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Sel in Norway Sel municipality coat of arms


904,7 km2

Sel Local Directory

Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Sel

Sel municipality has approximately 6.000 inhabitants and covers a area of 904,7 km2. Although it has a small population, Sel is one of the more scenic and historically significant areas of the Gudbrandsdal. A large concentration of Norway´s heritage-listed farms is located in Heidal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Otta. The highest mountain is Storronden 2.138 metres. The landscape and the old farms of Nord Sel provide the medieval setting for Sigrid Undset´s novels about Kristin Lavransdatter.

Jørundgard Medieval Center a reconstructed 14th century medieval farm, the location of Sigrid Undset´s novel Kristin Lavransdatter, was the site of a 1994 filming of Kransen. The buildings were furnished in medieval style for the film. It is open to the public and traditional crafts are demonstrated by staff, providing a uniquely medieval look at Norwegian history. Pilgrim's Route and Old King's Road passes through Sel on its way through the Gudbrandsdalen Valley and northwards over Dovrefjell mountains close to Dombås.

Sel has a long tradition in mining and quarrying for minerals, soapstone, and slate. Selsverket was the copper works from the 18th century which was located approximately 2 kilometers north of Otta. There were also copper works in neighboring Folldal. The church at Selsverket was built in 1742. It is constructed of logs. Steinberget Fortress was built in the pre-Christian period, the Steinberget fortress is now a jumble of rock along European route E6.

In 1612, a peasant militia ambushed Scots marching to support Sweden at Kringen (the narrowest part of the Gudbrandsdal valley, just below the confluence of the Otta and the Gudbrandsdalslågen). As the Scots reached the ambush site of Prillarguri hill, legend has it that Prillar-Guri, riding on the other side of the Lågen, distracted the Scots until they were in the right position. She then sounded a blast with her prillarhorn (a ram's horn), and the Battle of Kringen began. A monument can be found there today, and she's also found on Sel´s coat-of-arms today. West of Prillarguri hill is another Hilltop fortress, protected by a sheer drop on three sides and walls on the fourth side, which was built in the period from 300 to 600 AD.

In 1877-1879 the Norwegian parliament ordered construction of the Ula Dam to stop gravel and rock transported by the Ula River from blocking the Gudbrandsdalslågen and flooding the fertile valley floor. The debris washed down by the Ula in 1789 destroyed the houses at Selsverket and rerouted the Gudbrandsdalslågen, such that the farms along the Sel became marshes.


Otta the seat of the townships administration is situated at the junction of highway E6 and RV 15, with good bus and train connections. The town is an important centre in the northern part of the valley. Wide range of commerce and service and long established slate industry. Otta is the foremost tourist center in the Gubrandsdal valley. Otta, named after the Otta River, lies at the point where the Otta River joins the Gudbrandsdalslågen from the west. The Otta River leads up to the historically important Vågå and Lom and the passes to the west over Jotunheimen.

From Otta, daytrips can be made to famous mountain areas such as Rondane, Jotunheimen and Dovrefjell as well as the fjords Nordfjord and Geiranger. Høvringen, Mysuseter and Heidal are popular tourist destinations and good points of departure for excursions into magnificent mountain terrain both summer and winter.


The side valley of the Gudbrandsdal valley is the community in the country with the most protected buildings. Unique historical documentation of a valley community. 90 of northern Gudbrandsdal´s some 400 protected buildings are to be found in Heidal.


Gudbrandsdalen valley is oriented in a north-westerly direction from Lillehammer and the lake Mjøsa, extending 230 kilometers toward Romsdalen. The river of Gudbrandsdalslågen (Lågen) flows through the valley, starting from Lesjaskogsvatnet and ending at Mjøsa. The Otta river flowing through Otta valley is a major tributary to Gudbrandsdalslågen.

Together with Glomma river and Østerdalen, Gudbrandsdalslågen and Gudbrandsdalen forms Norway´s largest river / valley system. Gudbrandsdalen is home to Dovre Line and the E6 road, and is the main land transport corridor through South Norway, from Oslo and central eastern lowlands to Trondheim and Møre & Romsdal.


Norway´s first national park, set aside in 1962. Some 200 km2 of the park´s 570 km2 are in the so-called high-alpine region, i.e., more than 1445 metres above sea level. Rondane´s highest peak, Rondeslottet, 2178 metres above sea level. All ten peaks rising more than 2000 metres above sea level can be climbed by tourists in good physical condition.

At the gateway to Rondane, Norway's first national park, you’ll find Smuksjøseter Lodge, 1130 meters above sea level, in the heart of the mountains. In 1990 our new Prinoth snowmobile arrived. The twenty-seat vehicle was equipped to tackle any weather and terrain and has been used in mountain rescue scenarios.


SjoaRiver is the name of the river which runs through Heidal. The river is protected by law from hydroelectric development. The exciting and stunningly beautiful Sjoa River, one of the best rafting rivers in Europe. provides the outlet from lake Gjende at Gjendesheim in the Jotunheimen mountains of Jotunheim National Park. It flows eastward into the Gudbrandsdalslågen river via the Heidal traditional district in the Gudbrandsdal. The scenery and traditions of Heidal, attracts tourists. The river is used for kayaking, rafting and fishing. 13 deaths have occurred in the river.


Heidal church from 1937. Rebuilt as a copy of the old church from 1752, which burnt down in 1933. Bjølstad chapel from approximately 1600. The portal boards can be traced back to the 11th century.


Rare pyramids of morainic gravel in the Uladal valley east of Selsverket. They are formed by the erosion of the morainic material. The pyramids are up to 6m tall. They are called "white-clad clergy" becouse of their appearrance; from a distance the white pyramids topped with dark stone "hats" look like a group of white-clad clergy.


Høvringen and Mysuseter were orginally old summer farm districts at the gateway to the Rondane mountains, but they have developed into popular tourist destination. Høvringen was one of the country´s largest summer farm districts. In earlier times more than 30 summer farms were in operation here. The first tourist came to Høvringen as early as 1850-60, and to Mysuseter at the turn of the century.

Today they offer more than 1000 beds, in mountain lodges and hotels steeped in tradition. Norway´s first mountain camp school for children and youth was established at Høvringen in 1957. Magnificent nature and an excellent point of departure for excursion into the Rondane mountains either summer and wintertime.


Dovre Golfclub is a golf course under construction.