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Høyanger kommune
View of the Høyanger valley from the mountain Havren
View of the Høyanger valley from the mountain Havren
Official logo of Høyanger kommune
Sogn og Fjordane within
Høyanger within Sogn og Fjordane
Høyanger within Sogn og Fjordane
Coordinates: 61°11′17″N 05°53′44″E / 61.18806°N 5.89556°E / 61.18806; 5.89556
CountySogn og Fjordane
Administrative centreHøyanger
 • Mayor (2011)Petter Sortland (Ap)
 • Total907.65 km2 (350.45 sq mi)
 • Land836.80 km2 (323.09 sq mi)
 • Water70.85 km2 (27.36 sq mi)
Area rank122 in Norway
 • Total4,190
 • Rank226 in Norway
 • Density5.0/km2 (13/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1416
Official language formNynorsk

About this soundHøyanger  is a municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Sogn. The administrative center is the village of Høyanger. Other villages in Høyanger municipality include Austreim, Bjordal, Kyrkjebø, Lavik, Ortnevik, and Vadheim.

Høyanger is known for having one of the first industrial towns in Norway to use its steep mountains surrounding the town giving excellent conditions for producing hydroelectricity needed for electrolysis. The main product being produced in the village of Høyanger was aluminium.

The 908-square-kilometre (351 sq mi) municipality is the 122nd largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Høyanger is the 226th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 4,190. The municipality's population density is 5 inhabitants per square kilometre (13/sq mi) and its population has decreased by 5.2% over the last decade.[2]

General information

View of Bjordal Church
View of Høyanger Church

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. The municipality of Høyanger was created on 1 January 1964 when the municipalities of Kyrkjebø and Lavik were merged.

Ladvig (later spelled Lavik) was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The municipality was created to be identical to the Ladvig parish (prestegjeld). In 1858, the eastern district of Klævold (population: 1,645) was separated from Ladvig to constitute a municipality of its own. This left Ladvig with a population of 2,042. (The name Klævold was changed to Kirkebø on 1 July 1890, and then later changed to Kyrkjebø in 1917).

In 1861, Lavik (population: 926) was merged with Brekke municipality (population: 898), located across the Sognefjorden, to form the new municipality of Lavik og Brekke. In 1862 the sub-parish (sokn) of Bø in the western part of the municipality was removed from Lavik og Brekke and merged with the Øn and Hyllestad sub-parishes (sokn) from Askvoll Municipality to form a new municipality which was named Hyllestad. On 1 January 1875, a part of Klævold with 90 inhabitants was moved to Lavik og Brekke.

On 1 January 1905, the municipality was split into two separate municipalities (again): Lavik (population: 1,182) and Brekke (population: 982). Then on 1 January 1964, a new municipality named Høyanger was created. It consisted of the former municipalities of Lavik (population: 894) and Kyrkjebø (population: 4,742) along with the Nybø and Nygjerdet farms in Vik.[3]


The name originally belonged to an arm of Sognefjorden (now called the Høyangsfjorden). The first element is høy which means "hay" and the last element is angr which means "fjord". The word høy is probably referring to the green hillsides along the fjord.[4]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times—they were granted on 15 May 1987. The arms shows three silver flames on a blue background. The flames were chosen as a symbol for the local aluminium industry. Aluminium is melted and purified in the village of Høyanger, due to the cheap hydroelectric energy that is locally available. The colors represent waterpower (blue) and aluminium (silver).[5]


The Church of Norway has four parishes(sokn) within the municipality of Høyanger. It is part of the Sunnfjord deanery in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.

Churches in Høyanger
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Bjordal og Ortnevik Bjordal Church Bjordal 1906
Ortnevik Church Ortnevik 1925
Høyanger Høyanger Church Høyanger 1960
Kyrkjebø Kyrkjebø Church Kyrkjebø 1869
Vadheim Chapel Vadheim 1916
Lavik Lavik Church Lavik 1865


View of the village of Høyanger
Construction of the Ikjefjord bridge

All municipalities in Norway, including Høyanger, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.

Municipal council

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Høyanger is made up of 21 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[6]

Høyanger Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet11
 Conservative PartyHøgre2
 Christian Democratic PartyKristelig Folkeparti1
 Red PartyRaudt2
 Centre PartySenterpartiet5
Total number of members:21


The mayor (ordførar) of a municipality in Norway is a representative of the majority party of the municipal council who is elected to lead the council. The mayor since 2011 has been Petter Sortland of the Labour Party.


View of Ortnevik
View of the Fuglsetfjorden
View from Ortnevik, looking at the fjord

Høyanger forms part of the southern border of Sogn og Fjordane county. The Sognefjorden (the largest fjord in Norway) runs through the center of the municipality. Høyanger is bordered to the north by the municipalities of Fjaler and Gaular, to the east by Balestrand and Vik, to the south by Modalen and Masfjorden (in Hordaland county), and to the west by Gulen and Hyllestad.

Høyanger municipality covers an area of about 910 square kilometres (350 sq mi). Stølsheimen Nature Reserve was created in 1990 in Høyanger. Its 367 square kilometres (142 sq mi) area stretches from high mountaintops through fertile valleys and sweeps over steep meadows down to the fjord. Høyanger is perhaps best known for its mountain farms and lakes. From the village of Ortnevik there are marked footpaths up to Stølsheimen Park and from the village of Bjordal you may drive up the Stordal road to the summit at 730 metres (2,400 ft) above sea level.


Høyanger is a modern industrial community which has grown in pace with the principal employers being Hydro Aluminium and Høyanger Metallverk. Hydroelectricity has played a major role in the development of the area. In addition to manufacturing aluminium, Høyanger supports a varied range of light industry that is backed by retail and service trades. In the rural areas bordering the fjord, farming is the main source of livelihood.[7] There are currently 115 traditional farms gårds in the municipality. Each traditional farms originally had one owner, but most of them have been divided up and sold off over the years, and so there are more than 115 farms in use today.


There are good connections with Oslo and Bergen by bus, as well as air and fast boat services. The nearest airport is in Førde, about 50 kilometres (31 mi) away. The village of Lavik is an important junction for traffic to and from Bergen as it is a ferry port that is part of the European route E39 highway. Høyanger is reached from the neighboring municipality of Balestrand to the east by the Høyangertunnelen which is 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) in length. It is part of the Norwegian County Road 55. It is one of the longest tunnels in Europe. Good ferry services across the Sognefjorden link the northern and southern sides of the municipality.[7]


In 1986, in Høyanger, Norsk Hydro Aluminium/Høyanger Metallverk opened a museum designed to show what water power has meant both locally and to Norway as a whole. Visitors will get to learn about how the aluminium industry has grown and prospered in the area thanks to the vast energy produced by water.

Near Vadheim is an 18th-century stone bridge called the Ytredal Bridge. It is a popular tourist attraction.

There is also a 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) narrow gauge funicular railway in the area, first opened in 1953.[8]


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2017). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-10-22.
  3. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
  4. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1919). Norske gaardnavne: Nordre Bergenhus amt (in Norwegian) (12 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 180.
  5. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
  6. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.
  7. ^ a b Høyanger Kommune (2008). "Høyanger is a modern industrial community". Retrieved 11 June 2008.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ - Høyanger

External links