Skip to main content


The small community of Foldvik is located on the west side of the Gratangsfjorden, a few kilometres inwards on the narrow arm of a fjord. This area is characterised as a lush landscape that is covered with buildings. It lies like a strip along the sea, before it slopes upwards towards a birch wooded forest and the mountains. Along the edge of the sea there are three separate wharfs, each with their own drying rack for fishing nets. Nowadays these structures are rarely seen along the coasts of Northern Norway. In the 1950s, it was legal for a short period to use fishing nets during the fishing season in the Lofoten Islands. The majority of the drying racks that are still standing today were built during this period.

A drying rack is a towering pole constructed structure with a couple roof. Here the purse-shaped fishing nets could be hung to dry. The poles were smoothly milled and all of the sharp edges on the structure were rounded off so that nothing could get stuck. The drying racks were braced with long diagonal poles, located at different intervals, depending upon the soil conditions and location of the drying rack.

Many of the ships that fished in the Arctic Sea and fished herring during the 20th century were based out of the Foldvik Harbour. Today it is a place that is preserved as a memory of the old coastal fishing culture. A newly constructed "fembøring" (Grytir) boat is located next to the quay in Foldvik. A "fembøring" is the largest type of Nordlands boat, which is a unique wooden boat, built in Northern Norway. A "fembøring" typically has a sail, up to five or six pairs of oars and can measure up to 48 feet. Today, Nessekaia is a restaurant with an outdoor dining area. The Foldvik Market that is held in August attracts thousands of visitors to Gratangen annually.

Year of construction

Late 19th century until 1952


Mikal Nilsen
Bjarne Jensen

Building Type

Drying rack for fishing nets

Construction System / Materials

cast framework


drying rack for fishing nets
post and beam construction


Austlid, Olav: Foldvik i Gratangen, Fiske, fangst og kystkultur, Fotefar mot Nord, Tromsø (year unknown).

Unstad, Inger Helene: Nothjella - en utdøende bygningstype, i Fortidsvern 3/93 pp. 20-23.


Foldvik brygger
Foldvik brygger
Foldvik brygger
Foldvik brygger
Foldvik brygger