Bygland

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Bygland kommune
Municipality
View of Bygland
View of Bygland
Coat of arms of Bygland kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Bygland kommune
Aust-Agder within
Norway
Bygland within Aust-Agder
Bygland within Aust-Agder
Coordinates: 58°55′27″N 7°45′53″E / 58.92417°N 7.76472°E / 58.92417; 7.76472Coordinates: 58°55′27″N 7°45′53″E / 58.92417°N 7.76472°E / 58.92417; 7.76472
Country Norway
County Aust-Agder
District Setesdal
Administrative centre Bygland
Government
 • Mayor (2011) Leiv Rygg (Sp)
Area
 • Total 1,311.66 km2 (506.43 sq mi)
 • Land 1,150.25 km2 (444.11 sq mi)
 • Water 161.41 km2 (62.32 sq mi)
Area rank 70 in Norway
Population (2016)
 • Total 1,204
 • Rank 386 in Norway
 • Density 1.0/km2 (3/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) -7.1 %
Demonym(s) Byglending[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-0938
Official language form Nynorsk
Website www.bygland.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Bygland is a municipality in Aust-Agder county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Setesdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Bygland. Other villages in the municipality include Åraksbø, Austad, Byglandsfjord, Grendi, Langeid, Lauvdal, Litveit, Longerak, Moi, Ose, Sandnes, Skåmedal, and Tveit. The Norwegian National Road 9 runs through the municipality, following the river Otra where most of the population of Bygland lives.

The 1,311.66-square-kilometre (506.43 sq mi) municipality is the 70th largest by area in Norway. Bygland is the 386th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 1,204. The municipality's population density is 1 inhabitant per square kilometre (2.6/sq mi) and its population has decreased by 7.1% over the last decade.[2]

General information[edit]

View of Åraksbø
View of the Reiårsfossen waterfall

Bygland was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). Since that time, the municipal boundaries have not changed.[3]

Name[edit]

The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Bygland farm (Old Norse: Byggland), since the first Bygland Church was built there. The first element is bygg which means "barley" and the last element is land which means "land" or "farm".[4]

Coat-of-arms[edit]

The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 15 November 1991. The green arms show a yellow European lynx (Lynx lynx), which symbolises the wild and rich nature in the rural highlands of the municipality. The green background symbolises the agriculture and forests in the municipality.[5][6]

Churches[edit]

The Church of Norway has two parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Bygland. It is part of the Otredal deanery in the Diocese of Agder og Telemark.

Churches in Bygland
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Bygland Austad Church Tveit 1880
Bygland Church Bygland 1838
Sandnes Church Åraksbø 1844
Årdal Årdal Church Grendi 1828

Geography[edit]

Bygland lies in the middle of the Setesdal valley which is also a traditional district in Aust-Agder county. The valley includes the municipalities of Bykle, Valle, Bygland, Iveland, and Evje og Hornnes. The Otra river flows from the glacially scoured Hardangervidda plateau in the north, through the Setesdal valley (and through Bygland), and into the sea near the city of Kristiansand. The municipality is bordered on the north by Valle, in the east by Fyresdal (Telemark county) and Åmli (Aust-Agder county), in the south by Froland and Evje og Hornnes, and in the west by Åseral, Kvinesdal, and Sirdal (all in Vest-Agder county).

Bygland is Aust-Agder's second largest municipality in area. The majority of the area of the municipality lies in the Setesdalsheiene mountains, at an elevation of over 700 metres (2,300 ft) above sea level. The municipality stretches from the small town Byglandsfjord in the south to the farms at Langeid in the north. Lake Byglandsfjorden is 40 kilometres (25 mi) long and lies on the river Otra. Other lakes include the Åraksfjorden, Gyvatn, Hovatn, Kvifjorden, Longerakvatnet, Straumsfjorden, and Topsæ. The rivers Otra and Topdalsfjorden both run through Bygland on their way south. The Reiårsfossen waterfall is one of many waterfalls in the municipality.

History[edit]

View of Bygland farmers (c. 1885)
View of a railway station along the Setesdal Line
View of the SS Bjoren

The Setesdal Line was a narrow gauge steam railway which went between Vennesla and Byglandsfjord in Bygland. It was built in 1896. The Setesdal Line's operation was terminated in 1962 and the track was removed between Byglandsfjord and Beihølen.

Other transport up the Setesdal valley was provided by the steamships SS Bjoren and Dølen. First placed in operation in 1866, the SS Bjoren is still in operation as a tourist attraction on lake Byglandsfjorden during the summers.

Government[edit]

All municipalities in Norway, including Bygland, 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.

Municipal council[edit]

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Bygland is made up of 15 representatives that are elected to every four years. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[7]

Bygland Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
representatives
  Labour Party Arbeiderpartiet 3
  Centre Party Senterpartiet 5
  Local Lists Lokale lister 7
Total number of members: 15

Attractions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  2. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2016). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  3. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 
  4. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1905). Norske gaardnavne: Nedenes amt (in Norwegian) (8 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 204. 
  5. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Kommunevåpenet" (in Norwegian). Bygland kommune. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015. 

External links[edit]