Karmoy is an island that is 30 kilometers long. The word karmr in Norse means protection and the island lies in the shape of a shield protecting the mainland from the sea. Karmsundet is located on the inside. This is a shipping channel that was once a part of the Nordvegen. This ancient passage is where Norway got its name.
There is a bridge to the island and here you will see stone megaliths. These are called the 5 wayward virgins and they guard the sound. The story goes that the megaliths were erected over 5 sons of a monarch who was in a fight with the king of Avaldsnes. Evidently, there was a royal estate that was located in the area from 870 through 1450.
The many burial grounds in the area show that the Avaldsnes was a part of an important center during prehistoric times. The Olavskirken, which translates to the St. Olav’s Church, was built here around the year 1250 by King Hakon. The sewing needle of virgin Mary is leaning next to the church. This is a stone pillar that reaches 7.5 meters high.
The island of Bukkoya is located nearby and here there is a Viking estate that has been reconstructed. On the west side of Karmoy you can see stone pillars from the iron age. On the southern part of the island there is Skudeneshavn, which is a whitewashed town. Skudeneshavn has a museum that you can visit. The main town on the island is Kopervik.
Karmoy Photo Gallery
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