The International National Trusts Organisation (INTO)

INTO celebrates 100 members

February 12, 2024

The world’s oldest national trust is INTO’s newest member

INTO is delighted to welcome Fortidsminneforeningen, the National Trust of Norway, as our 100th member.

Fortidsminneforeningen was established in 1844 and has had a central role in the protection of Norway’s historical sites, including the internationally renowned Stave churches. The organisation enjoys the support of an extensive and committed volunteer network, with over 7000 active members.

To reach 100 members is an incredible milestone for INTO and for international heritage.

Sharing learning

At the heart of what we do is to exchange expertise and bring together organisations to share learning. Our member organisations range in size from single sites to Europe’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust, and in age from newly established to now, the oldest in the world.

We’re excited to see how working with Fortidsminneforeningen can bring new knowledge to our network.

Borgund church in Norway - a black wooden church in a mountainous landscape INTO 100th member

Borgund is a medieval stave church in the Lærdal valley, built in the 12th century

‘This is such an exciting moment for INTO. From 12 members in 2007, we’ve grown to be a movement for heritage everywhere, sharing knowledge and resources across the globe. Welcoming Fortidsminneforeningen as our 100th member brings the wisdom of the ‘great grandmother’ of national trusts to our diverse family, all of whom are working passionately for the protection of cultural and natural resources.’
- Catherine Leonard, Secretary General, INTO

About Fortidsminneforeningen

Fortidsminneforeningen was founded in 1844 by artists, art historians and architects, in a country where the general public had not yet become aware of their valuable heritage. Stave churches fell into disrepair and were demolished in the spirit of progress, while artefacts from the Middle Ages were lost. Antiquity and the Middle Ages were prioritized in the first fifty years of the Society’s work.

Shortly after its foundation, the association began to acquire properties, by purchase or as gifts. It has continued to do so to this day. The purpose was – and is – to save them from decay or demolition. Today Fortidsminneforeningen owns and manages 43 historic properties, among them eight of the country’s 28 stave churches, four stone churches and four monastery ruins from the Middle Ages.

logo of National Trust of Norway red with white textFind out more about our 100 brilliant members on our membership page. Please get in touch if you would like to collaborate with another member, or if you have any questions.

‘Fortidsminneforeningen hopes to gain valuable insights, knowledge, and collaborative opportunities through becoming an INTO member. We seek to engage with like-minded organisations globally, share experiences in heritage preservation, and learn about successful strategies employed by other members. The exchange of ideas, best practices, and collaboration on international projects can enhance our effectiveness in safeguarding and promoting cultural heritage.’