A 900 year old housing design for workers

Rorbu (singular) or rorbuer (plural) are still a traditional accommodation in Lofoten for eager fishermen today. Even if they are just fishermen for a day. The old cabins have been restored and turned into modern accommodation for the million travellers that come to the area each summer.

The first Rorbu cabins in Lofoten date from 1120 and were licensed by King Øystein as housing for the hardened fishermen who made the winter expedition to the world’s most fertile cod fishing grounds.

The cottages were simple structures, built on poles partly out in the water with two rooms: a storage room and a living room with beds. The “luxurious” cabins had a window -a hole in the wall with a skin made from the stomach of a halibut stretched across it.

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