Gjesdal within Rogaland
|• Mayor (2007)||Olaug V. Bollestad (KrF)|
|• Total||618 km2 (239 sq mi)|
|• Land||558 km2 (215 sq mi)|
|Area rank||179 in Norway|
|• Rank||110 in Norway|
|• Density||17/km2 (40/sq mi)|
|• Change (10 years)||15.6 %|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-1122|
|Official language form||Neutral|
Gjæsdal was established as a municipality in 1838, and in 1965 it was merged with parts of Bjerkreim, Forsand, and Høle.
The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Gjesdal farm (Old Norse: Gesdalir), since the first church was built there. The first element is probably an old river name and the last element is the plural form of dalr which means "valley" or "dale".
Before 1889, the name was written Gjæsdal, which is the Danish spelling. During the period from 1889-1917 it was spelled Gjesdal (Norwegian language version). Then from 1918 it was spelled Gjestal after the pronunciation of the dialect (the d in dal is pronounced t because of the voiceless consonant s in front). In 1964, the spelling was changed back to the etymologically correct form of Gjesdal.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 15 March 1985. The arms show a sheep's head as a symbol for the sheep breeding and the oldest industry in the village, the textile industry. Both were of great importance in historical times in the municipality.
The parish of Gjæsdal was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). According to the 1835 census the municipality had a population of 862.
On 1 January 1965, Gjestal (pop: 3,353) was merged with Frafjord, Dirdal, Byrkjedal, Øvre Maudal and Østabødal districts of Forsand (pop: 621), Nedre Maudal of Bjerkreim (pop: 40) and Oltesvik of Høle (pop: 37), greatly increasing the area of the municipality.
- Finn E. Kydland, winner of Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 2004
- Footballer Dagny Mellgren come from Ålgård in Gjesdal.
- "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
- Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 8 October 2008.
- Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF). Statistisk sentralbyrå. (Norwegian)
- Registreringssentral for historiske data. "Hjemmehørende folkemengde Rogaland 1801-1960". University of Tromsø. (Norwegian)
- Media related to Gjesdal at Wikimedia Commons
- The dictionary definition of Gjesdal at Wiktionary
- Municipal fact sheet from Statistics Norway
- Rogaland travel guide from Wikivoyage