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This article is about the former municipality in Norway. For other uses, see Frei (disambiguation).
Frei kommune
Former Municipality
Coat of arms of Frei kommune
Coat of arms
Location in Møre og Romsdal
Location in Møre og Romsdal
Coordinates: 63°03′45″N 07°48′11″E / 63.06250°N 7.80306°E / 63.06250; 7.80306Coordinates: 63°03′45″N 07°48′11″E / 63.06250°N 7.80306°E / 63.06250; 7.80306
Country Norway
Region Western Norway
County Møre og Romsdal
District Nordmøre
Adm. Center Rensvik
 • Total 65 km2 (25 sq mi)
Population (2004) 5,274
 • Density 83/km2 (210/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Freiøying
Time zone CET (UTC+01:00)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02:00)
ISO 3166 code NO-1556
Created as Formannskapsdistrikt in 1838
Merged into Kristiansund in 2008

Frei is a former municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. It is located in the present-day Kristiansund Municipality between the Kvernesfjorden and Freifjorden. The municipality existed from 1838 until 2008 and upon its dissolution, it included the island of Frei and the smaller surrounding islands, totaling about 65 square kilometres (25 sq mi).[1]

View of Rensvik, the largest urban area in Frei
View of the old municipal offices for Frei Municipality

The administrative centre of the municipality was the village of Rensvik, the largest village on the island, located on the northern end of the island. Other main villages that were in Frei Municipality include the village of Nedre Frei, located on the southern end of the island and the village of Kvalvåg, located on the eastern side of the island. The main church for the municipality was Frei Church, located in the village of Nedre Frei.


The municipality was named after the island of Frei (Old Norse: Freiðr). The meaning of the name is unknown, but is maybe derived from fríðr which means "good" or "beautiful". Until 1889, the name was written Fredø.[2]


The municipality of Fredø was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 January 1882, a small part of Fredø (population: 40) was merged into Øre Municipality to the south. On 1 September 1893, an area of Frei (population: 231) was merged into the new Gjemnes Municipality. On 1 January 1964, the northern part of the island of Frei was transferred from Bremsnes Municipality to Frei, also the part of Frei on the island of Aspøya (population: 147) was transferred to Tingvoll Municipality. On 1 January 2008, Frei Municipality ceased to exist when it was merged into the neighboring Kristiansund Municipality to the north.[3]


The coat-of-arms for Frei was from modern times. They were granted on 11 September 1987, and they were designed by local architect and painter Nils Fiske. The two gold crowns on a red background symbolize the relationship between Frei and two Norwegian Kings: King Håkon the Good had a hunting lodge in the area in the 10th century, and the King and the villagers took part on the Battle of Rastarkalv in the municipality in 955. King Håkon VII has visited the village in 1955 at the 1000th anniversary of the battle.[4]


  1. ^ a b Store norske leksikon. "Frei – øy i Møre og Romsdal" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  2. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1908). Norske gaardnavne: Romsdals amt (in Norwegian) (13 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 348. 
  3. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 
  4. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2010-11-22.