Fossen Bratte

Norheimsund, Hordaland County, Norway

About Fossen Bratte

Hiking Distance: roadside; 1km round trip (to base)
Suggested Time: 20-30 minutes

Date first visited: 2005-06-26
Date last visited: 2019-06-26

Waterfall Latitude: 60.38107
Waterfall Longitude: 5.8861

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense


Fossen Bratte (pronounced “BRAH-tuh” meaning “steep”) was a pretty waterfall that we targeted on a visit to Steinsdalsfossen and the charming city of Bergen (since it sat in between them).

I tend to think of this roughly 80m waterfall as the “love and war” waterfall.

Fossen Bratte

That was because we found two memorials at Fossen Bratte – a war memorial as well as a French lover’s memorial.

Both of them spoke of tragedies that occurred here (albeit under completely different circumstances).

In any case, we had to go on two separate paths for Fossen Bratte to visit both of the memorials, which we’re going to get into right now.

The Bottom of Fossen Bratte and the French Lovers’ Memorial

The most obvious way to experience Fossen Bratte from the long pullout (see directions below) was from a path descending towards its base.

Context of the Fossen Bratte Tunnel, the WC, and the two trails on either side of the WC with Fossen Bratte itself to the far right on this picture

We could see the waterfall pretty much the entire way from the pullout all the way down its walk, which further made this way the obvious choice.

That lower path started its descent from behind a WC building near the Fossenbrattetunnelen.

Barely a few minutes into the descent, we reached some kind of pillar with a plaque on it.

The plaque was in French, and it talked about a honeymooning couple in 1951 that managed to drive their car off the top of this waterfall.

The French Lovers’ Memorial, where the plaque was badly faded when I last saw it in late June 2019

Apparently, I’ve noticed in the literature that sometimes this waterfall would also go by the name of the Bridal Veil (or Brudesløret), which was another acknowledgement of the honeymooners who died here.

During our 2019 visit, it seemed like the sign was severely faded so it was hard to make out what else it was saying.

In any case, a few more minutes further down the trail, we then reached a jumble of boulders wet from the spray of Fossen Bratte.

This was our turnaround point as the road appeared to continue past a bridge fronting the waterfall and towards some farms in this valley.

Approaching the very base of Fossen Bratte, with someone already down there to provide a sense of scale

The time it would take to get down and back up again would probably be on the order of 15-30 minutes, I’d say.

The Top of Fossen Bratte and the War Memorial

From the WC by the Fossenbrattetunnelen, there was another path that seemed to lead along an older road that bypassed the tunnel.

It was probably the main route before the completion of the tunnel.

In any case, this slightly uphill path allowed me to get unusual top down views of Fossen Bratte.

Profile view of Fossen Bratte showing how steep it was as I made my way up to the war memorial at its brink

While I viewed the falls in profile, I could test just how “steep” the falls was, which turned out to not be all that vertical as you can see in the picture above.

Eventually, the road led me to the very top of the waterfall, where there was a cannon as well as a memorial as well as some interpretive signage.

The memorial commemorated the Norwegians who lost their lives here in an attempt to halt the German advance during their invasion of Norway back in April 1940.

The idea of the operation was that the Norwegian fighters would try to hold off the Germans as help would arrive from Allied Forces.

A cannon situated at the brink of Fossen Bratte, which was next to some signage and a war memorial

Even though the Norwegian fighters positioned themselves strategically at the top of Fossen Bratte, the Norwegian fighters were composed of a combination of volunteers and soldiers.

When help didn’t materialize, the Norwegian fighters at Fossen Bratte were overwhelmed by the German forces.

After having my fill of the views and reflecting on what happened here during World War II, I returned to the WC to conclude this part of the out-and-back excursion.

It took me about 30 minutes to fully experience Fossen Bratte in this manner.

Other Waterfalls near Fossen Bratte

It turned that we spotted an attractive roadside cascade about 3km to the west of Fossen Bratte on the Motorvei (Mv) 7.

Attractive cascade roughly 3km west of Fossen Bratte

Unfortunately, we don’t know what that waterfall was called.

From looking at the maps, it quite possibly could be on the Mørkhølen Stream.

Around that waterfall, during our first visit to the area in 2005, we spotted an area to pull over and get a good view of it, which you can see in the photo above.

However, when we returned in 2019, we didn’t quite find this waterfall again, and we quite possibly zoomed past it.


Fossen Bratte resides in the Samnanger Municipality. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or their Facebook page.



Fossen Bratte sat between the city of Bergen and the town of Norheimsund.

From Bergen, we’d drive north on the E39 for about 12km towards its junction with the E16.

Then, we’d turn right and follow the E16 for another 20km before leaving the E16 for the Mv7 at Trangereid.

Once on the Mv7, we then continued for another 21km before reaching the Fossenbratte Tunnel.

Context of the long pullout for Fossen Bratte with still a view of the waterfall even from here

There was a long pullout on the right side of the road heading east, which was where we parked the car.

Overall, this drive would take on the order of an hour or more depending on the traffic on both the E39 and E16 roads as they tended to get heavy use.

From Norheimsund, we’d drive west on the Mv7 for roughly about 20km.

The long pullout for Fossen Bratte would be on the left side in this direction right after leaving the Fossenbrattetunnelen.

For geographical context, Norheimsund was about 50km (about an hour drive) southwest of Granvin, about 76km (about 90 minutes drive) south of Voss” target=”_blank”>Voss, 78km (about 90 minutes drive) west of Eidfjord, and 77km (under 90 minutes drive, typically) east of Bergen.

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Semi-circular sweep of the falls and surrounding valley and ephemeral falls from the WC

Short sweep revealing the base of the falls while also examining the surrounding areas of this valley

Angled view of the falls before walking over further down the hill for slightly different angles

Another sweep showing the falls in slightly more direct angles and attempting to reveal just how steep this steep falls really is

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Tagged with: steinsdalsfossen, trengereid, norheimsund, kvam, bergen, hordaland, hardanger, voss, vossevangen, norway, waterfall

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Fossen Bratte Corrections August 19, 2012 7:17 pm by Rev Ignatius Pop - The fall is actually called Fossed Bratte (not bråtte) and does indeed mean steep waterfall. The memorial on the path down to the bottom of the falls is actually for a young French couple, Rene and Ginette Laigle, who died when their car came off the road at the falls when they were on their… ...Read More

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