What: Knut Hamsun's birthplace

Where: GarmostrŠet, Lom

Here it is: In Otta you leave the E6 direction Lom on road rv.15. After Vňga and approximately 15 kilometers outside Lom you find Knut Hamsun's birthplace GarmotrŠet on the left side, well signposted.

The birthplace has had a chequered existance since it was bought by Knut Hamsun's grandfather in 1816. After Hamsun's parents and grandparents had moved to Hamar°y in 1862, the house was taken over by a relative of the mother, Torstein Hesthagen. He moved the house to his farm, rebuild it and used it as a forge, for which it was used until the 1920'ies. It was then thorn down but the timber stored. In 1959 Christianne Undset Svarstad (Sigrid Undset's daughter-in-law) had the house reconstructed at it's present location, a few meters from the original place. A really handsome gesture! Since then the house was owned by the municipality of Lom and today by the Hamsun-laget (Hamsun-circle) in Lom. The Hamsun-laget does a unique job to maintain the house and to disseminate knowledge on Knut Hamsun. The house is open to the public during the summer months. Though Hamsun was only three years old when he left GarmostrŠet, the first years left memories. In an often quoted passage of "Growth of the Soil" (1917) Hamsun says through chief constable Geissler: "I remember everything. I remember from I was one and a half years old: I was balancing on the bridge to the barn in Oppigard Garmo in Lom and sensed a particular scent. I still recognise the scent.."

ę Kirsten Hedvig Rasmussen www.hamsun.at