Exploring the Kingsroad

The Jutlamannen troll


Jutlamannen – a troll with his nose in the air.

The stone formation in the mountain above Hønjum has inspired many legends, and may have had a function linked to a cult during the Merovingian/Viking era (see: Viking site at Bjørkum).

Some believed that it stemmed from when king Olav the Sacred rode through Lærdal in 1023 to force the people of Valdres to convert to Christianity. A horseshoe on his horse was loose, and the king stepped off to fix this.

Suddenly there were two trolls, a male and female, up in the hillside laughing at him.

This angered Olav, and he said: «Stay there in stick and stone, and be of no more harm», as he hit his hammer on a stone nearby.

Both trolls then turned into stone. «Gygra», which carried a child in her arms, collapsed around 1800, whereas Jutlamannen is still standing. There are several versions of the legend.

One is that Odin made two black wagon-wheel marks in the mountain by Ljøsnaveiti when he was visiting Jutlamannen.

The most renowned painting of Jutlamannen is on display in Fugleværelset at the Royal Palace in Oslo, and was painted by Johannes Flintoe based on a drawing he made when travelling through Lærdal in September 1822.

The official wedding photo of Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Crown Princess Mette Marit is taken in front of the Jutlamannen paining.