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Discover the Dalen Hotel, which has hosted guests in Dalen ever since the Telemark Canal first opened in the 1890s.

Dalen Hotel was constructed during the historic reign of the United Kingdom’s famed Queen Victoria, who sat on the British throne from 1837 to 1901.

Dalen Hotel is in the middle of Telemark's valley near the historic Telemark Canal. When the canal opened in 1892, it was the shortest route between the two cities of Oslo (then Christiania) and Bergen. At the time, Norway was an exotic destination that attracted many tourists. Spotting a need for a luxury hotel to accommodate wealthy travelers, Hans Larsen, Lars Red and Anton Hansen collaborated with renowned architect Haldor Larsen Børve to build the opulent Dalen Hotel, which opened its doors in 1894.

Dalen Hotel fell upon hard times during World War II. The German occupation forces took over the hotel and much of the original interior was damaged, stolen, or lost. The hotel wasn't maintained after the war, and the once-grand hotel became incredibly dilapidated before it eventually closed. Some villagers suggested it would be more dignified to set fire to the building than to let it slowly rot away.

Dalen Hotel eventually met its champion. The preacher Aage Samuelsen had faith in the future of the Telemark valley, and he bought the hotel. While he wasn't able to restore it during his life, he drew invaluable attention to the hotel. After his death, there was renewed interest in returning the once-grand property to its regal state, and talks of restoration and preservation began. After early golden days and later years of decay, the hotel was fully restored to its original beauty. It once again opened its resplendent doors to guests in 1994. Now, Dalen Hotel has the same soul, beauty, and ambiance that it had when it first opened more than a century ago.

  • About the Architecture +
    Haldor Larsen Børve, a German-educated architect versed in Swiss style, designed the castle hotel based on inspiration drawn from traditional medieval stave churches. Dalen Hotel is adorned by opulent details like dragonheads and soaring spires.
  • Famous Historic Guests +
    "Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany (1888 – 1918) King Oscar II of Sweden (1872 – 1907) King Leopold II of Belgium (1865 – 1909) King Haakon VII of Norway (1905 – 1907) Queen Maud of Norway (1905 – 1938) King Olav V of Norway (1957 – 1991)"

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