Welcome to the World Heritage Centre
Just over 100 years ago, Notodden was the setting for a modern-day adventure. Visitors to the museum will learn more about the events that earned Notodden and Rjukan a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The museum tells the stories behind the electric arc furnace, Norway’s most important invention ever, and mineral fertiliser. Mineral fertiliser production played a crucial part in alleviating a difficult food supply situation all around the world, and transformed Norway from a poor agricultural society into a modern welfare state.
The method was developed under the leadership of professor and inventor Kristian Birkeland (1867–1917) and entrepreneur Sam Eyde (1866–1940). The production of calcium nitrate (Norgesalpeter) lay the foundation for the establishment of Norsk Hydro in 1905. The new fertiliser product enabled the development of two new urban communities: Notodden and Rjukan.