This Town in Norway Gets Sunlight Through Giant Mirrors Installed on a Mountain

Residents of Rjukan, Norway used to live in the shadow of two deep mountains for 6 months of the year until they installed giant sun mirrors.
Jessica Miley

Imagine spending 6 months of the year in the shadow? For the residents of Rjukan, Norway this is a reality. The small town sits between two imposing mountains that cast shadows over the town for most of the year. 

However, in 2013, the town installed three giant mirrors on one of the surrounding mountains. These massive panes of reflective glass send light down into the town square. 

The mirrors adjust every ten seconds to be perfectly placed to reflect the maximum amount of sunlight down into the center of town. Since their installation, the town has been flooded by tourists keen to see the mirrors.

The idea of the mirrors was conceived by local artist Martin Andersen who moved to the town but started to suffer from the lack of sunlight. The project cost about 800,000 USD at the time. 

However, Andersen can’t take all the credit, the idea was thought to have originated from Sam Eyde. The industrialist tried to get mirrors installed but the technology just didn’t exist. Instead, they built a cable car up the mountain in 1928 so the townspeople could go to the sun, instead of it coming to them.

The sunlight which is focused down into the town’s main square provides the town's residents the chance to bask in some sunlight when the rest of the town sits in the deep shadow of the mountains.