City walk in Nora
Tour of the town
It’s more than 360 years ago that Nora was granted its town charter. In those days, ore deposits were the main attraction. Today, it’s the well-preserved wooden buildings and the grid of low-built surrounding properties that are the attraction. In one short walk, visitors can enjoy a fascinating mixture of the past and the present. The small picturesque houses from three centuries, the cobbled square with its medieval origins and the magnificent Göthlinska manor on the outskirts of the town are unforgettable. The aging manor resembles a wise old sovereign where it sits atop the hill looking down towards the lake where rowing-boats float above perch fishing grounds by the reeds. If only the walls could talk… Actually, they can.
East of the church
The oldest part of Nora, constructed in accordance with the first town plan of 1644, comprises a total of 24 quarters. This central area is called “rutstaden” (the grid town) and the buildings are mainly wooden constructions from the 18th and 19th century. The 20th century is also well represented within the grid town in the form of buildings fitted into the older pattern.
A short walk through the quarters from the church to Lake Nora provides a good introduction to the character of the town. The buildings are a mix of houses from the mid 1800s, such as the small beach hut by the lake, to modern times, such as the Parish House on Kungsgatan, which was built in 1997. The most important buildings are almost always built along streets with outhouses and smaller dwelling-houses located in courtyards under the shade of trees and shrubs. The quarters east of the church have steep lanes that lead down to the promenade along Lake Nora, which marks the eastern border of the town centre.
Entrances and Homesteads
The built-in courtyard is typical of Nora’s 18th century architecture and is still the focus of Nora’s old buildings. Dwelling-houses faced the street and sometimes had a booth with a hatch through which sales were undertaken in older times. The yards housed stables, barns, storage sheds, baking sheds, brewer sheds and simple accommodation for servants. Many of the old yard houses have been pulled down or replaced with new apartment buildings and workshops, but the yards have retained most of their basic structures. The entrance to the yard from the street was most often in the form of an archway with wooden doors that were closed at night. The entrances and archways were often elaborately designed with classical ornamentations inspired by the shapes and forms of antiquity, such as pilasters, capitals, cornices and temple-structured gables. Some twenty such archways have been preserved within the town centre. Other archways have been reconstructed in recent years with the help of old photos.
The richly adorned entrance in a regional rococo style that lead into the Sandberg homestead from Storgatan is probably the most photographed archway in Nora. The property is one of the most well-preserved 18th century homesteads in the town. The court
Rambergska gården The archway is baroque-inspired with rhombic-patterned doors that lead into a large courtyard. Most of the buildings in the yard are from the 1960s. The extensive rebuilding programme of the 1960s left only the 18th century building a