Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal

Franskhelleren (Franskhellaren), Apr 6 2008

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Franskhelleren / Franskhellaren..

Franskhelleren at Dryna is located on the west side of the Drynjahatten mountain, and served as hiding place for four Frenchmen during the War from 1944 to 1945. The information board says:


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This cave, which is 55 metres deep, concealed four young Frenchmen during the winter of 1944/45. They were prisoners in a German camp at Klauset on the shore-side of the island Otrøya when they resolved to escape in the autumn of 1944. They made contact with locals whom they knew they could trust, and the escape was planned with their help.

The Frenchmen fled in the night between 21 and 22 November 1944 and were picked up by a rowing boat in a cove near Midsund. In the dark of the winter night they were rowed to Dryna, where they were given clothes and a hot meal in the home of the Sønderland family.

They were then taken on foot to the cave. After a while a small cabin was built inside the cave to keep out some of the cold and damp. Later still a wood-burning stove was installed inside the cabin.

Unfortunately somebody put fire to the cabin a few years later, and burnt it to the ground. The Norwegians collected food for the Frenchmen, which was delivered every third night at an agreed place some way from the cave. The Frenchmen occupied the cave until the German capitulation on 8 May 1945. They were then taken to Midsund and honoured along with their local helpers.

After this the name of the Cave has always been Franskhellaren (the French cave).




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I visited the Franskhelleren cave after a ski-trip to Oppstadhornet on Otrøya. I had been to Dryna several times already, but hadn't noticed the sign by the ferry until now.

During my visit to the cave, a disctinct rock - 10(?) meters high caught my attention. Upon closer inspection, I found that this rock was not something I had an urge to climb.

A quick look at the Økonomisk Kartverk map revealed a feature near Franskhelleren that was named Trollkjerka (the Troll Church). Until proven otherwise, I assume this is the name of the pointy rock.

Dryna's western shore is a fascinating area and many other distinct rock features can be seen here. Franskhelleren and Trollkjerka is only a 20-minute walk from the ferry at Dryna. Parts of the path may be wet.



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0. Map of the area 1. West side of Drynja 2. Face profiles 3. Big rocks 4. Franskhelleren 5. Above Franskhelleren 6. Inside Franskhelleren 7. Information board 8. Inside Franskhelleren 9. Inside Franskhelleren 10. A wet entrance


11. Trollkjerka 12. Trollkjerka 13. Trollkjerka 14. Fun face next to Trollkjerka

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