View of the town
|• Total||11.15 km2 (4.31 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|• Density||1,879/km2 (4,870/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Former Municipality:||Harstad ladested|
|Created from||Trondenes in 1904|
|Merged into||Harstad in 1964|
Harstad (Northern Sami: Háštá) is a town in Harstad Municipality in Troms county, Norway. The town is also the administrative centre of the municipality of Harstad. The 11.15-square-kilometre (2,760-acre) town has a population (2017) of 20,953 which gives the town a population density of 1,879 inhabitants per square kilometre (4,870/sq mi). It is the second-largest town in Troms county, after the city of Tromsø, and it is the largest town in Central Hålogaland.
The town is located on the northeastern part of the large island of Hinnøya, along the Vågsfjorden. The town is made up of several areas including Gangsås, Grønnebakkan, Kanebogen, Medkila, Sama, Seljestad, and Stangnes. There are two churches of the Church of Norway in the town: Harstad Church and Kanebogen Church. The historic Trondenes Church lies just north of the town.
On 1 January 1904, the village of Harstad was granted town privileges as a ladested. On the same date, the new town was separated from the municipality of Trondenes to become a municipality of its own. Initially, the town of Harstad had 1,246 residents. The town of Harstad existed as its own municipality between 1 January 1904 until 31 December 1963.
During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, the town of Harstad (population: 3,808) was merged with Trondenes municipality (population: 6,567) to the north and Sandtorg municipality (population: 7,512) to the south, forming a new, much larger Harstad Municipality.