Ål within Buskerud
|• Mayor (2015)||Solveig Vestenfor (Labour Party)|
|• Total||1,171 km2 (452 sq mi)|
|• Land||1,081 km2 (417 sq mi)|
|Area rank||85 in Norway|
|• Rank||207 in Norway|
|• Density||4/km2 (10/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-0619|
|Official language form||Nynorsk |
Ål is a municipality in Buskerud county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Hallingdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Ål. The parish of Aal was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The area of Hol was separated from the municipality of Aal in 1877 to become a separate municipality.
80% of Ål municipality is at least 900 meters (3,000 ft) above sea level. The highest point is Raudbergnuten at 1,819 meters (5,968 ft). Reineskarvet, the significant mountain of Ål has a summit of 1,791 meters (5,876 ft). In the winter, Ål has over 400 kilometers (250 mi) of maintained cross country ski trails.
Hallingdalselva runs in the bottom of the main valley, forming Strandafjorden, a long, narrow lake for several kilometers. Ål has several hydroelectric dams. Hallingdalselva runs partly in a tunnel from here to Nes municipality, where it drives a large turbine power plant.
Approximately 5,000 inhabitants spread over several smaller villages including Ål, Torpo, Leveld, Vats, Trillhus, Granhagen, Breie and Strand. There is a strong cultural tradition, with folk music being a big part of people's identity. Folkemusikkveka is held every May for a week.
The traditional industry of Ål is mostly small-farming. Many livestock farms are still in operation with small herds of sheep, dairy cattle, and goats. Crop growing is difficult because of the steep valley walls, but wheat, barley, rye, and potatoes have all been grown in the past.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times. The arms were granted on 30 November 1984 and show three silver diamond shapes in a vertical line on a red background. The designs are taken from an old and common pattern used in hand-woven tapestries in the area. They also symbolize the three churches in the municipality: Ål, Torpo, and Leveld.
- Torpo Stave Church (built around 1190–1200) is located in Torpo
- Ål Bygdamuseum is built around the old Leksvol farm, and is very typical of the area. The buildings go back to the 17th century. In later years the museum gained additional buildings, Øvre tunet, Stølen, and Husmannsplassen, where a stone cottage has been reconstructed, similar to those used in the mountain sæter.
- Hallingdal feriepark, camping with high ropes course and activities
- Ål Skisenter, downhill skiing facility
Notable people from Ål
- Olav Thon (born 1923), real estate developer and billionaire
- Eldbjørg Løwer (born 1943), politician
- Hallgrim Berg (born 1945), folk musician and politician
- Trond Helleland (born 1962), politician
- Stein Torleif Bjella (born 1968), songwriter, singer, and guitarist
- "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
- "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian). Lovdata.no.
- "Kultur- og helsekommunen Ål". Ål Turistinformasjon (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- "Cross-country". Ål Turistinformasjon. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- Knappen, Audun. "Kommunenavn i Buskerud" (in Norwegian). Terra Buskerud. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
- Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Archived from the original on 15 July 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
- "Kommunevåpen" (in Norwegian). Ål kommune. Archived from the original on 22 December 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
- "Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents, by immigration category, country background and percentages of the population". ssb.no. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "Venskap Ål-Sololá" (in Norwegian). Ål kommune. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
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