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Some history

 


At 643 metres above sea level, Ulriken is the highest of the ‘classic’ seven mountains surrounding the city of Bergen.

The name probably derives from the Norse Alrek, which means ‘towering’. The sides of the mountain are steep, but from the summit there is excellent walking terrain to the north, south and east. From the top, the view of the city and the surrounding areas is astounding.

In his ‘Song to Bergen’ the poet Nordahl Brun portrayed the city from the top of Ulriken, although there is uncertainty over whether he was ever there.

The first walk to Ulriken was made in 1853 and included, among others, theatre director Henrik Ibsen, who wrote “Vi vandrer med freidig mot” for the occasion.

When the pioneer athlete and shopkeeper Johan N.L. Blytt skied across Ulriken in 1896, it was mentioned in the newspaper. From the end of the 19th century,  sports clubs and individuals built several cabins on the gentler slopes to the southwest and flatter areas of the mountain.

The first ski-jumping contest was held here in 1896 and the first Bergen ski race was held at Gimlebakken on the western slopes of Vasslifjellet in 1908. The first national ski and jump combination race in 1909. ’Ulriken downhill’ was held for the first time in 1963. The public march ”Ulriken over” was also held for the first time that year with 4,000 participants; in 1967 there were 19,000 participants.

In 1959 a telecommunications tower was built at the top of Ulriken.
Many people feared that the tower would spoil the mountain’s profile.  The construction work proved to be problematic, especially the transport of materials.  The station was built out of sight of the mountain’s profile from the city and was opened in 1960.

The 40-metre concrete tower is three metres in diameter at the bottom and two metres at the top.
A 38-metre high metal pipe is mounted on the top. The mountain’s profile was spoiled when an aerial cableway, Ulriksbanen, was built by a Swiss company in 1961.

 From the lower station at Haukelandsbakken to the top at 607m, the cableway has a total length of 1,120 m. Two cable cars run on the cableway, each with room for 25 passengers, and the trip takes 3 minutes.

 

 


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