The Håheller farm in Lysefjorden has a history dating back to 1580 and was one of the most prosperous properties in the area. The property had grazing land, forests, and fruit orchards, and also had several crofts associated with it.
The Håheller farm is an impressive property located in Lysefjorden, with a long history dating back to 1580. Archaeological findings show that the site was already in use before this time, and the earliest settlers made their living from hunting and fishing. Agriculture was later established in the Viking Age or after this period. The fjord was an important resource for the farm, in addition to the yields from the land, forest, and mountain.
The most striking feature of the Håheller farm is the large main house, which has an unusual size and is positioned with its broadside facing the sea. The house is primarily built of several log boxes and was likely constructed by Kristoffer Kristofferson around 1790. Despite its size, the house has many features of traditional Ryfylke houses but also has a baroque-style, symmetrical facade with a raised roof towards the sea. The main house also has a large kitchen with two fireplaces, which is relatively rare.
The Håheller farm was one of the most prosperous properties in the Lysefjorden area, and although there was little arable land, the farm had large grazing areas up towards Lyngsvatnet. The forest on the property laid the foundation for the sawmill industry on the neighboring Sabakken farm, while hazelnuts were another source of income. Håheller was also known for its fruit production, and cherries from the farm were the first to reach the market in Stavanger.
By the end of the 19th century, over 25 people lived on the farm. During the 1880s, there was even a shop on the farm, and Håheller had its own post office in the 1900s. Håheller farm was also a place where people stayed overnight on their way in and out of Lysefjorden.
Since the farm was abandoned, decay has left its mark on the property. The outbuilding has collapsed, and now only the main house remains. Over the years, many have tried to restore the old, venerable house without success. However, private interests are now working to try to initiate a restoration project to use the site for tourism purposes.
In 2019, the “Reis løa på Håheller” project was completed, where the Ryfylke local department of the Norwegian Society for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments rebuilt the pole barn while also wanting to restore the knowledge of the pole construction craft. The project involved courses in pole construction for local craftsmen and other interested parties, and the reconstruction was based on photo documentation and studies of the existing foundation. The restoration of the pole barn from the local area of Tau was used as a starting point, and the project worked closely with the Ryfylke Museum to promote competence building in traditional building trades in the region. Jan Gunnar Helmikstøl has been one of the individuals who have devoted a significant amount of time and energy in this project.
In the old days, there used to be an old route between the farms Håheller, Sabakk, and Fyljesdalen. Over the past decades, the path has become overgrown, but in recent years, local enthusiasts have started to reopen and clear the trail. The path passes through scree fields in several places and goes through a narrow gorge in Fyljesdalen. The trail is challenging but very spectacular.