"Tau - a gateway to Preikestolen" Tau by sindre92

Tau Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 22 photos

The history of Tau

The name Tau comes from Old Norse "Taufr", which means "magic". The many grave mounds tells us about the long history this place has.

In the viking age, and maybe even earlier, it was a cultic centre. It was so important that they even treid to change the name of the place. The lake is now called Krossvatnet ("Lake Cross"), but was probably called Taufr back in the pagan days. They tried to change the name of the area to Sevarbakke, but hadf to give up after some 3 centuries.

Legend has it that Erik Bloodaxe had a royal estate in Tau, on Liland. His wife, Gunnhild, was said to be a powerful sorceress. Erik was overthrown by his brither, Haakon the Good, after only 5 years reign. He then went over to England, and became the last independent viking king in Northumberland. He fell in a battle in Southern England some years later.

In the middle ages, Tau was a centre for flour mills and saw mills. There was also a lot of timber being shipped out from Tau, to the UK, the Netherlands and France.

In 1855, they built an industrial flour mill and a brewery in Tau. This became a corner stone of the local community, and led to new growth.

Today, most people in Tau work in Stavanger and commute by ferry.

Erik Bloodaxe

Erik Bloodaxe was the second king of Norway. He was the son of Harald the Fairhaired, the first king of all of Norway. Erik is supposed to have killed off most of his brothers to rid himself of competitors for the throne.

He was a famous viking warrior and war chief, and in 920 he led an expedition to Bjarmaland, in northern Russia.

Erik became king of Norway around 930. He was said to be a harsh king, and lacked popular support. Some say he was Norway's only true military dictator through the ages. His only remaining brother, Haakon the Good, overthrew him only five years after he took the throne.

Erik then went to England, and became king of York in 947. After only one year, the former king - Eadred - invaded Northumbria and took back the throne. Erik took back control over York in 952 but fell in the battle of Stainmore in Southern England. The Fagrskinna claims that five kings fell with him in the battle.

Erik's wife, Gunnhild, was said to be a powerful sorceress. She and her sons waged war against Erik's brother Haakon after Erik fell.

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  • In a nutshell:Where my roots are
  • Last visit to Tau: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated May 4, 2006
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