Saga Column

As early as in 1836, eminent poet Henrik Wergeland appealed to the people of Norway to erect a monument to commemorate the recovery of our independence, adopting our own Constitution in 1814.
The monument was to be erected outside the Norwegian Storting (Parliament), and it was to be called the “Eidsvoll Column“.

A sculptor Professor W. Rasmussen, won the design competition with a design that represents the history of Norway from the time the country was united in 872 A.D. until the first national assembly convened in 1814.

When war broke out in Norway in 1940, the monument was half finished in cyanite, the rest was modelled in plaster. The work stopped for the duration of the war. Then when the fate of the column was once again brought before the Storting, there was political dissension which, sadly, caused the work to be discontinued still again. The outcome was that the column was very poorly maintained and it deteriorated severely. That was the case for 20 years and the column would have continued to deteriorate for the foreseeable future, had Amund Elvesaeter not taken the initiative to have it erected. Following three frustrating attempts to get the column placed in Lillehammer, Amund Elvesaeter saw no other option but to take matters into his own hands. After consultations with Wilh. Rasmussen’s legal heirs and relatives as well as the Storting’s presidium, Elvesaeter managed to get the monument released so that it could be privately financed and raised near Elvesaeter. The column was completed at the end of August 1992. It is 40 meters tall from bedrock to the top of the king’s crown. 33 Meters are visible above ground.