The Royal Mountain Chalet
The Royal Mountain Chalet "Prinsehytta" is the private property of the King and Queen. It is located in Sikkilsdalen, in the mountains of Jotunheimen. Sikkilsdalen is a valley that joins the Gudbrandsdal valley at Vinstra.
The Norwegian-Swedish kings of the 19th century had many friends in Norway who were eager to foster closer relations between their country and the monarchy. An initiative was launched to collect funds to build a chalet in the Norwegian mountains. Palace Superintendent Hjalmar Wellhaven, son of the great Norwegian poet Johan Sebastian Wellhaven, designed the chalet, and building was begun in 1900. It was completed two years later and presented as a gift to the Swedish princes Gustaf Adolf, Wilhelm and Erik.
The chalet was much used for hunting and other recreational activities until 1905, when the union between Norway and Sweden was dissolved. The chalet remained in Swedish hands but fell into disuse. Later Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden presented the chalet to Crown Prince Olav as a gift when the latter attained his majority.
Originally the Royal Mountain Chalet consisted of a main house built of notched logs, with eight rooms and a covered veranda. Crown Prince Olav, and later the present King and Queen, expanded the property and the chalet now consists of a complex of buildings grouped around two tun, or yards, following the traditional building plan of Norwegian farms. All the buildings are designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape and terrain. The Royal Family uses the chalet during the hunting season and in the autumn.
The chalet is set in the midst of a magnificent landscape, and has views of the mountains above and the lake of the valley floor below.
The original building and many of the new ones are built of notched logs, while others are clad with weatherboarding. The walls are treated with tar and have traditional small-paned windows painted in white. The roofs are covered with sod or slate. T
he various buildings have different functions, and are grouped round two yards. The plan, the design of the buildings and the use of materials reflect well-established, traditional Norwegian ideals of wooden architectural design.