A former member of the Norwegian Parliament has said about the region Trøndelag: "If it had not been for Trøndelag, it would have been only the binders left of the Norwegian history". Austrått is a markedly historic site both from the time of Lady Inger in the 16th century at the Austrått Manor and Austrått Fort from the 2nd World War. But the area can offer a lot more than culture.
Austrått – culture and history through 1000 years
Austrått at Ørland is one of the oldest mansions in the country and has played an important role in the history of Norway. Among other things we know Lady Inger of Autrått from one of Ibsens dramas.
Austrått is one of the oldest manors in Norway. In the 11th century it was "lendman" Finn Arneson who lived here. A "lendman" was a person who administered the area and collected taxes on behalf of the king. The mansion is a puzzle consisiting of buildings raised over a period of almost 600 years. The private chapel from the end of the 12th century is a pearl alone worth visiting the place. The other parts of the building were mainly added during the mansion´s most known owners, Lady Inger of Austrått in the 1500s and chancellor Ove Bjelke in the 1600s.
Lady Inger of Austrått
The lady is today called Lady Inger, but in the medieval times she was known as Ingerd Ottesdatter Rømer. She actually played an important role in the introduction of the Reformation in Norway. The history tells us that Lady Inger was a threat to the Archbishop of Nidaros in Trondheim, both because Lady Inger was very powerful and because of her conversion to the protestantism. It is told that during the powergame between them the Archbishop attacked and plundered Austrått three times. But the history also tells us that the Lady herself was no saint, she could be very aggressive in the way she added land to herself, all over the country. At the most she owned 1/5 of Norway, among other things the Barony of Rosendal. Actually, she ended her days drowning at sea heading for another trial to claim her right.
Austråttlunden, the grove of Austrått, was originally landscaped as a zoo and hunting park for the landowners at Austrått in the 1600s. A more than 400 years old oak and a hollow linden are debris of this park. Today Austråttlunden is a protected landscape area with a rich and special plant and animal life. 74 bird species have been observed and there are both moose and roe deer in the grove. The landscape is well facilitated with foot paths and well suited for wheel chairs. Along the 3km circular track it can be found small information boards which tells about nature and culture.
The fortification Austrått Fort is a huge fortification with a five floor cannon turret. The three-gun turret, which originally was one of three turrets on the battleship Gneisenau, weighs more than 800 tons and used to turn around on bearings. We recommend a guided tour at the fortification.