Sirdal

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Sirdal kommune
Municipality
Ski-tracks in Sirdal
Ski-tracks in Sirdal
Coat of arms of Sirdal kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Sirdal kommune
Vest-Agder within
Norway
Sirdal within Vest-Agder
Sirdal within Vest-Agder
Coordinates: 58°51′43″N 6°48′48″E / 58.86194°N 6.81333°E / 58.86194; 6.81333Coordinates: 58°51′43″N 6°48′48″E / 58.86194°N 6.81333°E / 58.86194; 6.81333
Country Norway
County Vest-Agder
District Sørlandet
Administrative centre Tonstad
Government
 • Mayor (2007) Thor Jørgen Tjørhom (Sp)
Area
 • Total 1,555 km2 (600 sq mi)
 • Land 1,375 km2 (531 sq mi)
Area rank 46 in Norway
Population (2004)
 • Total 1,766
 • Rank 352 in Norway
 • Density 1/km2 (3/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 2.1 %
Demonym Sirdøl[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1046
Official language form Neutral
Website www.sirdal.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Sirdal is a municipality in Vest-Agder county, Norway. Sirdal was separated from Bakke in 1849. Sirdal was divided into Tonstad and Øvre Sirdal on 1 January 1905, but these were again merged to recreate Sirdal on 1 January 1960.

It is the northernmost valley in Vest-Agder. At the north end of its long narrow lake, Siredalsvatn, lies the administrative center of the municipality in the village of Tonstad. Bjørnestad is another village lying in Sirdal.

Map over Sirdal municipality (center).

General information[edit]

Name[edit]

The Old Norse form of the name was Sírudalr. The first element is the genitive case of the river name Síra and the last element is dalr which means "valley" or "dale". The meaning of the rivername is unknown (maybe "strong stream").

See also: Utsira

Coat-of-arms[edit]

The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 17 January 1986. The arms show three grouse (Lagopus lagopus) as a symbol for the hills and moors, which make up the largest part of the municipality. The grouse is a typical bird for the area.[2]

See also: Lierne and Holtålen

Geography[edit]

Lying inland, Sirdal borders on Aust-Agder county to the north east and Rogaland to the west. To the south it borders on the municipality of Flekkefjord and to the east on Kvinesdal. Sirdal is the largest area municipality in Vest-Agder. Lakes in the region include Gravatnet.

In 1990, the mountain road opened between Sirdal via the Suleskard mountain pass and eastwards over to neighboring Brokke in Setesdal. It shortens the distance from Oslo to Stavanger by 110 km in the summer, and passes through barren, glacier scoured highland and by Rosskreppfjorden as it ascends to over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level.[3]

Economy[edit]

The main source of income for Sirdal is the Sira-Kvina Power Company.

Tourism is also an important source of income for the Sirdal economy, taking advantage of the extensive mountains, mountainous plateaus, lakes and the great views. There are multiple alpine resorts and hotels in the valley, as well as cottages and camp spots. Winter activities include six ski resorts for winter enjoyment. Downhill ski areas include Bjørnestad Ski Centre, Ålsheia Ski Centre, Sirdal Alpine Centre, Fidjeland Ski Centre, and Ådneram Ski lift. Cross-country skiers can enjoy dozens of trails over spectacular terrain. Summer activities include hiking, horseback riding, and river rafting.[4]

History[edit]

From the oldest times the district was divided by the river Sira between the counties Rogaland and Vest-Agder. (Even though is was established as one parish in Christian times.)

In 1837 it was decided that every parish should be a municipality, but that any municipality should belong to just one county. Sirdal was therefore first divided in two municipalities. This was a bad decision because they had very few inhabitants separately. A new solution was found in 1839 when the two municipalities were re-joined together, and the county border was altered in the favour of Vest-Agder.

Tonstad church was built in 1852.

At Kvæven, in northern Sirdal one finds the Sirdal Mountain Museum. This museum has a collection of old Sirdal buildings. Former lifestyles are visible in the farmhouse, a schoolhouse, stable, blacksmith's shop, barn and mountain farm cottage as well as original equipment.

The waterfalls in the Sira river is utilized in 4 power stations owned by Sira-Kvina power company. The company also owns 3 power stations in the Kvina river system, hence the company's name. Total annual production is 6000 GWh, total installation is 1760 MW. The largest power station, Tonstad, was inarguated in 1968, with 2 units each 160 MW. The power station has now 4 units each 160 MW and one unit 320 MW, total 960 MW. Total annual production in this station is approximately 4000 GWh, which makes Tonstad the largest power station in Norway in terms of production.

Sira-Kvina power company applied in 2007 for concession to expand the power station with two new units (reversible turbines), each 480 MW. Concession is pending.[4]

Famous residents[edit]

Notable persons from Sirdal include:

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. 
  2. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  3. ^ Welle-Strand, Erling (1996). Adventure Roads in Norway. Nortrabooks. ISBN 82-90103-71-9. 
  4. ^ a b Stagg, Frank Noel (1958). South Norway. George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. 
  5. ^ "Sõprusvallad" (in Estonian). Väike-Maarja vald. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 

External links[edit]