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The place that changed the world

Utgraving ferdig

In the autumn of 2017 archaeologists from Telemark county municipality uncovered a well-kept secret under the ground at Vemork. Although the building above had been levelled by explosives, the cellar was intact. Down there, time had stood still for 40 years. Now the doors are being opened to the public. Go where the heroes went. Stand where the heroes stood. See the result of the operation that changed history. Welcome to the heavy water cellar.

Four high-risk operations

Norsk Hydro’s heavy water production at Vemork was an important part of the Nazis’ nuclear project during World War II. So important that as many as four perilous military operations were initiated to stop it.

See the operations

The heroes of Telemark

Who were the young Norwegian soldiers who risked their lives to carry out one of the most important and spectacular military operations during World War II?

Get to know the saboteurs
Foto: Leif Tronstad samlingen/NIA

In the footsteps of the saboteurs

The Saboteur Trail is an 8 kilometre trail that starts at Rjukan Fjellstue and ends at Vemork power station. Here you follow the same route as the saboteurs on the night before 28 February 1943.

More about the saboteur trail
Foto: Lasse Jacobsen/NIA

From Vemork to the world

The story of the heroes in Telemark has spread all over the world. It has been retold in TV series, documentaries, podcasts, articles, books and in films. Below is a small selection.

The hunt for the heavy water cellar

The Heavy  Water War

This fantastic Norwegian drama series follows the heavy water war from four perspectives, the Germans, the Allies, the saboteurs and the company that owned the factory and the heavy water.

See the series on

Inside the Daring Mission That Thwarted a Nazi Atomic Bomb

National Geographic interviews the author of the book “The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission To Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb,” Neal Bascomb.

Read the article at

Rita Engedalen

Press officer

+47 920 94 584

Anna Hereid


Postkort fra Oppi forlag 225. Udatert. Bilder etter Trygve Bakke som var ingeniørutdannet på NTH, bygningslinjen, med eksamen i 1918. Deretter arbeidet han ved Vittingfoss kraftanlegg og Vestfold Kraftselskap i 1919-1922. I Oslo Boligdirektorat 1923-31 og fra 1932 i Oslo Vann- og kloakkvesen. (Iflg hans egne opplysninger i Vi fra NTH - De første 10 kull, 1933). Hans eventuelle tilknytning til NVE er ukjent, likeså bakgrunnen for at albumet er kommet hit.
Foto: Lasse Jacobsen/NIA


The Norwegian Industrial Workers’ Museum Foundation (NIA) was established on November 3. 1983, and has the social mission of promoting knowledge about working culture, hydropower, power-intensive and electrochemical industry in Norway, local cultural history, local war history, cultural heritage and art. The foundation consists of Vemork, Tinn Museum, Heddal Bygdetun, Tuddal Bygdetun, Rjukanbanen and Telemark Art Museum. The museum also functions as a World Heritage Center for Rjukan – Notodden Industrial Heritage which is part of the Norwegian World Heritage and on the list of Unesco World Heritage.