Fitjar within Hordaland
|• Mayor (2011)||Wenche Tislevoll (H)|
|• Total||143 km2 (55 sq mi)|
|• Land||135 km2 (52 sq mi)|
|Area rank||361 in Norway|
|• Rank||276 in Norway|
|• Density||22/km2 (60/sq mi)|
|• Change (10 years)||-0.2 %|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-1222|
|Official language form||Nynorsk|
|Source: Statistics Norway.|
Fitjar (Norwegian pronunciation: [fitːjar] ( )) is a municipality in the county of Hordaland, Norway. The municipality covers the northern part of the island of Stord and surrounding islands, while the municipality of Stord covers the southern part of the island.
King Haakon I of Norway (Haakon the Good) maintained his residence at Fitjar. The Battle of Fitjar (Slaget ved Fitjar på Stord) took place in Fitjar at Stord during 961 between the forces of King Haakon I and the sons of his half-brother, Eric Bloodaxe. Traditionally, important shipping routes have passed through the area, and the municipality contains several trading posts dating as far back as 1648. Fitjar was separated from Stord in 1860. There have been discussions about a possible reunion of the two municipalities, but no decision has been made.
The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old farm Fitjar, since the first church was built there. The name is the plural form of fit which means "vigorous meadow". Before 1900 the name was written "Fitje".
The coat-of-arms were granted in the late 1940s. The arms show a Viking helmet. The helmet and the color are derived from the belief that King Håkon the Good wore a golden helmet at the Battle of Fitjar in 961.
Fitjar Church was built during 1867 over the site of the old stone church that had been demolished. Stone blocks taken from the old stone church were used as foundations for the present day church as well as for the walling enclosing the Churchyard. Opposite Fitjar Church is Haakon’s Park (Håkonarparken), the location of a sculpture of Haakon the Good sculpted by Anne Grimdalen. The statue was erected during 1961 at the one thousand year commemoration of the Battle of Fitjar.