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Høyanger kommune
View of the Høyanger valley from the mountain Havren
View of the Høyanger valley from the mountain Havren
Official logo of Høyanger kommune
Vestland within
Høyanger within Vestland
Høyanger within Vestland
Coordinates: 61°11′17″N 05°53′44″E / 61.18806°N 5.89556°E / 61.18806; 5.89556Coordinates: 61°11′17″N 05°53′44″E / 61.18806°N 5.89556°E / 61.18806; 5.89556
Established1 Jan 1964
Administrative centreHøyanger
 • Mayor (2011)Petter Sortland (Ap)
 • Total907.65 km2 (350.45 sq mi)
 • Land836.75 km2 (323.07 sq mi)
 • Water70.90 km2 (27.37 sq mi)  7.8%
Area rank122 in Norway
 • Total4,091
 • Rank226 in Norway
 • Density4.9/km2 (13/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Demonym(s)Høyangring [1]
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-4638
Official language formNynorsk [2]

About this soundHøyanger  is a municipality in Vestland county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Sogn. The administrative center is the village of Høyanger. Other villages in Høyanger municipality include Austreim, Bjordal, Kyrkjebø, Lavik, Ortnevik, and Vadheim.

Høyanger is known for having one of the first industrial towns in Norway to use its steep mountains surrounding the town giving excellent conditions for producing hydroelectricity needed for electrolysis. The main product being produced in the village of Høyanger was aluminium.

The 908-square-kilometre (351 sq mi) municipality is the 122nd largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Høyanger is the 226th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 4,091. The municipality's population density is 4.9 inhabitants per square kilometre (13/sq mi) and its population has decreased by 5.5% over the last decade.[3][4]

General information[edit]

View of Bjordal Church
View of Høyanger Church

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. The municipality of Høyanger was created on 1 January 1964 when the old municipalities of Kyrkjebø and Lavik were merged to form a single municipality.[5]

On 1 January 2020, the Nessane area of neighboring Balestrand Municipality was merged into Høyanger (and the rest of Balestrand was merged into a new, larger Sogndal Municipality).[6] Also on that date, the municipality became part of the newly created Vestland county after Sogn og Fjordane and Hordaland counties were merged.


The name originally belonged to an arm of Sognefjorden (now called the Høyangsfjorden). The first element is høy which means "hay" and the last element is angr which means "fjord". The word høy is probably referring to the green hillsides along the fjord.[7]

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms was granted on 15 May 1987. The arms shows three silver flames on a blue background. The flames were chosen as a symbol for the local aluminium industry. Aluminium is melted and purified in the village of Høyanger, due to the cheap hydroelectric energy that is locally available. The colors represent waterpower (blue) and aluminium (silver).[8]


The Church of Norway has four parishes(sokn) within the municipality of Høyanger. It is part of the Sunnfjord prosti (deanery) in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.

Churches in Høyanger
Parish (sokn) Church name Location of the church Year built
Bjordal og Ortnevik Bjordal Church Bjordal 1906
Ortnevik Church Ortnevik 1925
Høyanger Høyanger Church Høyanger 1960
Kyrkjebø Kyrkjebø Church Kyrkjebø 1869
Vadheim Chapel Vadheim 1916
Lavik Lavik Church Lavik 1865


View of the village of Høyanger
Construction of the Ikjefjord bridge

All municipalities in Norway, including Høyanger, 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.[9] The municipality falls under the Sogn og Fjordane District Court and the Gulating Court of Appeal.

