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Discover the Høyevarde Fyrhotell, which was once an active lighthouse dating back to 1858.

Located in the town of Håvik on the island of Karmøy, the Høyevarde lighthouse occupies an incredibly important location, both strategically and culturally. This is due to the Karmsundet strait, which separates Karmøy from mainland Norway. For centuries, the Karmsundet strait has served as an essential part of the “Nordvegen” or “the way to the north,” the shipping route that gave Norway its name. According to the eddic poem Grímnismál, the Norse god Thor is said to wade through the strait every morning on his way to Yggdrasil, the tree of life.

The date of the original Høyevarde lighthouse’s construction is unknown, though it certainly existed by 1567/8 when James Hepburn, Earl of Bothswell, was caught by the lighthouse attempting to pass through the strait without proper papers. Hepburn, the third and final husband of Mary Queen of Scots, was fleeing to Denmark following the Battle of Carberry Hill on June 15, 1567. The battle resulted in Mary’s capture and forced abdication of the throne. Hepburn was hoping to raise an army for Mary in Denmark with the support of the Danish king, Frederick II. However, Frederick had heard that Hepburn was wanted for the murder of Lord Darnley, so when Norway delivered the embattled earl to Danish forces, he was immediately imprisoned and would remain in captivity in Denmark until his death.

The next mention of the Høyevarde lighthouse is in 1700 when a man named Heinrich Petersen Ysted received a royal license to run the lighthouse. The current lighthouse dates to 1858 and consists of the light keepers house, customs, boathouse and a wood-fired bakery.