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Kvinesdal kommune
Coat of arms of Kvinesdal kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Kvinesdal kommune
Vest-Agder within
Kvinesdal within Vest-Agder
Kvinesdal within Vest-Agder
Coordinates: 58°20′17″N 7°1′23″E / 58.33806°N 7.02306°E / 58.33806; 7.02306Coordinates: 58°20′17″N 7°1′23″E / 58.33806°N 7.02306°E / 58.33806; 7.02306
Country Norway
County Vest-Agder
District Sørlandet
Administrative centre Liknes
 • Mayor (2013) Svein Arne Jerstad (Ap)
 • Total 962.84 km2 (371.75 sq mi)
 • Land 886 km2 (342 sq mi)
Area rank 110 in Norway
Population (2013)
 • Total 5,883
 • Rank 177 in Norway
 • Density 6/km2 (20/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) -3.1 %
Demonym Kvindøl[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1037
Official language form Neutral
Website www.kvinesdal.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Kvinesdal is a municipality in the county of Vest-Agder, Norway.

Kvinesdal was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). Feda was separated from Kvinesdal on 1 January 1900 but again merged with Kvinesdal on 1 January 1963. Fjotland was also merged with Kvinesdal on that date. (Fjotland was in addition a part of Kvinesdal in the period 1841-1858.)

Kvinesdal is an elongated mountain-to-coast municipality, reaching saltwater at the head of the Fedafjord, which provides access to the North Sea in the south. Further north, the landscape is cut by narrow valleys with scattered small villages. There are also abandoned mines at Knaben, a popular ski resort. Because Kvinesdal resembles the geography of the nation as a whole, it is often referred to as "Little Norway".[2]

Kvinesdal belongs to a central area in the Norwegian south from which many people emigrated to North America, particularly the United States, from the 1850s until the 1950s. It is noted for being an "American village" (Norwegian: Amerika-bygd) because of the high number of American residents. These are typically either Norwegians who moved to the States, obtained US Citizenship and later moved back to Norway, or are descendants of Norwegians who have never acquired Norwegian citizenship.

General information[edit]


The Old Norse form of the name was Hvínisdalr. The first element is the genitive case of the fjord name Hvínir (now Fedafjorden) and the last element is dalr which means "valley" or "dale". The name of the fjord is derived from the river name Hvín (now Kvina), and that name is derived from the verb hvína which means "squeal". During the period from 1900–1917, the municipality was named Liknes.


The "Confederate Flag" is from modern times. They were granted on 15 March 1985. The figure symbolizes the meeting of the two rivers Kvina and Litleåna.[3]


To the west, Kvinesdal is bordered by Flekkefjord and Sirdal municipalities. To the east, it is bordered by Åseral and Hægebostad. To the south, it is bordered by Lyngdal, and it is bordered by Farsund in the east and south. A small segment of the northern boundary borders Bygland municipality in Aust-Agder county.

The river Kvina is known for its salmon, and salmon fishing is a popular activity.

Two valleys meet in Kvinesdal's center: Vesterdalen (the Western Valley) through which flows the river Kvina and Austerdalen (the Eastern Valley) through which flows the river Litleåna to join the Kvina.


About 10% of the inhabitants of Kvinesdal are American citizens, and Kvinesdal does enjoy a special relationship with the United States. Every year the municipality hosts a special festival remembering the days when local people emigrated to the new world.


Kvinesdal was home of many prominent characters in the Saga Period. Among them were the Skald Tjodolv the Frode. Frode means one with great knowledge of the history of ancestors. He composed a historic poem for his king Harold Fairhair. His work was later combined into the Heimskringla when it was recorded by Snorri Sturluson.

In northern Kvinesdal, along the high plateau (at 550 m above sea level) records show that the Salmeli Farm dates back at least to the year 1300. During the Black Death years of 1350 the farm became deserted, but was back as a working farm again by 1647. It is now a historic site.

The bailiff Stig Bagge, who was granted local leadership from 1536-42 by Christian III of Denmark, was an energetic man when he lived at his ancestral home of Eikeland in Kvinesdal. According to the reports of Peder Claussøn Friis, he executed refractory peasants so willingly that the district thought it was to excess; he was the district's bogeyman for many years thereafter. When the bailiff in Nedenes was killed in his bed and rebels came in an unsuccessful attempt to capture and execute Stig, he collected his men and brutally stifled the revolt. Stig himself died by being drawn and quartered by the Dutch when he was caught in piracy or espionage off their coast at Walcheren.[4]


In addition to various small businesses and public services, Kvinesdal's economy is driven in part by hydroelectric power. The Sira-Kvina power company derives hydroelectric power from the Kvina river, in addition to various smaller dams. Eramet is an important local employer that provides work to about 200 persons in producing manganese-alloys.[5] There is also a small tourism industry, with golfing and fishing being the main draws.

Notable residents[edit]

Kvinesdal is known for Aril Edvardsen, a world-renowned Christian charismatic evangelist and the founder of Troens Bevis Verdens Evangelisering (English: Evidence of Faith World Evangelisation). The organization has its headquarters in Kvinesdal, called Sarons Dal (English: The Valley of Saron), with a giant mess hall, offices, music studio, TV-studio, a small congregation called Kirken i Dalen (English: The Church in the Valley), a theological seminary, camping sites and swimming pools.

One of Southern Norway’s greatest artists, Kristian Marcelius Førland (1891–1978), lived and painted in Kvinesdal. His home is now a museum.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. 
  2. ^ Welle-Strand, Erling (1996). Adventure Roads in Norway. Nortrabooks. ISBN 82-90103-71-9. 
  3. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  4. ^ Stagg, Frank Noel (1958). South Norway. George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. 
  5. ^ http://eramet.no/var-virksomhet/kvinesdal/

External links[edit]