The pilgrims’ path through Østre Toten: Detour from Hoff church to Balke church (approx. 7 km)
From Hoff church, the pilgrims’ path takes a detour eastwards to Balke church. This is to link the only two churches that have been in continuous use at Toten from medieval times to today. The area has a particularly diverse cultural landscape with numerous sites of national importance, is rich in tradition, and features vast cultural heritage from ancient to more recent times, such as the former churches at Gile and Hveem.
These old farming communities in the warm, sunny Midtli area are also aesthetically beautiful with their large, distinct yards and buildings, tree-lined avenues connecting yards, access roads and fields, and meadows divided by large and small groves, copses, and other vegetation. Spectacular views of the vast, rolling farmland with the coniferous forest at Totenåsen as backdrop.
Cultural heritage, natural heritage, and other points of interest along the pilgrims’ path:
1. Gile farm: Had a chapel until 1585. 81 Iron Age burial mounds. Several important finds have been made at the farm. Distinct cultural landscape.
2. Hveem: “kirke-Hveem” is the site of a former medieval church. There is a menhir at the farm, and six Iron Age burial mounds (four tumulus-type and two stone) have been registered in the area.
3. Fårlund: An Iron Age burial mound, 180 metres east of the pilgrims’ path.
4. Hanastad: Three Iron Age burial mounds, 180 metres east of the pilgrims’ path.
5. Balle church: Dates back to around year 1200. Renowned for its altarpiece, Mariatavlen (the restoration of which Peder Balke was involved). Several cultural heritage sites from the Iron Age, the Middle Ages, and more recent times.