 80% of all apartments in Rjukan (1230 in total) were controlled by the Norsk Hydro. red brick apartment buildings dominated, others were houses with individual gardens.
The site was placed on the tentative World Heritage list on 26 November 2011 together with the Odda–Tyssedal Industrial Heritage Site. In 2015 it was placed on the World Heritage list.References:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.