Our history and heritage
Statsbuene – The State Cabins:
The so-called Statsbuene fishermen’s cabins were built in 1923 on state property. The Norwegian government had them built as accommodation for visiting fishermen who had to spend months away from home, especially during the Winter Cod Season from January to April. After being renovated in their original style, they now comprise 18 cabin apartments with altogether 80 beds.
"Havørn" (Sea Eagle), "Alken" (Razorbill) and "Måken" (Seagull) are, for instance, the names of cabins standing on wooden piles on the seashore – all of them different in shape and style. Even though the light of the midnight sun is beautiful, it is the darkness of winter that best brings out the authentic atmosphere of the place.
As the waves crash on the breakwater, our imagination runs wild, taking us on a journey back to the gruelling life of the Lofoten fishermen a hundred years ago.
Tyskhella is located in the centre of Kabelvåg, and the name is very old. Where we today find the Stensvoldbruket warehouse, the old Altona quay and warehouse were previously located. The boats used to dock there to load and unload their wares. Before Kabelvåg harbour was dredged, the shore stretched far across the harbour and so the boats anchored up in the tiny bay between Altona and Tyskhella.
This bay was therefore referred to as “Kremmervika” (pedlars’ bay). In the area around Altona the first town square in Kabelvåg gradually emerged. From the 1700s and far into the 1800s, the hill behind the hostel was known as Tyskhellhaugen or Kræmmervighaugen.
The names we know today, Gløshaugen and Brygghaugen are of more recent origin. Originally, Tyskhella constituted the entire area from the Stensvoldbruket warehouse down to the joiner’s factory, Snekkerifabrikken.
So what are the origins of the name Tyskhella? According to the Tanum orthographical dictionary, the word “helle” means a “flat piece of rock”. In the 1660s, a man called Johan Lange arrived in Kabelvåg. He turns up for the first time in the church census of 1666 and the county census of 1667.
In the latter census he was referred to as Johan (sometimes Johannes) Thysch, because he came from Germany (Norw.=Tyskland). He gradually acquired a number of fisherman’s cabins. If we look at the oldest photographs of Kabelvåg, from 1867, we see that there were a large number of cabins at Tyskhella and that the area was, in fact, a large flat rock.
We have every reason to believe that there have been cabins at Tyskhella all the way back to the 1600s. And since we know that Johan Tysk lived in central Kabelvåg and rented out cabins to visiting fishermen, the origin of the name Tyskhella becomes clear.
There have, then, been fisherman’s cabins at Tyskhella for several hundred years. Many of them burned to the ground during the Great Fire of 26 June 1879, and the same thing happened on 15 July 1883, but they were always rebuilt. And today, fisherman’s cabins are still rented out at Tyskhella, now more closely defined as cabin apartments, but run in the same hospitable spirit as in the old days.
Sandvika Fjord and Seahouse Camping:
was established in 1970 by Markus and Edny Normann, and is one of the oldest fjord and seaside holiday camps in the Lofoten Islands. In 1996, the couple handed over this treasure to their son, Helge Normann. Sandvika is located in an area of incredible scenic beauty, with the Vestfjord – “the breadbasket of Lofoten” – and the mighty mountain formation Vågakallen, as next-door neighbours.
After 37 years of hard work, today’s Sandvika Fjord and Seahouse Camping has become a true gem comprising 16 modern chalets, 10 fisherman’s cabin apartments and 2 fisherman’s cabins. All of them are equipped with kitchen, shower and toilet, except for three of the chalets which only have a kitchen and toilet. In the chalets and cabin apartments we can accommodate 90 guests. Furthermore, we offer 120 spaces for caravans or camper vans, complete with electricity, in addition to 40 popular tent spaces.