Leikanger within Sogn og Fjordane
|County||Sogn og Fjordane|
|• Mayor (2003)||Olav Lunden (Ap)|
|• Total||180.04 km2 (69.51 sq mi)|
|• Land||177.38 km2 (68.49 sq mi)|
|• Water||2.66 km2 (1.03 sq mi)|
|Area rank||344 in Norway|
|• Rank||315 in Norway|
|• Density||12.7/km2 (33/sq mi)|
|• Change (10 years)||2.7 %|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-1419|
|Official language form||Nynorsk|
Leikanger (help·info) is a municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It is located on the northern shore of the Sognefjorden in the traditional district of Sogn. The administrative center is the village of Hermansverk, which is also the administrative center of Sogn og Fjordane county.
The Leikanger/Hermansverk urban area has 2,035 inhabitants (2012), about 90% of the municipal population. This urban area is often called Systrond, which is why a person from Leikanger is often called Systrending.
Leikanger was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The original municipality was identical to the old Leikanger parish (prestegjeld) with the six sub-parishes (sokn) of Leikanger, Fresvik, Rinde, Vangsnes, Tjugum, and Mundal. In 1849, the sub-parishes of Vangsnes, Tjugum, and Mundal were transferred into the newly created Balestrand parish (prestegjeld). The new parish was separated from Leikanger municipality in 1850 to form the new Balestrand municipality. This split left Leikanger with 2,368 residents. Leikanger is the home of numerous celebrities within politics and arts. Inger Lene Nyttingnes, former beauty queen now turned activist and archivist, grew up in Leikanger.
On 1 January 1964, the Hella-Eitorn area (population: 31) was transferred from Balestrand back to Leikanger. Also, the Tingstad area (population: 5) was transferred to neighboring Sogndal municipality. These changes left Leikanger with 2,680 residents. On 1 January 1992, the sub-parishes of Leikanger lying south of the Sognefjorden, including Feios and Fresvik (total population: 572) were transferred to the municipality of Vik. This move left Leikanger with only one sub-parish: Leikanger.
The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old farm Leikanger (Old Norse: Leikvangir), since the first Leikanger Church was built there. The first element is leikr which means "sports" or "athletics" and the last element is the plural form of vangr which means "meadow". Prior to 1889, the name was written Lekanger.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms were granted on 5 September 1963. The arms are green with a yellow-colored apple tree branch with two apples and three leaves attached. The apple tree branch is a symbol for the many orchards in the municipality and thus for the local economy. The three leaves symbolised the three parishes that used to make up the municipality (before two of them were transferred to Vik in 1992).
|Parish (Sokn)||Church Name||Location of the Church||Year Built|
All municipalities in Norway, including Leikanger, 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.
|Party Name||Name in Norwegian||Number of
|Socialist Left Party||Sosialistisk Venstreparti||2|
|Total number of members:||17|
The mayor (ordførar) of a municipality in Norway is a representative of the municipal council who is elected either by the majority of the council or via direct elections. Olav Lunden of the Labour Party was re-elected mayor for the 2011-2015 term. He was first elected in 2003.
Leikanger is located on the north side of the Sognefjorden and to the east of the Fjærlandsfjorden. It is bordered on the north and east by the municipality of Sogndal, on the west by Balestrand, and on the south (across the Sognefjorden) by Vik.
Buildings and structures
East of Leikanger, there are the Sognefjord Spans, three powerline spans with length over 4 kilometres (2.5 mi), which are currently the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th longest spans in the world. In 1955, the first Sognefjord Span was built near Leikanger. It was the longest span in the world from 1955 until 1997.
Sister cities/Twin towns
Leikanger has sister city agreements with the following places:
- "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
- Statistisk sentralbyrå (1 January 2012). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality.".
- Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
- Natvik, Oddvar (9 February 2005). "Some historical data on the 26 Kommunes". Retrieved 23 June 2008.
- Rygh, Oluf (1919). Norske gaardnavne: Nordre Bergenhus amt (in Norwegian) (12 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 124.
- "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- "Members of the local councils, by party/electoral lists and municipality" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
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