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Lista, Norway – A Slice of the U.S.A and a Whole Lot More

Lista, Norway, ever heard of it? Neither had I.

Lista Norway

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 Norway

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.

Lista Norway
Fort Nordberg

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.

Penne Norway

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.

Lista Norway

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.

Lista Norway

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.

John Helander

Thursday 4th of April 2024

My grandmother, Solveig Smith , was born and raised in Lista. She grew up on a farm at the very southern most part of Litsa. She came to the US when she was 19 in 1924. The Germans seized the farm for use as an airfield during WWII. Most of her siblings came to America after WWI. She had many stories about the farm, particularly about how it was the only flat spot in that part of the country and how much the Germans wanted it. I am anxious to hear form anyone who can fill me in more about Lista and her farm. Thank you very much!

Linda Mattson

Monday 10th of June 2024

@John Helander, John, my grandmother Helga Smith was your grandmother’s older sister. She came to the US at the age of 16 in 1903. She took my sister and I to Lista in 1967 to visit. I am starting to work on my ancestry and hopefully will return to Lista next year. Would love to connect with you…

Penny Stevens

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.

Katie Riley

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!

Penny Stevens

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!

Corinne Vail

Monday 25th of April 2022

Katie, It's so fun to visit where your family comes from, isn't it?

Kenneth Andersen

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.

Corinne Vail

Tuesday 17th of November 2020

Kenneth, So true! It can get quite cold. It's a beautiful place, though, most of the year.

Judy Lusk

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!

Corinne Vail

Tuesday 29th of May 2018

I'm sorry Judy, I don't live in Norway. Good Luck!