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This article is about the municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. For the village of Kvalsund, see Kvalsund (village).
Kvalsund kommune
Fálesnuori gielda
Valasnuoran komuuni
Norwegian Fiord 2.jpg
Coat of arms of Kvalsund kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Kvalsund kommune
Finnmark within
Kvalsund within Finnmark
Kvalsund within Finnmark
Coordinates: 70°29′56.3″N 23°58′26.2″E / 70.498972°N 23.973944°E / 70.498972; 23.973944Coordinates: 70°29′56.3″N 23°58′26.2″E / 70.498972°N 23.973944°E / 70.498972; 23.973944
Country Norway
County Finnmark
District Vest-Finnmark
Administrative centre Kvalsund
 • Mayor (2011) Ragnar Olsen (Ap)
 • Total 1,844.09 km2 (712.01 sq mi)
 • Land 1,739.28 km2 (671.54 sq mi)
 • Water 104.81 km2 (40.47 sq mi)
Area rank 37 in Norway
Population (2014)
 • Total 1,051 (Increasefrom last year)
 • Rank 397 in Norway
 • Density 0.57/km2 (1.5/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) -3.8 %
Demonym Kvalsundværing[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-2017
Official language form Bokmål
Website www.kvalsund.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Kvalsund (Northern Sami: Fálesnuorri and Kven: Valasnuora) is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Kvalsund.

The Kvalsund Bridge (Kvalsundbrua) is a suspension bridge that crosses the Kvalsundet strait from the mainland to the island of Kvaløya.

Since 2011, the mayor of Kvalsund is Ragnar Olsen, who represents the Labour Party.

General information[edit]

Map of Kvalsund

The municipality of Kvalsund was established on 1 July 1869 when it was separated from the Hammerfest landdistrikt (the rural municipality surrounding the city of Hammerfest). Initially, Kvalsund had 514 residents. On 1 January 1963, a small area in southern Måsøy (population: 34) was transferred to Kvalsund.[2]


The Old Norse form of the name was Hvalsund. The first element is hvalr which means "whale" and the last element is sund which means "strait" or "sound". The Sámi name also translates to Whale (fáles) Strait (nuorri).[3]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 27 March 1987. The arms show three silver-colored salmon arranged in a pall on a blue background. The salmon represents fishing in various forms: as a traditional way of living and source of income, as modern fish farming, and as a recreational activity.[4][5]

See also: Coats-of-arms for Grane, Mandal, and Nordreisa


The Church of Norway has two parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Kvalsund. It is part of the Hammerfest deanery in the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland.

Churches in Kvalsund
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Kvalsund Kvalsund Church Kvalsund 1936
Sennalandet Chapel Áisaroaivi 1961
Kokelv Kokelv Church Kokelv 1960


View of the Kvalsund Bridge

The municipality is mostly located on the mainland, but parts of the municipality are also located on the islands of Kvaløya and Seiland. The Seilandsjøkelen glacier is partially located in Kvalsund. Lakes in the municipality include Bjørnstadvatnet and Doggejávri.


The main village is also called Kvalsund, but was earlier called Finnbyen - a name meaning simply "Coast Sámi settlement". The Sámi name is Ráhkkerávju, which is untranslatable. Other villages in the municipality include Skáidi ("rivers' meeting-place" in Sámi), Stállugárgu ("troll beach", commonly written Stallogargo in Norwegian), Næverfjord old writing and pronounced (dialect), written form today Neverfjord (bokmål) - the Sámi name of which is Návvuotna - and Kokelv (Sámi: Guoikejohka). Regarding the latter toponyms, the Næverfjord translates to "tinder fjord" and Návvuotna to "cowshed fjord"; while Kokelv is "boiling river" in Norwegian and Guiokejohka means "rushing river" in Sámi.


The municipality of Kvalsund has several localities that have a rich and varied bird fauna. One of these is Repparfjordbotn with its large colony of Arctic Terns and its autumn numbers of Goosander.


Nicolas Nielsen and Kristin Mikkelsdatter photographed in Kvalsund by ethnographer Roland Bonaparte in 1884

Aboriginal culture[edit]

Until a few hundred years ago, Coast Sámi culture was completely dominant in Kvalsund. Norwegian and Kven immigration soon made the area multicultural. During Norwegianization much of the traditional culture was lost. Kokelv is the village that has most successfully preserved elements of Sámi culture, and today has a Coast Sámi museum. The gakti of the Kvalsund region is easily recognizable by dots and jags on the collars (for men) and sleeves (for women).


The municipality hosts an annual rock festival known as Fægstock, which takes place in Fægfjord (Sámi: Veaigesvuotna, "twilight fiord").


  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. 
  2. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 
  3. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1924). Norske gaardnavne: Finmarkens amt (in Norwegian) (18 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 138. 
  4. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  5. ^ "Kommunevåpen". Flags of the World. 28 June 2002. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Kvalsund at Wikimedia Commons