The artists who came to Balestrand in the 19th century created a flourishing art environment which contributed to the development of Balestrand as a favourite national and international holiday destination.
Some of the artists were interested in romantic rural scenes. Others painted landscapes of the mountains and fjords which one can see today in art museums and galleries in Norway and abroad. Interest in wild and beautiful nature increased during the 19th century with the prevailing philosophical ideas. By using the sea route one could travel by ship along the whole Norwegian coast from Stavanger in the south to the North Cape and Svalbard in the north. Many hired painters to paint scenes from their journeys before photography took over. Some artists travelled to known holiday destinations to paint and sell their pictures to the tourists. Balestrand was such a place.
Culture and Nature
It was the landscape and the light that drew the artists to Balestrand and continue to attract visitors to the village. Carefully prepared nature trails provide access for hikers. The mountains attract and challenge the adventurous.
Important periods in architectural history are represented in Balestrand. Internationally renowned artists commissioned the building of villas in the dragon style. These richly decorated houses can be seen along the fjord.