onsdag 7. mars 2018

A few prints and some history from way back

There's not too many very well known people born and bred in this tiny little corner of the world to tell the truth. A few for sure, but they seem to be a bit far between I have to admit. 
But if we travel a bit back in time, around a thousand years plus, this area have seen a couple of celebrities... some of them for the wrong reasons looking at things with contemporary eyes, but well known they were nonetheless. 


This guy, for instance, known around this part of the world to once have been answering to the name "Gange Rolv", but to the rest of Europe he's probably better known by the name of "Rollo". The scholars are yet not 100% sure if Gange Rolv and Rollo actually was the same person, but it seems they are getting very close to that conclusion these days. Good old Snorre we know from over in Iceland were absolutely sure they were the same guy, and there's a lot of other written sources suggesting the same.
Anyway, Gange Rolv was born some time in the later part of the 800's on this tiny island called Giske just off the town of Ålesund a very long time before this place became a town or a city at all. 
He was the son of Ragnvald Jarl (Earl Ragnvald) who was the earl of the greater part of the north-western Norway, or my home district as we know it today as Møre og Romsdal. 
Gange Rolv was a big man and got the prefix added to his name because it was said to be impossible for him to use a horse. "Gange" means "walking" in norwegian, so "Walking Rolv" would be his name translated to english. They bred small horses back in the days, I assume.


Gange Rolv was a viking, and he was obviously quite successful in his profession. He was a viking, but did not always travel far away to rob, steal and do the things the vikings usually did. He did a lot of raids towards other viking earls in Norway as well, and the Norwegian king at the time (Harald Hårfagre, or Harald Fairhair in english) eventually had to chase him away and out of the country to stop him robbing his opposing earls.
According to Snorre he then went off together with his sworn men to do viking raids over in the outer and inner Hebrides and all around the Irish Sea area before he went over to France. I also think I've read somewhere that he stayed for a while in Orkney, and probably also on Shetland. It was a natural route for him to travel anyway as all those what we call the western isles were very well known to the vikings around the time of these happenings.
Eventually when finally hitting the french coastline he actually conquered Normandie and became the first Duke of Normandie in the year 911. Our man came to an agreement with the french king Karl for himself and his men to settle down in the area of the Seine delta if they at the same time could manage to keep the area safe and clean of other vikings who were prone to try get to Paris for obvious reasons. So they did, and nothing much more have been written about Rollos time of reign down there. 
However we do know that he was baptized around 912 but that he still was said to have died a pagan, probably some time between 928 and 932. 
His descendants still ruled the area as the dukes of Normandie a long time after his death, and one of them even became the king of England (William the Conqueror, his great grandsons great grandsons son) in 1066. 

The statue showing up in these snaps and prints are placed in the middle of the biggest park of my home town, and is a copy of what is an original marble statue standing outside the Cathedral of Rouen in France. Our statue is however made out of bronze, and was unveiled back in 1911. It was a gift from the city of Rouen to Ålesund town. It has really taken on a very nice patina over the years, and I like it even more as the years goes by. 


The prints were done in a bit of hurry, but they still looks a lot better than these phone snaps of them I have to say. I don't know what it is, but the way my phone decides to render the tones of a nice B&W print is a mystery to me. I tried to adjust a bit on the first one up there, but the left side of the print went a bit warm while the other side still looks a tad on the cold side. Well, it is what it is. 

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