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 Altagård med katolsk kirkegård

Altagård med katolsk kirkegård ( Altagård with Catholic Cemetery)
Address: Elvebakken, Alta
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Client: The Ministry of Defence
Construction System /
Log building; slate
Building Type: Military headquarters; cemetery
Year of Construction: 1956
Originally a farm, Altagård is situated on the flat land by the estuary of the river Altaelva, and not far from the farmhouse is an old catholic cemetery. Nowadays the immediate neighbours are the airport, the main thoroughfare E6 and a variety of other buildings and installations. During the 18th century Alta had three main farms: Bossekop which was Sámi; Altagård which was the seat of the county governor; and Elvebakken which was Kven/Finnish.

The buildings at Altagård were like most other buildings in the district, though not the churches, burnt to the ground during the German retreat in the autumn of 1944. The unusually tall pine trees surrounding the farm were also severely damaged by the fire. Because of Altagård's historic importance and the almost complete loss of traditional architecture of the area, it was decided to build a near copy of the old main house both to maintain old building methods and have an architectural manifestation of what had been. The work started in 1950 and was completed in 1956.

The new building has two storeys and a pitched roof with a large turret in the middle. The walls have grey vertical board on board wooden cladding and the slate roof has locally quarried slates. The long building's front elevation is symmetrical around the handsome main entrance with the white windows set in a regular pattern. The steps leading up to the front door have flagstones also quarried in Alta.

In 2004 Altagård was given protected status based on the Norwegian armed forces’ plan for management of their assets of historic and cultural value. Alta's local authorities took possession of the building in 2006 and it is now used as offices.
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 16.01.2010
Author: I.H.U.
Photographer: I.H.U. 2008

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