Branding local heritage and popularising a remote past: The example of Haugesund in Western Norway

Torgrim Sneve Guttormsen


Since the national romantic era, the Haugesund region of Norway has been associated with patriotism and heroism as it is believed to be the homeland of the Viking hero Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway. In the arrival hall at the airport outside Haugesund the passengers are today faced with the following words: “Welcome to the Homeland of the Viking Kings”. The slogan refers to official regional attraction strategies based on a late modern Viking enthusiasm, used in efforts to increase local identity, to enchant a visitor market and to brand the region, in short, to create pride and glory. In this paper, dynamics of heritage production at Haugesund are examined by emphasising how a popular and commercial past (“the experience society”) mediates public debates and conflicts, thus questioning the function experts within the field of archaeology and the cultural heritage management have in local communities.


Heritage Values; National Monuments; Popularisation; Viking Kings; Norway

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Torgrim Sneve Guttormsen

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

ISSN: 2171-6315

Follow us on:

Journal edited by JAS Arqueología