Fitjar

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This article is about the municipality in Norway. For the village in this municipality, see Fitjar (village).
Fitjar kommune
Municipality
Fitjar.JPG
Coat of arms of Fitjar kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Fitjar kommune
Hordaland within
Norway
Fitjar within Hordaland
Fitjar within Hordaland
Coordinates: 59°55′08″N 05°22′17″E / 59.91889°N 5.37139°E / 59.91889; 5.37139Coordinates: 59°55′08″N 05°22′17″E / 59.91889°N 5.37139°E / 59.91889; 5.37139
Country Norway
County Hordaland
District Sunnhordland
Administrative centre Fitjar
Government
 • Mayor (2011) Wenche Tislevoll (H)
Area
 • Total 142.43 km2 (54.99 sq mi)
 • Land 134.45 km2 (51.91 sq mi)
 • Water 7.98 km2 (3.08 sq mi)
Area rank 359 in Norway
Population (2014)
 • Total 3,009
 • Rank 269 in Norway
 • Density 22.4/km2 (58/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 3.4 %
Demonym Fitjabu[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1222
Official language form Nynorsk
Website www.fitjar.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Fitjar (Norwegian pronunciation: [fitːjar]) is a municipality in Hordaland county, Norway. The municipality is located in the traditional district of Sunnhordland. Fitjar municipality includes the northern part of the island of Stord and the hundreds of surrounding islands, mostly to the northwest of the main island. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Fitjar.[2]

General information[edit]

View of Fitjar by night
Aerial view of the Fitjar islands

The parish of Fitje was established as a municipality on 1 January 1863 when it was separated from the large municipality of Stord. Initially, the population of Fitje was 2,313. On 1 January 1868, a small area in the municipality of Finnaas (population: 10) was transferred to Fitje. In 1900, the name was changed to Fitjar. The original municipality included all of the land surrounding the Selbjørnsfjorden. On 1 January 1964, the area of Fitjar located north of the Selbjørnsfjorden on the islands of Huftarøy and Selbjørn (population: 696) was transferred to the municipality of Austevoll. On 1 January 1995, the islands of Aga, Agasystra, Gisøya, Vikøya, Selsøy, Risøya, and many smaller surrounding islands (population: 225) were transferred from Fitjar to the neighboring island municipality of Bømlo. These islands had recently been connected to Bømlo by road bridges which precipitated the municipal transfer.[3]

Name[edit]

The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Fitjar farm, since the first Fitjar Church was built there. The name is the plural form of fit which means "vigorous meadow". Before 1900, the name was written "Fitje".[4]

Coat-of-arms[edit]

The coat-of-arms were granted in the late 1940s. The arms show a golden Viking helmet on a blue background. 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, which was fought in this municipality.[5]

Churches[edit]

The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Fitjar. It is part of the Sunnhordland deanery in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.

Churches in Fitjar
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Fitjar Fitjar Church Fitjar 1867

Government[edit]

All municipalities in Norway, including Fitjar, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.

Municipal council[edit]

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Fitjar is made up of 17 representatives that are elected to every four years. For 2011–2015, the party breakdown is as follows:[6]

Fitjar Kommunestyre 2011–2015
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
representatives
  Labour Party Arbeiderpartiet 3
  Progress Party Framstegspartiet 1
  Conservative Party Høgre 7
  Christian Democratic Party Kristelig Folkeparti 4
  Centre Party Senterpartiet 2
Total number of members: 17

History[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1951 3,092 —    
1960 3,172 +2.6%
1970 2,520 −20.6%
1980 2,888 +14.6%
1990 3,072 +6.4%
2000 2,992 −2.6%
2010 2,931 −2.0%
2014 3,009 +2.7%
Source: Statistics Norway.

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 on the island of Stord in the year 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 1863. There have been discussions about a possible reunion of the two municipalities, but no decision has been made.

Geography[edit]

The island municipality of Fitjar lies south of the Selbjørnsfjorden, west of the Langenuen strait, east of the island of Bømlo. The municipality includes over 350 islands, although most are uninhabited. The majority of the residents live on the island of Stord, the northern portion of which is in Fitjar. The southern portion of the island is part of the municipality of Stord. The island municipality of Austevoll lies to the north, across the fjord and the island municipality of Tysnes lies across the Langenuen strait to the east, and the island municipality of Bømlo lies to the west.[2]

Attractions[edit]

Fitjar Church and Håkonarparken

Fitjar Church was built during 1867 over the site of the old medieval 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.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. 
  2. ^ a b Store norske leksikon. "Fitjar" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  3. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 
  4. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1910). Norske gaardnavne: Søndre Bergenhus amt (in Norwegian) (11 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 156. 
  5. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  6. ^ "Members of the local councils, by party/electoral lists and municipality" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2011. 
  7. ^ "Carwalk Fitjar". VisitNorway.com. 

External links[edit]

  • Hordaland travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Media related to Fitjar at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of Fitjar at Wiktionary