It´s hard to believe, but the craftsmen at Hadeland Glassverk still use the same methods in their glass production as they did when the glassworks was established in 1765, more than 250 years ago. Not only is Hadeland Glassverk the oldest industrial business in the country, it is even one of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway.
In the beginning, the production was small: bottles, pharmacy and medicine glass, and glass for the household. With time, the ownership of the glassworks was changing, and shifted between privates and royals. During the transition from Denmark-Norway to Sweden-Norway in 1814, the ownership had to be transferred from the king to the new state formation. Until 1852, little development was made at the glassworks, even with changing owners.
The old production line was then transferred to the glassworks Biri Glassverk, and Hadeland started the production of finer glasswares like wine glasses, bowls, plates, flower glasses, and vases. The models at Hadeland were heavily inspired and imported from Europe until the 1920, when they started developing their own designs – a lighter glass sanding, flower sanding and etching as decoration instead of the former lavish expression. It also became fashionable to make completely undecorated glass, which was almost unthinkable back in the days.
In the beginning, the products made at Hadeland did not travel far; most of the items were exported to another Scandinavian country, Denmark. During the shift of 1800-1900, the British empire was an important recipient of goods from Hadeland, but throughout the following 250 years, for the majority of the sales at Hadeland Glassverk go to Norway.
The most prestigious project during the last decade at Hadeland Glassverk has been Maud Gjeruldsen Bugges monumental chandelier in collaboration with the famous architect office “Snøhetta”, which was delivered to the Opera House in Oslo (2007).
The premises of Hadeland Glassverk consist of several buildings and is a popular place to visit. Glassverket is a tourist attraction and offers something for everyone, at any age. Here, you can grab something to eat at the local bakery or restaurant, pet the animals that live there, or you can go shopping in the different stores.
As they should, Hadeland Glassverk, takes pride in their industrial history. The localization is amazing, and you can feel the history in the walls when walking around. The glassworks has gone through a huge and positive change during the last twenty years, which has led to a new dynamic and a stronger belief in the future to come.