Town of Otta
Sel within Oppland
|• Mayor (2003)||Dag Erik Pryhn (Ap)|
|• Total||905 km2 (349 sq mi)|
|• Land||888 km2 (343 sq mi)|
|Area rank||124 in Norway|
|• Rank||164 in Norway|
|• Density||7/km2 (20/sq mi)|
|• Change (10 years)||-4.4%|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-0517|
|Official language form||Neutral|
The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Sel farm (Old Norse: Sil), since the first church was built there. The name is identical with the word sil which means "slowly running and quiet part of a river" (here meaning the Gudbrandsdalslågen).
The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 18 May 1985. The arms show a gold-colored girl playing a trumpet on a blue background. The image is based on the local Prillar-Guri legend. In 1612, a Scottish army marched through the area on its way to Sweden. They were stopped by the local farmers at the Battle of Kringen. The legend tells that the farmers were warned for the Scots by a local girl with a trumpet.
Sel is bordered on the north by Dovre and Vågå municipalities, and on the south by Nord-Fron municipality. To the northeast it is bordered by Folldal municipality in Hedmark county. Large parts of the very first national park in Norway, Rondane National Park is situated in the municipality of Sel and has its main entrances from the mountain villages of Høvringen and Mysuseter.
Although it has a small population, Sel is one of the more scenic and historically significant areas of the Gudbrand Valley. A large concentration of Norway’s heritage-listed farms is located in Heidal in Sel municipality (Heidal became part of Sel municipality in 1965).
Otta, named after the Otta River, is the population center. Otta lies at the point where the Otta River joins the Gudbrandsdalslågen from the west. The Otta River leads up to the historically important Vågå and Lom regions and the passes to the west over Jotunheimen.
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