Karnilshaugen – A hill aligned to the Solstices – Norway

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    Anne Linn

    Karnilshaugen or Tinghaugen is a hill, that is likely man made, on the farm Hauge, in the municipality of Gloppen, in Norway. It’s about 7 meters tall (used to be about 10) and about 50 meters in diameter. It’s estimated that it would have taken 90 people one year to build it. The hill has a beautiful view of the fjord. Its age seems to be unknown. The farm is now protected, and you can visit the place freely.

    Picture of the hill with the fjord behind it. A large elm tree grows on top. Picture by Anne Linn Kaland

    It’s been discovered that the hill is aligned to the sunsets of the Winter and Summer Solstice.
    On the Winter Solstice, the sun shines through a crevice in the mountain and onto the hill. It then stands alone in the sun for about 8 – 10 minutes, while everything else lies in shadow.
    Something similar happens on the Summer Solstice, with the hill being the last spot the sun leaves before setting. It is thought that there used to be at least ten other hills in the surrounding area, connected to Karnilshaugen.

    There haven’t been any excavations of the hill, but a stone slab was found in or around the hill, early in the 1900s. The slab was around 10 – 15 cm but has later disappeared.

    View from the hill - Picture taken by Anne Linn Kaland

    Getting into the car to leave the farm and the hill - Picture by Anne Linn Kaland

    Only a few minutes away from Hauge, on the farm of Austrheim (meaning home or farm to the east) lies another smaller hill. On it stands a stone monument with the shape of a ship carved into it (dated to around 400 AD) The ship faces the fjord. The hill was excavated, and it’s believed that no one was ever buried there. Any alignments to the Solstices or Equinoxes are not known.

    I wonder why this hill was aligned to the Solstice sunsets. And if there might have been other hills aligned to the sun rises. I’m also wondering why there was a ship carved into that standing stone. What could it mean?

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    That’s interesting Anne Linn. Seems like a pretty obvious alignment, the hill being the only spot illuminated in the sun’s last rays while everything else is in shadow. Very symbolic.

    The fact that they believe there used to be so many other hills connected to this one, makes me think of Belintash in Bulgaria, that seems to have been a central sacred place surrounded by many others. It seems like in many places in the ancient times there used to be networks of these sacred sites connected together, all devoted to the sun and its journey through the skies.

    It looks to me like the ship carved on that stone is carrying a large circular object, is it the sun? Or just the sail (not sure if Norse ships had sails like that)? Though I suppose they would have used the symbol for the sun, the cross in a circle, if it had been the sun?

    Through some research recently I became aware of how many of those carved stones or rune stones there are around in the Nordic countries. It must be amazing to see them and be around them.



    Thanks for sharing Anne, it is wonderful that you got to visit this place. How did it feel? Anything you would like to share?

    I am very inspired to find out now what is actually around us. It seems that almost every part of the world has ancient sacred places, and many are now coming to the public attention. What struck me when we visited one ancient megalithic circle near-by where i live this summer was the energy of the whole area – very pristine and pure, partly due to its high altitude, but there was also something else in the air, it felt like a very safe place and ‘guarded’ somehow.



    Every time a site like this emerges, something that can so easily be missed or dismissed, it makes me think of just how surrounded by these sacred structures we are. Like we are actually walking on hallowed earth, just totally blind to it!


    Anne Linn

    @lucia The place felt special to me, and very beautiful. I sat barefoot on top of the hill and it almost felt like the energy was too intense, making me dizzy. What I wrote down later was the sense of a beating, like a drum deep in the ground….but it’s always hard to know if I’m imagining things.

    That place we visited this summer Lucia, was just stunning. Love how you sensed that it was guarded somehow.

    @ella Yes it’s amazing how many places are being discovered now. In Norway, they haven’t really looked for places aligned with the sun. I think they usually assume most ancient places are graves of some sort. So there might be many places out there aligned to the sun that we don’t know about, in many countries.

    I like the sense of walking on hallowed earth like you said, Ella. It’s so lovely and beautiful to think about and to reconnect with the people who made those places, yearning for the same beautiful things 🙂

    @laura I’m not sure if the ship is carrying anything, it’s a bit hard to see. Viking ships did have sails though. Yes, I’m curious now about the things I grew up with, – like standing stones and stone carvings. They are a lot more special than I first thought.



    That sounds beautiful Anne Linn. To have a man made hill like that be the sole spot that is illuminated while everything around, and especially ahead I guess, is still in shadow and darkness.

    Nice that you went to visit the area to investigate. It looks very beautiful and interesting that you felt some sort of energy from that place.

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