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Magazine drive on "Sølvveien"

Transportation of goods between Bragernes and Kongsberg is often called "warehouse driving". In reality, this transport took place both on land and by water. The actual transport was carried out by "røyerter" in a rowing boat and carriages by horse and carriage. Along the river and the road there were shuttle stations, inns and inns where both the transport workers and other road users could quench their thirst and get food and shelter. There were probably also purchases and sales of goods to the local population, at a time when there were no country shops. All the traffic also provided work for craftsmen such as boat builders, blacksmiths, wheelmakers and shoemakers.


Prospectus over Kongsberg 1808.jpg
Grundrids Bergstaden 1797.jpg

In the last half of the 18th century, the mountain town of Kongsberg had around 8,000 inhabitants and was Norway's second largest city - smaller than Bergen, but larger than Christiania. The local agriculture could not feed such a large population, and the miners and their families were completely dependent on a regular supply of grain and other food. It gave great power to a small group of "suppliers", who had the exclusive right to run this profitable business. Together with the top management at Sølvverket, they formed the upper class at Kongsberg.


The grain and the other imported goods that were going to Kongsberg came to Drammen - which actually consisted of two separate shopping places - Bragernes and Strømsø. Sølvverket's large reservoir was located by Øvre Sund on Bragernes until 1786, when a new and larger reservoir was built on Strømsø. From here, the goods were to be transported to the magazine at Kongsberg - today known as "Magasinparken". This was the origin of the term "Magazine Driving", and the transport went through Eiker.


Although there was a road all the way to Bragernes all in the 1620s, much of the traffic went on the river, especially the transport of heavier goods. The "Røyertene" were a separate occupational group, rowing "big boats" up the river to Haugsund. Some goods were transhipped to horses and carriages at the shuttle station Langebru near Haug church, but much was also transported by boat to Vestfossen and sometimes all the way to Rudstøa on Fiskum. However, the last stage through Kongsbergskogen had to be completed by horse and carriage. This was by far the country's most important traffic artery.


"Sølvveien" is a name that this road has been given in recent times.  Originally, it was often  called for «Kongeveien», but also for «Postveien», since it was a regular postal route here in Copenhagen with important correspondence between . Today, there have been several new and larger roads between Drammen and Kongsberg, but at the end of the 18th century, the route was largely the same as when the road was built in the 1620s. However, maintenance and repairs were carried out. One of the most important was the construction of stone arch bridges, which probably replaced older wooden bridges. The largest and most important was Smedbrua, which was built in 1767 by stone masons from Sølvverket, where the road crosses Fiskumelva. Smaller bridges of the same type came at Skogen and at Brekke on Nedre Eiker. Today, these bridges are protected as cultural monuments. 

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