Torghatten, “the mountain with the legendary hole” is an iconic mountain on the Helgeland Coast of Norway, 12 kilometers (7 miles) south of the small town of Brønnøysund, our last port in Norway (before we head to Amsterdam for a flight back to the U.S.A.). Torghatten is located in the Trollfiell Geopark and has inspired travelers for many hundreds of years. The hat-shaped mountain with the hole clear through it is a geological monument for the processes that create the earth’s landscape. The mountain itself consists of hard granite, which is why it protrudes forth in the landscape; the softer rock types around it were ground down to a flatter landscape, giving the appearance of a hat-shaped mountain.
The hole in Torghatten was originally a sea cave, or more precisely, two sea caves, which became a fully open tunnel. During long periods and from both sides, the waves, frost and salt have eroded the hard granite rock until the two caves met and became one. The hole is 160 meters long, 35 meters high and 20 meters wide (525 feet long, 115 feet high, and 66 feet wide), and has the feel of a mighty cathedral.
People settled near Torghatten about 10,000 years ago. The sea level then was 105 meters (344 feet) above the current level. (The peak of Torghatten is 458 meters (1,503 feet)). At numerous sites around Torghatten, visitors can observe traces of ancient shorelines, and some of the pebbely beaches feature remnants of Stone Age dwellings. At Torghatten, visitors can journey back in time – from the Ice Age to modern times, via the Stone Age, Viking Age and the Medieval Period. Torghatten gives us insight into the deep mythology that is woven together with human survival among the harsh coastal environment. In the saga about the troll mounains in the north, it is said that the hole was formed when the Horseman (Hestmannen Mountain) shot his arrow through the Sømna King’s hat.
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