An iconic rock formation that inspired a great myth
Hestmannen was a disobedient knight who pursued the beautiful troll maiden Lekamøya, only to be stopped by the Brønnøy King’s hat and the rising sun.
The distinctive rock formation called Hestmannen is found on Storseløy between Lurøy and Rødøy in Nordland County and rises over 1,873 feet above sea level. From certain angles, the formation resembles the shadow of a knight mounted on his horse.
This landmark plays a part in the classic Nordland tale about trolls who became the mountains of the Nordland coast. As the tale is told, the knight Hestmannen was chasing Lekamøya and her sisters at dawn. Hestmannen shot an arrow that pierced the hat of the Brønnøy King, who threw his hat toward Lekamøya and her sisters to protect them. The sunrise arrived at that very instant, turning all the trolls to stone. Hestmannen became the rock formation that we see today, while the King’s hat turned into Torghatten, the granite mountain with a distinctive gap though the middle of its mountainside. Hestmannen can be seen on the Hurtigruten Route between the ports of call of Nesna and Ørnes. On northbound journeys, it is visible to the west, just as you cross the Arctic Circle.
Visitors to the area can climb Hestmannen. There are marked routes to lead hikers up the mountain, but you will need a rope to reach the very peak.