Draken Harald Hårfagre was built in Haugesund, in western Norway. The region has been a centre of power for thousands of years. The strait between Karmøy and the mainland, which narrows to become a tight passage at Avaldsnes, created this centre of power.
The harsh sea outside Karmøy forced vessels to go through the passage and it was easy to control the very important marine traffic. The strait is known as “Nordvegen” – “The way north” and gave name to Norway. That was how important seafaring was and still is.
When Harald Hårfagre unified Norway ca 870 AD, he followed the tradition of many sea kings before him, and placed his royal seat at Avaldsnes in West Coast Norway. From here he sent his ships westward across the ocean.