Municipal council[edit]

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Høyanger is made up of 21 representatives that are elected to four year terms. The party breakdown of the council is as follows:

Høyanger Kommunestyre 2020–2024 [10]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)9
 Conservative Party (Høgre)2
 Red Party (Raudt)3
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)6
 Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)1
Total number of members:21
Høyanger Kommunestyre 2016–2019 [11]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)11
 Conservative Party (Høgre)2
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)1
 Red Party (Raudt)2
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)5
Total number of members:21
Høyanger Kommunestyre 2012–2015 [12]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)10
 Conservative Party (Høgre)4
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)1
 Red Party (Raudt)2
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)4
Total number of members:21


The mayor (ordførar) of a municipality in Norway is a representative of the majority party of the municipal council who is elected to lead the council. The mayor since 2011 has been Petter Sortland of the Labour Party.


View of Ortnevik
View of the Fuglsetfjorden
View from Ortnevik, looking at the fjord

The Sognefjorden (the largest fjord in Norway) runs through the center of the municipality. Høyanger is bordered to the north by the municipalities of Fjaler and Sunnfjord, to the east by Sogndal and Vik, to the south by Modalen and Masfjorden, and to the west by Gulen and Hyllestad.

Høyanger municipality covers an area of about 910 square kilometres (350 sq mi). Stølsheimen Nature Reserve was created in 1990 in Høyanger. Its 367 square kilometres (142 sq mi) area stretches from high mountaintops through fertile valleys and sweeps over steep meadows down to the fjord. Høyanger is perhaps best known for its mountain farms and lakes. From the village of Ortnevik there are marked footpaths up to Stølsheimen Park and from the village of Bjordal you may drive up the Stordal road to the summit at 730 metres (2,400 ft) above sea level.


Høyanger is a modern industrial community which has grown in pace with the principal employers being Hydro Aluminium and Høyanger Metallverk. Hydroelectricity has played a major role in the development of the area. In addition to manufacturing aluminium, Høyanger supports a varied range of light industry that is backed by retail and service trades. In the rural areas bordering the fjord, farming is the main source of livelihood.[13] There are currently 115 traditional farms gårds in the municipality. Each traditional farms originally had one owner, but most of them have been divided up and sold off over the years, and so there are more than 115 farms in use today.


There are good connections with Oslo and Bergen by bus, as well as air and fast boat services. The nearest airport is in Førde, about 50 kilometres (31 mi) away. The village of Lavik is an important junction for traffic to and from Bergen as it is a ferry port that is part of the European route E39 highway. Høyanger is reached from the neighboring municipality of Balestrand to the east by the Høyangertunnelen which is 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) in length. It is part of the Norwegian County Road 55. It is one of the longest tunnels in Europe. Good ferry services across the Sognefjorden link the northern and southern sides of the municipality.[13]


In 1986, in Høyanger, Norsk Hydro Aluminium/Høyanger Metallverk opened a museum designed to show what water power has meant both locally and to Norway as a whole. Visitors will get to learn about how the aluminium industry has grown and prospered in the area thanks to the vast energy produced by water.

Near Vadheim is an 18th-century stone bridge called the Ytredal Bridge. It is a popular tourist attraction.

There is also a 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) narrow gauge funicular railway in the area, first opened in 1953.[14]


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
  2. ^ "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian). Lovdata.no.
  3. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2018). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2019-12-01.
  4. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå. "09280: Area of land and fresh water (km²) (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2019-12-01.
  5. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
  6. ^ Kommunal- og moderniseringsdepartementet (2018-12-10). "Vedtak om grensejustering mellom kommunane Balestrand og Høyanger". Retrieved 2019-12-01.
  7. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1919). Norske gaardnavne: Nordre Bergenhus amt (in Norwegian) (12 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 180.
  8. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
  9. ^ Hansen, Tore, ed. (2016-05-12). "kommunestyre". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  10. ^ "Tall for Norge: Kommunestyrevalg 2019 - Vestland". Valg Direktoratet. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  11. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
  12. ^ "Tall for Norge: Kommunestyrevalg 2011 - Sogn og Fjordane". Valg Direktoratet. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  13. ^ a b Høyanger Kommune (2008). "Høyanger is a modern industrial community". Retrieved 11 June 2008.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Funiculars.net - Høyanger

External links[edit]