Bø, Telemark

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For other places with the same name, see Bø (disambiguation).
Bø kommune
Coat of arms of Bø kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Bø kommune
Telemark within
Bø within Telemark
Bø within Telemark
Coordinates: 59°27′26″N 9°1′53″E / 59.45722°N 9.03139°E / 59.45722; 9.03139Coordinates: 59°27′26″N 9°1′53″E / 59.45722°N 9.03139°E / 59.45722; 9.03139
Country Norway
County Telemark
District Midt-Telemark
Administrative centre Bø i Telemark
 • Mayor (2003) Arne Storhaug (Ap)
 • Total 263 km2 (102 sq mi)
 • Land 258 km2 (100 sq mi)
Area rank 292 in Norway
Population (1.1.2010)
 • Total 5,595
 • Rank 188 in Norway
 • Density 20/km2 (50/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 8.5 %
Demonym Bøhering[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-0821
Official language form Nynorsk
Website www.bo.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

is a municipality in Telemark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Midt-Telemark. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Bø i Telemark ("Bø in Telemark"). Bø has been a parish since ancient times and became a municipality (formannskapsdistrikt) in 1838. The area of Lunde was separated from Bø in 1867 to become a separate municipality.

Bø's economy is mainly based on agriculture, forestry, tourism, education and public administration, and Bø is home to the main campus of Telemark University College. Bø is well known for its cultural traditions within traditional music and artisanship, and its central position within Norwegian national romanticism with e.g. its Bunad traditions. Bø has several times been called "the most beautiful place on earth" in modern literature, e.g. in Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson's story, En glad Gut ("A Happy Boy").

General information[edit]


The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old farm (Old Norse: Bœr), since the first church was built here. The name is identical with the word bœr which means "homestead" or "farm".[2]

Farm in Bø
Farms in Bø
A typical farm house in Børte


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were adopted on 19 February 1988. The arms show three gold-colored fiddles on a red background. Bø is historically known for its musical tradition, as well as the production of fiddles (similar to the hardingfele). The fiddle was thus chosen as an appropriate symbol for the municipality.[3][4]

See also: Coat-of-arms of Granvin


In 1923 the county of Telemark decided to start a secondary school in Bø, the equivalent of today's middle school or "ungdomsskole", called Telemark Realskole. At this time secondary schools mostly existed in the larger towns and cities, and most youngsters ended their schooling after 7 years. It was the county's intention to expand this school to a high school as soon as practically possible. This happened in 1947, and the school's name was Telemark Offentlige Landsgymnas. The existence of this school made it possible to establish Telemark College (Distriktshøgskulen i Telemark), which evolved into Telemark University College.


Bø is famous for its waterpark Sommarland (the largest of its kind in Norway). Another popular sight in Bø is the Gygrestol rock formation. There is also Kroa i Bø, one of the oldest and most respected music scenes in Norway. The club won the award for "Concert promoter of the Year 2005" and is based on voluntary work from students of the Telemark University College.

Notable residents[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

The following cities are twinned with Bø:[5]


  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. 
  2. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1914). Norske gaardnavne: Bratsbergs amt (DOKUMENTASJONSPROSJEKTET) (in Norwegian) (7 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 197. 
  3. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  4. ^ "Kommunevåpen og ordførarkjede" (in Norwegian). Bø kommune. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  5. ^ "Vennskapskommunar" (in Norwegian). Bø kommune. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 

External links[edit]