From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bjarkøy kommune
Bjarkedjo suohkan
Former Municipality
Coat of arms of Bjarkøy kommune
Coat of arms
Location in Troms county
Location in Troms county
Coordinates: 68°59′55″N 16°29′53″E / 68.99861°N 16.49806°E / 68.99861; 16.49806
Country Norway
Region Northern Norway
County Troms
District Central Hålogaland
Municipality ID NO-1915
Adm. Center Nergården
 • Total 73.61 km2 (28.42 sq mi)
 • Land 73.44 km2 (28.36 sq mi)
 • Water 0.17 km2 (0.07 sq mi)
Population (2012)
 • Total 455
 • Rank 425
 • Density 6.2/km2 (16/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Bjarkøyværing
Time zone CET (UTC+01:00)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02:00)
Created as Formannskapsdistrikt in 1838
Merged into Harstad in 2013

Bjarkøy is a former municipality in Troms county, Norway. The municipality was merged with the municipality of Harstad on 1 January 2013. The administrative centre of the municipality was the village of Nergården. The municipality was spread across several smaller islands, the biggest being the northern side of Grytøya. The island of Bjarkøya was home to the municipality's biggest village, Nergården.

The Bjarkøy Fixed Link project is a proposed bridge and undersea road tunnel that will connect the three main islands of the former municipality of Bjarkøy. This project was one of the factors in the municipality merging with Harstad.

General information[edit]

View of Grytøya island

The church parish of Sand was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The name was later changed to Bjarkøy. The southernmost part of the island of Senja (the Senjehesten peninsula) and the Lemmingsvær island (total population of the two locations: 480) was transferred from Bjarkøy to the municipality of Tranøy on 1 January 1964. On 1 January 2013, the municipality was merged with the municipality of Harstad to the south, forming a new, larger municipality of Harstad.[1]


The municipality was named after the island of Bjarkøya (Old Norse: Bjarkarey). The first element is the genitive case of bjørk which means "birch" and the last element is øy which means "island". (The name of the island, since it is an old trading place, is perhaps inspired by the name of the old and well-known town of Birka in Sweden, which has the same meaning).[2][3]

Prior to 1887, the municipality was called Sand after the name of the church site. It was called Bjarkø (later Bjarkøy) since then.


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 11 April 1986. The arms show a golden griffin on a blue background. They are derived from the arms of the Bjarkøy dynasty, one of the most influential families in the Northern part of Norway. The griffin was already used in the seal and arms of the family in the late 13th century. The arms of Bjarkøy were retained by the new municipality of Harstad after the merger in 2013.[4]

See also: Coat-of-arms of Troms county.


The Church of Norway had one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Bjarkøy. It was part of the Trondenes deanery in the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland.

Churches in Bjarkøy
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Bjarkøy og Sandsøy Bjarkøy Church Nergården 1766
Sandsøy Church Sandsøya 1888


This is old Viking territory, and was a chieftain seat during the Viking Age and the Middle Ages. Among the more famous chieftains you find Thorir Hund, who killed Norway's Patron Saint, Saint Olav in the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030. In 1323, the chieftain seat was raided and burned by Karelian warriors.


The municipality of Bjarkøy was located entirely on islands. The largest island, Grytøya, was shared with the municipality of Harstad. Other islands included Bjarkøya, Sandsøya, Helløya, Flatøya, and Meløyvær. The Andfjorden flowed along the northern and western side of the municipality and the Vågsfjorden flowed on the eastern and southern sides of the municipality.


Climate data for Bjarkøya
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 93
Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute[5]

Photo gallery[edit]


  1. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 
  2. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1911). Norske gaardnavne: Troms amt (in Norwegian) (17 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 30. 
  3. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Bjarkøy" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  4. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  5. ^ "eKlima Web Portal". Norwegian Meteorological Institute. 

External links[edit]