On October 30, Norwegian powerhouse hard rock singer Jorn Lande (JORN, MASTERPLAN, ARK) took part in the official opening ceremony to celebrate the sun mirrors in Rjukan. This installation consists of three giant mirrors, designed to reflect the sun down to the town center during the dark winter months. Controlled by computers, the three tilted mirrors follow the course of the sun to bring sunshine to Rjukan's main square below.
The natural sunlight doesn't reach down to the town of Rjukan from early October to the middle of March, leaving the valley in constant shadow. Every year in March thousands of people take to the streets in a carnival to celebrate the suns return, the yearly "solfest."
The idea of bringing sunshine to Rjukan this way was first considered a century ago by a Norwegian engineer and industrialist Sam Eyde, who developed the town of Rjukan to provide workers for the power plant, which lies at the foot of a massive waterfall. At that time, the technology did not exist to fulfill his vision to harness the rays of the winter sun. Instead a cable car was installed to bring Rjukan's inhabitants to the top of an adjacent mountain for a fix of winter sun.
By the beginning of the 21st Century, the giant mirror plan had become a viable option, and the Italian village of Viganella installed a similar sun mirror in 2006. Now Rjukan can benefit from three large mirrors placed high on the mountain, reflecting the sun down on the town square all winter. This truly historic event is not only a fantastic contribution for the citizens of Rjukan, but also something that will promote the town and area internationally.
It was natural to have Jorn as part of the opening ceremony as he was officially appointed "Prince Of The Sun" earlier this year by the town mayor and the "solfest" committee. Joining him for this event was JORN guitarist Trond Holter, and together they made the mountains echo.
Rjukan is famous for its breathtaking scenery, and has become a mecca for ski enthusiast and mountain climbers from all over the world. It was also here that one of the most historic and daring sabotage plots of all time was carried out during World War II: The bravery of the men who sabotaged Hitler's attempt to develop an atomic bomb at a hydroelectric plant near Rjukan.