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Bømlo may also refer to the island Bømlo
Bømlo kommune
Foyno small
Foyno small
Coat of arms of Bømlo kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Bømlo kommune
Hordaland within
Bømlo within Hordaland
Bømlo within Hordaland
Coordinates: 59°46′46″N 5°13′6″E / 59.77944°N 5.21833°E / 59.77944; 5.21833Coordinates: 59°46′46″N 5°13′6″E / 59.77944°N 5.21833°E / 59.77944; 5.21833
Country Norway
County Hordaland
District Sunnhordland
Administrative centre Svortland
 • Mayor (2011) Odd Harald Hovland (AP) (Ap)
 • Total 246 km2 (95 sq mi)
 • Land 235 km2 (91 sq mi)
Area rank 307 in Norway
Population (2009)
 • Total 11,189
 • Density 46/km2 (120/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 5.7 %
Demonym Bømling[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1219
Official language form Nynorsk
Website www.bomlo.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1951 7,745 —    
1961 8,104 +4.6%
1971 8,276 +2.1%
1981 9,258 +11.9%
1991 9,727 +5.1%
2001 10,839 +11.4%
2011 11,421 +5.4%
Source: Statistics Norway.
Oil rigs, North Sea oil, Scotland, UK
A 1720 map showing "Fundas or Bomel I."

Bømlo /ˈbʌmˌl/ is a municipality on the island Bømlo in Sunnhordland, in the southern part of the county of Hordaland, Norway. It is also the name of the main island of this archipelago, consisting of about 900 islets, located west of Stord. It is connected to Stord by bridges, which has made entrance to and departure from the island easier and more effective. Bømlo was actively involved in the Shetland bus operation during the Second World War. A 23 year old male from Bømlo, Nils Nesse, was the first of the Shetland Bus men to be killed.

The old municipality of Finnås was divided into Bømlo, Bremnes, and Moster on 1 July 1916. The two latter municipalities were merged back into Bømlo on 1 January 1963.

General information[edit]


The municipality is named after the main island of Bømlo (Norse Bymbil), possibly derived from bembel, meaning navel or stomach. In this context, it is believed that it refers to something thick or swollen, similar to the mountain formation of Siggjo (for other possible interpretations, see Bamble). Until 1918 the name was written Bømmel.

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms was granted on 29 February 1980. Its colors include red and light grey, and illustrates the leaf of a water lily interlaced with a trefoil. The trefoil symbolizes the three former municipalities Bremnes, Moster, and Bømlo, which were united in 1963. The water lily leaf, however, was simply chosen as a decorative element without any further significance.[2]


Bømlo is commonly distinguished in respect to residential ares. These areas include Svortland (previously Bremnes), Søra-Bømlo (South-Bømlo), Rubbestadneset, Moster, Finnås, Gilje, Goddo, and Hiskjo. Svortland is the administrative centre with stores, a cultural centre, schools and official buildings, and is located a bit north on the island. Moster is on the other hand more to the east with a high percentage of Christians devoted to at least three different christian denominations.


Siggjo (474 m.a.s.l.) is the highest mountain on Bømlo. The rocks on Siggjo contains large amounts of the igneous rock rhyolite, which was used in the Stone Age to create armament and tools. They have found rhyolite from Siggjo as far north as Trøndelag.[3] Siggjo is a popular attraction among locals and tourists.


Lykling has become a popular tourist attraction, mainly due to its history of extensive gold mining in Lyklingeberga. The discovery of gold in 1862 by a young shepherd, led to several constructions being built in the area. These were built by three major companies, mainly financed and run by English businessmen. In addition to the mining constructions, there was also built two hotels, one hotelship, several bakeries, and a number of retail stores. Mining activity started in 1882 and ended in 1910, lasting more than 25 years.


Bømlo is regionally known for several musical theatres and other theatrical productions performed in Moster Amfi. The most famous performance, Mostraspelet, surrounds the topics of how Christianity arrived to Norway via Bømlo, late during the first millennium.

In 1975, Espevær became known for its conspirative 'UFO-Ring', a physical imprint to the ground supposedly made from a stationed UFO, which is still visible as of 2012.[4][5]


Many local youths are active in some form of sport or activity, either as a hobby, as part of education, or sometimes even with the specific goal of becoming a professional.

Association football is one of the most popular sports played by the male population on the island. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of female footballers as well. Children often start playing football at an early age, and many play active for several years. As their skills develop, they are systematically graded up (or down) in divisions, a type of ranking system. Notable soccer players, such as Arne Larsen Økland, Geirmund Brendesæter and Gunnar Meling, started their careers in Bremnes IL, one of the local sports clubs. Former top player and current coach for SK Brann, Mons Ivar Mjelde, had a brief stay at Moster IL.

Other popular sports and activities include team handball, motocross, athletics, shooting sports, social dance, floorball, baton twirling, rhythmic gymnastics, swimming, and martial arts.


There are several schools in the area. They are all named according to their geographical locations, and include Svortland, Gilje, Meling, Folderøy, Våge, Håvik and Espevær, which comprises students from 1st through 7th grade. Rubbestadneset, Moster and Hillestveit have students from 1st through 10th grade. Bremnes Ungdomsskule, often abbreviated BUS, is located in the administrative centre, and gathers most students from 8th through 10th grade. There are two upper secondary schools, Bømlo Vidaregåande skule and Rubbestadnes Vidaregåande Skule (formerly Rubbestadnes Yrkesskule).

There is also a Folk High School, Olavskulen Folkehøgskule, which is located on Finnås.

Industry and economy[edit]

Chain ferry at Espevær

Wärtsilä, Eidesvik Offshore, Brandasund fiskeforedling and Bremnes Seashore are notable industries, all of which are active in industries somehow related to the ocean. This, as well as tourism and agriculture, constitutes the main industries of Bømlo.

The economy of Bømlo is largely sustained by Eidesvik Offshore, Wärtsilä, fishing industry, tourism and general offshore related work.


An extensive tunnel and bridge system, the Triangle Link, connected Bømlo to the mainland and neighboring island Stord on 30 April 2001. It was officially opened on the latter date by king Harald V of Norway.


External links[edit]