Maihaugen museum in Lillehammer
Maihaugen museum in Lillehammer is an open air museum with 200 old and new buildings, exhibitions, cafes and lots of activities. It was founded by the dentist Anders Sandvig in 1887. In 1904 the museum was moved to Maihaugen. The biggest attraction is the Sandvig Collection at Maihaugen, which ranks as the largest open-air museum in Europe and houses 185 buildings plus more than 40000 objects. Maihaugen presents a rural society through churches, homes, farm yards and tools from the Gudbrandsdalen valley which extends north from Lillehammer. Traditional farming methods and handicrafts are also on show. Guided tours are provided in several languages.
The Open Air Museum
Maihaugen tells the story of people in the Gudbrandsdalen Valley the last 300 years, of life between the wars in the inland town of Lillehammer and of homes and domestic environments in the 20th century. The calm and spacious landscape of the museum provides insight and time for reflection.
The Rural collection represents the rural community in the Gudbrandsdalen Valley. Here you can find the timber-build farms, the stave-church, the summer-pastures and the lumber-camp.
The Town illustrates life between World war one and two in an inland town. Along the main street are old buildings from Lillehammer, creating intimate courtyards. The Residential Area consists of seven single-family houses from different decades of the last Century.
The grassing animals are shaping the landscape at Maihaugen, and the fields are cultivated in 1890’s manner. There are two different playgrounds within the museum. Try walking the nature path from the dancing ground, or playing in the more modern playground in the 20th-century collection. Seeing craftsmen and -women working is fascinating. If you stop by at the Olsen home, you will find them living as in the 1930s. At the Øygarden farm, the family lives in the 1890s. A close-up from the past for children as well as for grownups.
Children enjoy exploring Maihaugen
During summer you can find animals all over the museum. In the backyard of the Olsen home in The Old Town there are rabbits and hens. In the four lakes wild ducks (mallards) settle throughout the warm season. Farm animals like horse, cows, goats and sheep graze or work in the rural part of the museum, and the pig and hens are kept at the Øygarden farm.