Gota Canal Stromma


Skien - Birthplace of Henrik Ibsen and the setting-off point on the Telemark Canal

Industrial Skien mostly lures visitors as a setting-off point along the Telemark Canal. But if you're a fan of the great playwright Henrik Ibsen or Norwegian ceramics, there's some extra interest here for you.

Skien was the birthplace of the author and playwright Henrik Ibsen, probably the most important writer to emerge from Norway. Many of Ibsen's plays are set in an unnamed provincial town that suggests Skien. The former Ibsen family homestead at Venstøp outside Skien was established as the Ibsen Museum in 1958. The Ibsen Museum has now been incorporated into the multi-site Telemark Museum, which includes several other historical sites.

Just south of Skien, in Porsgrunn, is one of Norway's best-known and longest-running porcelain factories, Porsgrund Porselænsfabrikk. You can book a tour to see artisans painting the famous 'straw' pattern, done with the finest of brushes, or visit the factory outlet shop.