Saltdal

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Saltdal kommune
Municipality
View of Saltdal
View of Saltdal
Coat of arms of Saltdal kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Saltdal kommune
Nordland within
Norway
Saltdal within Nordland
Saltdal within Nordland
Coordinates: 66°55′12″N 15°33′36″E / 66.92000°N 15.56000°E / 66.92000; 15.56000Coordinates: 66°55′12″N 15°33′36″E / 66.92000°N 15.56000°E / 66.92000; 15.56000
Country Norway
County Nordland
District Salten
Administrative centre Rognan
Government
 • Mayor (2011) Finn Obert Bentsen (Ap)
Area
 • Total 2,216.16 km2 (855.66 sq mi)
 • Land 2,085.86 km2 (805.36 sq mi)
 • Water 130.30 km2 (50.31 sq mi)
Area rank 23 in Norway
Population (2012)
 • Total 4,710
 • Rank 197 in Norway
 • Density 2.25/km2 (5.8/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) -3.1 %
Demonym Saltdaling[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1840
Official language form Bokmål
Website www.saltdal.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Saltdal (Northern Sami: Sálát) is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Salten. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Rognan. Other villages in Saltdal include Røkland and Lønsdal.

General information[edit]

Saltdal map

The municipality of Saltdal was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). In 1949, a small area of Skjerstad (population: 10) was transferred to Saltdal. Other than that one change, the borders have never changed.[2]

Name[edit]

The Old Norse form of the name must have been Salptardalr. The first element is the genitive case of the river name Salpt which means "strong steam", (now Saltdalselva, which runs through Saltdal) and the last element is dalr which means "valley" or "dale".[3]

Coat-of-arms[edit]

The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted in 1988. The arms show two gold-colored rowan twigs on a red background. It was chosen to represent nature and the prevalence of rowan forests in the municipality.[4]

Churches[edit]

The Church of Norway has two parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Saltdal. It is part of the Salten deanery in the Diocese of Sør-Hålogaland.

Churches in Saltdal
Parish
(Sokn)
Church Name Location
of the Church
Year Built
Saltdal Saltdal Church Rognan 1862
Øvre Saltdal Øvre Saltdal Church Røkland 1938

History[edit]

Memorial for the blood road

During World War II, the Germans decided to lengthen the Nordlandsbanen railway line from Lønsdal in Saltfjellet going northwards. Over a period of three years, the original plan was to first have both the road and the railroad all the way to Narvik and then on to Kirkenes, but they only managed to build the railroad to Bodø.

The Germans continued to lengthen the road to Kirkenes, and it came to be known as Blodvegen ("the Bloodroad") by locals. This project involved prisoners of war, mostly from Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, in building this road under extremely harsh conditions. The workers lived in prisoner camps where they did not receive enough food for the hard work with the road. This caused many of the workers to collapse and die. A famous sign of this road is the blood cross one of the prisoners drew on the mountainside with his recently killed friend's blood. It has become a tradition to repaint this cross with red paint, so people who pass this will never forget what happened. It's still possible to walk this road, which stretches from Saltnes to Soksenvika. At Saltnes, you will find the Bloodroad museum.

Saltdal was known for having some of the most horrifying prisoner-of-war camps in Norway during World War II. A grand total of 15-18 camps with 9,500 Russian, Polish, and Yugoslavian prisoners were located in the valley.

Geography[edit]

Nordland Nasjonalparksenter (Nordland National Park Centre) is situated at Storjord, Saltdal
To the north, Saltdal borders Saltdalsfjord, innermost part of Skjerstadfjord, with road and railway to Fauske on the eastern slope of the fjord.
Part of Junkerdal Nature Reserve.

The main centre in the municipality is Rognan, on the southern shore of Saltdalsfjorden, where the valley floor meets the fjord. When the Ice age ended and the ice had melted 9,000 years ago, the valley was a fjord as the sea reached what is today an elevation of 120 metres (390 ft) due to isostatic depression. The valley is situated just north of the Arctic Circle.

Two national parks are partially in the municipality: Saltfjellet–Svartisen National Park in the southwest, and Junkerdal National Park in the eastern part. This makes Saltdal one of the municipalities in Norway with the largest percentage of protected areas within its borders. The river Saltdalselva runs through the valley. The riverbed appears very bright in some places due to the minerals in the sand. The valley is covered with pine forest and birch and other trees are common as well. Lakes in the region include Balvatnet, Fiskeløysvatnet, Kjemåvatnet, and Nordre Bjøllåvatnet. The mountain Ørfjellet is also located in the municipality.

Climate[edit]

The municipality lies on the northeastern side of the Saltfjellet mountains, in the rain shadow of the mountains. With mountains surrounding it in almost all directions, Saltdal is one of the driest areas in Norway, especially the upper part of the valley. For five years in a row, 2001 to 2005, and then again in 2007 and 2008, the weather station in the upper part of the Saltdal valley recorded the least precipitation in all of continental Norway, with only 74 millimetres (2.9 in) in 2005.

Located in an inland valley, Saltdal is also known for its warm summer days, frequently being one of Norway's warmest locations if the right weather situation occurs (with easterly or southeasterly winds blowing). It is not uncommon with daytime temperatures approaching and sometimes exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) in the summer months. Similarly, winter temperatures can be quite cold, often dropping below −20 °C (−4 °F) on a clear day.

During a heatwave in June 2011, Saltdal recorded four days in a row with daytime temperatures exceeding 30 °C (86 °F). On 11 June 2011, Saltdal recorded a daytime high of 33.8 °C (92.8 °F), which was a new heat record for Nordland county in the month of June.[5]

Monthly 24-hr averages range from −6 °C (21 °F) in January to 14 °C (57 °F) in July (1961-1990 base period, source Norges Meteorologiske Institutt), and the annual average is 3.3 °C (37.9 °F). April and May are the driest months, with less than 10 millimetres (0.39 in) of precipitation. July is the wettest month with 39 millimetres (1.5 in). This data is from the driest, upper part of the valley, and many other parts of the municipality averages more than twice as much precipitaiton. Junkerdal (210 metres or 690 feet above sea level) averages 600 millimetres (24 in) annually.

Climate data for Saltdal (10 last years)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −2
(28)
−2
(28)
0
(32)
6
(43)
11
(52)
16
(61)
19
(66)
17
(63)
12
(54)
6
(43)
2
(36)
−1
(30)
7
(44.7)
Average low °C (°F) −7
(19)
−7
(19)
−6
(21)
0
(32)
4
(39)
8
(46)
11
(52)
10
(50)
6
(43)
1
(34)
−3
(27)
−5
(23)
1
(33.8)
Source: [6]

Transportation[edit]

The European route E6 highway passes through the entire length of Saltdal, with the Nordlandsbanen railway running alongside it. A road running east through the Junkerdalen valley (Norwegian national road 77) leads to Sweden. The nearest main airport is in Bodø, about 90 minutes from Rognan by road.

Economy[edit]

Saltdal has a great history in boat building out of local timber. Especially before World War II, the boatbuilding industry employed a large percentage of Saltdal's population.

Nowadays, the largest employer in Saltdal is Nexans. The company's Rognan factory specializes in telecommunication, fibre optics and copper cables. There is also some agriculture in Saltdal, and many people work within public services.

References[edit]

  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 (1905). Norske gaardnavne: Nordlands amt (in Norwegian) (16 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 228. 
  4. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Saltdal" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Saltdal/statistics.html
  6. ^ "Saltdal average conditions - base period 10 last years". Storm Weather Center. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 

External links[edit]