Vega Archipelago World Heritage Area

The Vega Archipelago on the Helgeland coast comprises 1037 square kilometres of open cultural landscape made up of a myriad of islands, islets and skerries, where fishing and trapping have been taking place for ten thousand years.

As the first islands gradually became settled, the characteristic landscape was shaped little by little through the interplay between fisherman-farmers and inhospitable, but rich nature. The Vega Archipelago is not famous for large monuments or the ingenious creations of architects. Its universal value lies in the way the area has handed down history and cultural traditions evolved on an exposed coast with rich natural resources. New commercial enterprises have left few traces to break the long lines back in time.

Old building and Vega mountains

The Vega Archipelago is not self-explanatory for those travelling through the landscape for the first time. But if you have an eye for details, the history of the toils and pleasures of generations become clearly apparent. Today, the island landscape stands out as a living witness to the life and work of islanders inhabiting an extremely exposed coast. 

The Vega Archipelago was inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Natural and Cultural Heritage in 2004 as the first Norwegian cultural landscape area. The UNESCO World Heritage List comprises areas or objects that have an irreplaceable cultural or natural value in a global context.

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