Setesdal Mineral Park

Useful Information

Location: Hornnes. 55 km north of Kristiansand at the junction between Rv 9 (from Kristiansand) and Rv 42.
Open: 14-JUN to 31-AUG daily 10-17. [2005]
Fee: Adults NOK 70, Children (6-14) NOK 40, Children (0-5) free. [2005]
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: Ar=1,200m², V=78,000/a (1996).
Address: Setesdal Mineral Park, Magnusbarfortsvei 5, Postboks 4073, Kongsgård, 4689 Krisiansand, Tel: +47-3800-3070, Fax: +47-3800-3071. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1992 opened to the public.
MAY-1993 visited by King Harald and Queen Sonja.


Setesdal Mineral Park is a mineral museum. Generally we do not list mineral museums, as we concentrate on caves and mines, but this is a special exhibition: it is located completely underground in an old mine! The exhibition is based on the large mineral collection of Arnar Hansson, a keen Norwegian mineral collector over many years. It is located on a peninsula of the river, in five halls with a total area of 1,200m².

This area, around Iveland and Evje, is famous for its minerals world wide. There are significant occurrences of quartz and felspar, mineral trails, hundreds of aborted mines and quarries which are flooded by mineral collectors from all over the world. About 500,000 tonnes of alkali felspar have been extracted over the years from about 200 pegmatite quarries, which is used in the production of porcelain. The ferrosilisium production in Kristiansand was based on quartz from the mines here. About 80 different pegmatite minerals have been found so far, and it is the locus typicus (type locale) for two of them, thortveitite and tombarthite. The first hall is dedicated to local minerals.

The second hall is a mining museum for the local felspar and nickel production. It shows mine equipment like a felspar sledge, engines, ore carts on rails, a smithy, and hand tools. Mine carts were even transformed into showcases for the minerals. A major exhibit is a complete worker's hut.

The third hall concentrates on Norwegian minerals in general, the fourth on minerals from all over the wolrd. There are 700 crystal group displays, the design of the showcases is varied and untraditional.

The innermost and fifth hall is the biggest attraction of the exhibition, with the most important, rare, valuable and interesting minerals. Fluorescent minerals are displayed in a large hollow tree trunk.

The museum is located near Hornnes, in the scenic Setesdal valley, at the River Otra. It is not called museum, as many people have negative thoughts about classic musea. This is a new and fresh concept to explain the world of minerals to non-experts by providing a visual experience. A good idea are abundant possibilities to sit down all over the museum. Of course there is a coffee shop, a book store and a boutique selling minerals and any kind of useless stuff made of rocks or minerals.