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Nigardsbreen July 2019.jpg
Nigardsbreen and lake Nigardsbrevatnet in 2019
Map showing the location of Nigardsbreen
Map showing the location of Nigardsbreen
Location in Sogn og Fjordane
TypeValley glacier
LocationLuster, Norway
Coordinates61°41′12″N 07°11′45″E / 61.68667°N 7.19583°E / 61.68667; 7.19583Coordinates: 61°41′12″N 07°11′45″E / 61.68667°N 7.19583°E / 61.68667; 7.19583
Area48 km2 (19 sq mi)

Nigardsbreen (English: the Nigard Glacier)[1][2][3] is a glacier arm of the large Jostedalsbreen glacier. Nigardsbreen lies about 30 kilometres (19 mi) north of the village of Gaupne in the Jostedalen valley, Luster, Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It is located just west of the Jostedøla river.[4]

The Breheimsenteret museum is located 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) south in the village of Jostedal. In front of the Nigardsbreen is the lake Nigardsbrevatnet where there is a small boat to transport visitors to the glacier. There is also a bus to take visitors to the glacier.


During the first half of the 18th century, the glacier expanded due to cold weather. Then during the winters of 1741-1744 were extremely cold. Apples and pears did not ripen during the summer and the bee populations perished. Between 1700 and 1748, the glacier moved forward about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) completely covering and crushing the "Nigard" farm (hence the name of the glacier). By 1748, the Nigardsbreen covered about 48 square kilometres (19 sq mi). From 1930 until 1939, the glacier retracted again.


Nigardbreen has seen several severe accidents involving tourists ignoring the local safety warnings. In July 1986 two people, a Danish woman and her 8-year-old daughter, died when hit by chunks of ice that fell from the glacier. In 1994 a Polish woman was left in critical condition after being hit by falling ice. In 2014 a German couple died as a result of being crushed by ice; their children standing close by survived physically unharmed.[5][6][7] In August 2018 an Austrian man drowned when a wave caused by a huge block of ice swept him into the glacial river.[8]

Media gallery[edit]


  1. ^ Porter, Darwin; Prince, Danforth (2003). Frommer's Norway. Chichester, UK: Wiley. p. 292.
  2. ^ Steves, Rick (2018). Rick Steves Scandinavia. Berkeley, CA: Avalon Travel.
  3. ^ Plant, Terry (1993). Nordic Journeys. Oslo: Scandinavian Film Group. p. 50.
  4. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Nigardsbreen" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  5. ^ Ektepar omkom i breulykken - Barna på åtte og ti år ble øyenvitner. Kriseteamet i Luster tar seg nå av barna. [Married couple died in the glacier accident - The children, eight- and nine years old were eyewitnesses. The crisis team of Luster are now with the children.]
  6. ^ Like etterpå skjedde breulykken [Shortly after, the glacier accident occurred]
  7. ^ – Vi kan ikke forestille oss hvordan barna må føle det [We can not imagine how the children must feel]
  8. ^ 38 år gammel turist fra Østerrike omkom ved Nigardsbreen søndag., Aug 6th 2018

External links[edit]