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Odda kommune
Odda in February, 2004.
Coat of arms of Odda kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Odda kommune
Hordaland within
Odda within Hordaland
Odda within Hordaland
Coordinates: 60°1′33″N 6°40′2″E / 60.02583°N 6.66722°E / 60.02583; 6.66722Coordinates: 60°1′33″N 6°40′2″E / 60.02583°N 6.66722°E / 60.02583; 6.66722
Country Norway
County Hordaland
District Hardanger
Administrative centre Odda
 • Mayor (2011) John Opdal (H)
 • Total 1,616 km2 (624 sq mi)
 • Land 1,478 km2 (571 sq mi)
Area rank 42 in Norway
Population (2004)
 • Total 7,468
 • Rank 131 in Norway
 • Density 5/km2 (10/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) -8.0 %
Demonym Odding[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1228
Official language form Neutral
Website www.odda.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway
Tysso I-hh
Offices of Odda Smelteverk, former North Western Cyanamide Company and Alby United Carbide Factory, 1906.
Trolltunga 2
Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1951 8,807 —    
1960 9,584 +8.8%
1970 10,051 +4.9%
1980 9,183 −8.6%
1990 8,289 −9.7%
2000 7,727 −6.8%
2007 7,154 −7.4%
2008 7,107 −0.7%
2009 7,054 −0.7%
Source: Statistics Norway.

About this sound Odda  is a municipality and town in the county of Hordaland, Norway. Odda was separated from Ullensvang on 1 July 1913 and on 1 January 1964 Røldal was merged with Odda. The town of Odda is the centre of the landscape of Hardanger, located at the end of the Hardangerfjord.

In 1927, Erling Johnson, working at Odda Smelteverk, invented a process to produce fertilizers. This process is now known as the Odda process.

General information[edit]


The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old farm Odda (Old Norse Oddi), since the first church was built there. The name is identical with the word oddi which means "headland".


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 8 October 1982. The arms show a canting of an arrowhead (Norwegian language: pilodd). The name of the village, however is not derived from an arrow head, but from a landscape element.[2]


The Røldal stave church was built around 1200 - 1250 in Røldal.

In the course of the 19th century Odda became a significant tourist destination. Visits ranged from English pioneers around 1830 to German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II, who visited Odda every year between 1891 and 1914. This led to the construction of several hotels in the town.

The present Odda is a modern town which grew up around smelters built at the head of the Sørfjord branch of the Hardangerfjord in the mid-twentieth century, drawing migrants from different parts of Norway.

The carbide production and the subsequent production of cyanamide was started in 1908 after the water power plant was operational and provided the necessary electricity for the arc furnaces. The plant was the largest in the world and remained operational till 2003 shortly after the plant was sold to Philipp Brothers Chemicals Inc. The Norwegian government tried to get the site recognized together with other industrial plants as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[3][4][5] In 2010 an international report stated: What makes Odda smelteverk so important and central to the application of Norway’s hydro power sites and pioneer chemical industry as a World Heritage Site is the fact that here in an internationally unique way the physical remains of an early chemical production process are still present.[6]

Odda grew up around this smelter in the early-twentieth century, drawing migrants from different parts of Norway. As a result, there developed a new dialect, a mixture of that spoken in the home regions of the migrants - a phenomenon termed by linguists "a Koiné language". Odda and Tyssedal - which arose in the same time and socio-economic circumstances as those of Odda - provided valuable insights to linguists studying this phenomenon. The researcher Paul Kerswill conducted an intensive study of the Norwegian spoken in the two communities, relating them to very different geographical origins: The workers in Odda came predominantly (86%) from western Norway. In Tyssedal only about one third came from western Norway; one third came from eastern Norway; and the rest from other parts of the country. The dialects that evolved in these two communities were radically different from each other, though spoken at a short geographical distance from each other.


Odda municipality includes the waterfall Låtefossen; the lakes Sandvinvatnet, Votna, Valldalsvatnet, Røldalsvatnet, Ringedalsvatnet, Langavatnet, and parts of Ståvatn; the glacier Buarbreen and parts of Folgefonna National Park.


  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. 
  2. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 22 September 2008. 
  3. ^ Heiden, Noland R (1952). "Odda and Rjukan: Two Industrialized Areas of Norway". Annals of the Association of American Geographers 42 (2): 109–128. JSTOR 2560975. 
  4. ^ "Rjukan/Notodden and Odda/Tyssedal Industrial Heritage Sites, Hydro Electrical Powered Heavy Industries with associated Urban Settlements (Company Towns) and Transportation System". UNESCO. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  5. ^ "Industrial revolution". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  6. ^ Riksantikvaren, Taming the Waterfalls, , Retrieved 2014-02-05.

External links[edit]