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World Toilet Day and Norway’s architecturally “Ode to the Commode”

November 18, 2020 Visit Europe No Comments Email Email

November 19 has been designated as the World Toilet Day by the UN. World Toilet Day was made to spread and increase public awareness of broader sanitation systems such as wastewater treatment, stormwater management, and washing hands. Today we talk about the one invention that’s kept hidden behind closed doors, but undeniably important. So if you like an “ode to the commode” read ahead.Norwegian Scenic Routes

Along selected roads in Norway, natural wonders are amplified by art, design and architecture, meant to bring you closer to nature in new and surprising ways. From the far north to the deep southwest Norwegian architecture and design have stepped into the landscape to intervene in the scenery along 18 especially beautiful roads. You will find unexpected rest stops, breathtaking viewpoints – and, of course, toilets.

Imagine driving along a road with stunning views of fjords, mountains, waterfalls and glaciers. At the perfect moment you arrive at a spectacular viewpoint where you can stop and take it all in, and suddenly…

Here are some of the most amazing public toilets in the world in no particular order. Please have a peek.

Ureddplassen is a place for a short break, a nice rest or picnic, and for long nights with midnight sun or Northern Lights. A wave shaped toilet building with glass walls is beautifully lit in the dark.
A monument has been erected in memory of those who died when the submarine “Uredd” hit a mine in Fugløyfjorden during World War II.

The village of Jektvik lies om the south bank of the Værangen fjord on the Helgelandskysten coast. It is a ferry stop connecting with Kilboghamn. The waiting room on the ferry quay is clad in translucent fibreglass,, and in the dark season it lights up like a Chinese lantern.

Allmannajuvet zinc mines are a disused mining works in Sauda in Ryfylke. The mines were in operation from 1881 to 1899. Today, the mining area is a museum. The buildings in the gorge are designed as an industrial construction style to embody the story of the mines. The installation consist of a gallery, cafe, toilet, paths and stairs.

The rest area at Hereiane is located on the Folgefonn peninsula in an area where ice-scoured rocks and twisted pine trees reach from the fjord all the way up to the mountain peaks. The scenic building is unique, combining old construction technique, such as slate, with concrete and glass in strong colours.

The fishing village of Eggum lies on the seaward side of the Vestvågøy island in the Lofotens, alone between the ocean and the mountains – ideal for midnight sun gazing. Facing the open ocean is a rest area in a shape of an amphitheatre with a car park and service facilities. On the site also stands an intricate artwork by Marcus Raetz: a head looking out over the sea with the top either down or up, depending on your angle of vision

After endless ascent from the seashore to the mountain, it is only when you reach the summit that you really feel you are “on top”. Here you are in a new landscape of gentle ridges and wide plains, with peaks and glaciers in the distance. The rest area with benches and service facilities obtain all its electricity from solar panes, uniting beauty, function and environmental friendliness.

The rest area at Ostasteidn emerges on the west side of the Sandsfjorden in Ryfylke. The viewpoint is situated where Norwegian artist Lars Hertervig found his motives, and the architecture is inspired by his art. A walkway leads to seating facilities with a beautiful view of Sandsfjorden. The characteristic toilet building has been painted with a moss blend, so that in time it will have a moss-covered surface.

Ersfjordstranda beach lies in the inner reaches of the Ersfjord at the island of Senja, and offers white, fine-grained sand that brings to mind other countries and beaches. Surrounded by tall, craggy peaks this is Norway at its most spectacular. The triangular, gold-plated service facility on the beach is an attraction in its own right.

The elegant viewing platform at Stegastein overlooking the Aurlandsfjord and Flåm, gives an illusion of hovering in space as it reaches 30 metres out over the pine trees, 650 metres above the fjord. With its glass front, it provides a unique view of the the fjord landscape. The toilet probably is the only one in the world with a view to kill.


Akkarvikodden is located on the road leading to the southwest across Moskenesøy island in the Lofotens. From here a panorama opens to the ocean in the southeast. The rest area is designed with horizontal planes, clear-cut lines and granite furniture. The characteristic service building mimics the shape of the preciptious mountains in this wild and pristine scenery.


Lillefjord rest area lies at halfway point to the road leading to Havøysund, at the inner reaches of a fjord. The bridge across the Fosseelva river that runs into the fjord has been designed with an integrated shelter, service facilities and benches. The footbridge marks the start of the path along the river and leads up to the “Love bench” near the Lillefjord waterfall.

Norwegian Scenic Routes is a project organized and headed by Statens Vegvesen – Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

Travel might be complicated right now, but use inspiration from Visit Norway to plan ahead for your next adventures.

Norway is the place to experience the magical northern lights and the midnight sun above the Arctic Circle; visit the world-famous fjords surrounded by spectacular mountains and glaciers; and in the midst of stunning scenery, enjoy gourmet food and culture in the cities of Oslo, Trondheim, Stavanger, Bergen and Tromsø.

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