The most historical place in Dalen is the Dalen hotel. It was built in 1884. At that time, Dalen served as an important junction of roads between different parts of Norway, from east to west and north to south. This constant traffic made Dalen the preferred overnight stop for weary travellers or they simply changed routes. Then, when the locks of the Telemark Canal were opened in 1892, tourist traffic greatly increased. The Telemark Canal quickly established itself as a major tourist attraction to which people from all over Europe were drawn.
Due to this slightly unexpected flow of touristis, places to stay overnight were required. a group of wealthy men from Skien, led by hans Larsen, wanted to build a large new and exclusive hotel in Dalen. In July 1894 Hotel Dalen was ready to welcome its first guests. the possibility of going by boat directly from Dalen to Skien or vice versa, was absolutely unique. From Skien steamships would take yout to the European continent, to England, France or Germany. Was established a routo from Oslo to Dalen.
As time went by the road system in Telemark was considerably imporved. This in turn led to an increase in road traffic, thereby leaving the traffic along the canal behind. This naturally had its impact on the running of Hotel Dalen as well. The hotel was restored in 1992 after nearly 30years in a state of dormancy. When you enter you can ses the great entrance hall Here, 10 metres below the magnificent stained-glass painting, social life could at times be rather lively during the many ball nights. The wallpaper is 100 years old. You can also see the open fireplace and the lounges for the ladies and the gentlemen.
The Telemark Channel is a wonderful channel built in 1892 to connect Skien to Dalen and the European continent. You are able to enjoy this unique inland voyage, rich in pratically everything. The old and venerable canal boat Victoria takes you from the coastal town of Skien through the spectacular Norwegian landscape, displaying an unforgettable scenery, as it leisurely makes its way along the regular route upstream, straight into the heart of Norway.