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Vigsnes Mining Field

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Did you know that the copper used to make the Statue of Liberty came from Karmøy? In 1865, a herring fisherman from Jæren discovered a rich copper vein at Vigsnes. This was the start of an extensive mining industry that lasted until 1972. Until 1895 it was one of the largest copper works in Northern Europe, and the mines at Vigsnes comprised 70 % of Norway's export revenues. 750 persons worked in the mines at the height of their activity. An entire community, including a school, hospital and police force was supported by the copper industry. Today the mining field encompasses a large outdoor recreation area, the old mine, the smelting factory, the administration building, two worker's dwellings, and the beautiful park that the factory's French director, Charles De France, created. You can join a guided tour or hire your own guide. The newly built museum has exhibitions presenting the fantastic history of the mines. Other attractions for visitors are a general store, a miniature mining playground at Fransahagen, and pleasant trails and horseback riding paths in the park area. The administration building has a uniquely decorated restaurant, where you can order a "workman's lunch" or a "miner's soup". Vigsnes is ideal for events where food and cultural history are combined.

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