Lista, Norway, ever heard of it? Neither had I.
Visiting friends in the Farsund Municipality along the south-western coast of Norway, they intrigued us with tales of a nearby town that is very “Americanized.”
Lista is primarily a farming community, and the inhabitants have outgrown the land. With bad economic times off and on, they have up and moved back and forth to the United States. They have streets named in English, an American Cafe, a copy of the Statue of Liberty, and stores that sell American goods. We just drove through this part, but it was interesting.
Lista has plenty of other things to draw tourists. There is an old World War II German base, a gorgeous lighthouse, and some ancient rock carvings similar to those found in Tanum, Sweden.
We started out at Nordberg Fort, dating back to World War II, which has a great interpretive center with information going back thousands of years. Apparently, one of the German officers sent to build the base had found some archaelogical finds and was able to preserve them. It also tells about the lives of the soldiers stationed there. Next you can walk around the base and see old buildings and gun mounts.
We moved on to Penne, the sight of the megalithic rock carvings. Basically, just marked with a small sign and located in the middle of a sheep’s field, these rock carvings could be easily overlooked. In order to better see the carvings, they have been painted red, which is now not allowed anymore.
Lastly, we headed to the lighthouse at Lista Fyr. Along the way, we passed an Alpaca farm and an art piece featuring John F. Kennedy. Odd. But, once we got there, it was great fun to explore the lighthouse and walk down by the rock beach to the newly built bird blind.
A fascinating mix of cultures, old and new, made visiting Lista one of the most memorable days we spent in Norway. If you happen to get up that way, stop over. It’s worth it.
Do you know anyone that has been to Lista? Maybe a long lost relative? Let us know in the comment area.
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.
Friday 18th of November 2022
I am an American with Norwegian heritage. Spent 6wks in Lista with family there in 1970. I was 18. Most fantastic. It was a boat building and commercial fishing community then, too. I crabbed along the rocks of the fjords with friends during the long daylight hours of the night, and walked through caves where you couldn't see your hand in front of your face until you emerged into sunlight and the drop from the land to the fjord below. Used to smuggle guns during the Nazi occupation.
Tuesday 12th of April 2022
My cousin and I visited Lista in 2019 and hired a local historian to give us a tour. Our great-grandmother Anna Bolette Hansen was born there on Vestre Hauge farm in 1851. Her family croft was still standing, though in ruins. The WWII German barracks were fascinating. We saw alpacas on the windswept rocky shore by the lighthouse -- a surreal sight!
Friday 18th of November 2022
@Katie Riley, My family were fishermen and boat builders, farmers, as well. Kristiansen is the family name. Loved my 6wks there!
Monday 25th of April 2022
Katie, It's so fun to visit where your family comes from, isn't it?
Friday 13th of November 2020
My parents came from Lista after WW11. My mother from Lunde near Farsund and my father from Hassel which is between Vanse and Borhaug where the lighthouse is. I have been over several times. It is beautiful there. Just don't go there in the winter. The wind from the North Sea is frigid.
Tuesday 17th of November 2020
Kenneth, So true! It can get quite cold. It's a beautiful place, though, most of the year.
Monday 28th of May 2018
I think my grandparents came from Lista c 1900. We have an address in Lista but cannot find the correct postal code to send some letters to see if we can get a response. Can you help? Thank you!
Tuesday 29th of May 2018
I'm sorry Judy, I don't live in Norway. Good Luck!
Wednesday 3rd of January 2018
My great-grandfather was the lighthouse keeper there. His name was Andres To'nessen. I was able to visit in 1998. I think my grandmother would be tickled that her childhood home is now a tourist attraction.
Thursday 4th of January 2018
That is so cool! I'm glad we could connect like this!