Ina Cristine HelljesenAuthor
Things you may not know about Preikestolen
Located an hour by bus outside of Stavanger, Preikestolen also known as the Pulpit Rock, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Norway.
It has been named one of the world’s most spectacular viewing points both by Lonely Planet and CNN Go. The plateau holds many interesting facts and stories, some of which are shared below.
- Preikestolen got its name around 1900. It was previously known as ‘Hyvltånnå’ (planned tooth)
- The plateau is featured in the The last Mission Impossible movie, Mission Impossible: Fallout. However, in the movie the scene from Preikestolen is set to Kashmir in India.
- Preikestolen was first discovered by the bank manager Thomas Peter Randulf, while on board a ship on the Lysefjord in 1896. Randullf decided to conquer the plateau.
At the time there were no roads leading to the hiking trail, and Randulf and his hiking companion Ole Hausken, had to start the hike at sea level.
- Every summer well over 200,000 visitors hike to Preikestolen and marvel at the view over Lysefjord.
- The nearly flat plateau is in the shape of a square and measures approximately 25 meters in depth and width ( 82 by 82 ft.)
- The rock formation has a 1 kilometer long drop (3,280 ft) as the fjord just below is about 400 (1,300 ft) meters deep. The drop from the rock to the water surface is about 600 (1,900 ft) meters.
- The cliff was formed during the ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago, when the edges of the glacier reached the cliff.
The water from the glacier froze in the crevices of the mountain and eventually broke off large, angular blocks, which later were carried away with the glacier. This is the cause of the angular shape of the plateau.
- Preikestolhytta (located where the hiking trail begins) was built in 1949. There were still no roads leading to its location, which meant that they, among others, had to build a quay, a 240-meter-long cable as well as a trolley track to transport all the building goods in there.
- Between 2013 and 2018 sherpas, who as a rule of thumb can carry their own bodyweight, were flown in from Nepal to improve the hiking trail. They put down hand-crafted granite stone steps to make for an easier and safer hike.
- The Norwegian name Preikestolen consists of two words: ‘preike’ and ‘stol’. ‘Preike’ means ‘to preach’ and ‘stol’ means ‘chair’. The translation of Preikestolen literally means ‘Preacher’s chair’.
- A 2018 report titled ‘Stability Analysis of Preikestolen’ concluded that Preikestolen is safe and not in danger of falling down. However, according to legend the famed plateau will fall into the sea on the day 7 brothers marry 7 sisters, when the wedding party rows through the fjord on their way to the church.
Effort level: Challenging
Season: April to October
Elevation gain: 350 m (1150 ft.)
Estimated hiking time: 4 hrs return.
Distance: 7,6 km ( 4.7 mi.) return hike
Marking: the path is well marked
Landscape: hilly mountain area