Mountain pass in Stad
Throughout the ages, traffic up and down Norway's coastal waters has been heavy. In bad weather, boats might lie weather-bound to the north or south of Stad. If waiting time proved too long, they would be hauled over Stadlandet through the pass of Dragseidet. The peninsula is at its lowest there, while the highest point is called Kongshaugen. On this spot, in 997, Olav Tryggvason summoned all the landowning farmers from Sogn in the South to Romsdalen in the North to a moot. In Snorre's Tales of the Kings (about1120 AD) we read: "When the king came to the moot, he offered them Christendom,as he had done elsewhere, and because the king had a great army with him they were afraid and since the landowners said that it wasn't wise to fight against the king, it was decided that the people should become Christian."
Even before the Viking age, the island of Selje south of West Cape was an important staging post. Boats sought shelter here in stormy weather and over the years Selje grew to be the biggest port between Bergen and Trondheim. The story of St. Sunniva will always be associated with this beautiful little island. Just like Dragseidet, the ruined monastery from the 12th century holds a key place in Norwegian history. Our forefathers knew they could seek shelter at Stadhavet. The concept of a shipping tunnel through Stadlandet - a tunnel big enough for the biggest coastal steamers - remains very much alive.