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Norway town installs mirrors to banish winter blahs

Rjukan residents will see sunlight this winter for the first time ever.
Mirror building switzerlandEnlarge
The clouded sky is reflected in the mirrors of an office building in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland, on Oct. 5, 2009. (Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)

The Norwegian town of Rjukan has installed three giant mirrors to bounce sunlight into the town square during fall and winter.

Rjukan, which has 3,500 residents, is nestled in a narrow valley to one side of the Gaustatoppen mountain and is completely dark for five to six months of every year.

The three mirrors, installed this summer at a cost of about $830,000, will create a 200-square-meter patch of sunlight in the middle of town, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The mirrors, powered by wind and solar power, can be controlled via computer from the town hall office.

Until this year, residents who wanted to catch some rays during winter had to depend on a cable car, installed by Norsk Hydro in 1928, to carry them the top of the mountain.

Officials told Xinhua News Agency that they hope the mirrors will draw more tourists to Rjukan, which is located near the Hardangervidda plateau, Norway’s largest national park.

More from GlobalPost: (PHOTOS): Viking bonfire celebrates Scandinavian heritage

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/norway-town-installs-mirrors-banish-winter-blahs

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