Hugging the head of the Ranfjord, MO-I-RANA, or more usually “Mo”, was known in Old Norse records as Móar, or grass lowland. Until World War II, it functioned as a minor port and market town, after which its fortunes, and appearance, were transformed by the construction of a steel plant. The plant dominated proceedings until the 1980s, when there was some economic diversification and the town began to clean itself up: the fjord shore was cleared of its industrial clutter and the E6 re-routed to create the pleasantly spacious, surprisingly leafy town centre of today. A predominantly modern town, Mo is also home to a statue by British sculptor, Antony Gormley, the large and stern-looking figure, Havmannen (Man of the Sea), which gazes determinedly down the fjord. The main reason to come to Mo, however, is as a base for visiting the east side of the Svartisen glacier and for exploring the region’s caves, such as the Grønligrotta, as well as its lakes, fjords and mountains.
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Art in Nordland
Art in Nordland
Dotted across the province of Nordland are 33 open-air sculptures by some of the world’s leading contemporary sculptors, including Dorothy Cross, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Inge Mahn. Together these sculptures comprise the Skulpturlandskap (wskulpturlandskap.no) and although many of the sculptures are in remote, even obscure locations, others – like Gormley’s Havmannen in Mo-i-Rana – are more accessible.
- The Kystriksveien Coastal Route on Highway 17