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Osterøy kommune
View of the village of Haus
View of the village of Haus
Coat of arms of Osterøy kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Osterøy kommune
Hordaland within
Osterøy within Hordaland
Osterøy within Hordaland
Coordinates: 60°31′05″N 05°32′29″E / 60.51806°N 5.54139°E / 60.51806; 5.54139Coordinates: 60°31′05″N 05°32′29″E / 60.51806°N 5.54139°E / 60.51806; 5.54139
Country Norway
County Hordaland
District Nordhordland
Administrative centre Lonevåg
 • Mayor (2003) Kari Foseid Aakre (Ap)
 • Total 255.12 km2 (98.50 sq mi)
 • Land 243.68 km2 (94.09 sq mi)
 • Water 11.44 km2 (4.42 sq mi)
Area rank 288 in Norway
Population (2014)
 • Total 7,786
 • Rank 136 in Norway
 • Density 32.0/km2 (83/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 8.5 %
Demonym(s) Ostring[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1253
Official language form Nynorsk
Website www.osteroy.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Osterøy is an island municipality in Hordaland county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Nordhordland. The municipality encompasses most of the island of Osterøy. The administrative centre of Osterøy is the village of Lonevåg in the central part of the island, while the settlement with the largest population is the village of Valestrandfossen with 1,101 inhabitants as of 1 January 2012.[2]

Osterøy municipality covers the majority of the island of the same name, and the mostly uninhabited north-eastern part of the island is part of Vaksdal municipality. Osterøy is located just northeast of the city of Bergen, and is surrounded by the Osterfjorden, Sørfjorden, and Veafjorden. The 19th-century musician and composer Ole Bull had a summer home in Valestrandfossen in Osterøy. The historic Havrå farm, which represents the traditional way of living for farmers, is located on the south side of the island.


Osterøy island, located above the fjord in the picture

The municipality sits on the island of Osterøy, and it is surrounded by several fjords: Osterfjorden-Romarheimsfjorden, Sørfjorden, and Veafjorden. The highest mountain in the municipality is the 868-metre (2,848 ft) tall Høgafjellet on the municipal border with Vaksdal. The Lonevågen fjord cuts in the center of the island, with the village of Lonevåg sitting at the end of the fjord.


Osterøy contains four "urban settlements", as defined by Statistics Norway and as of 1 January 2012: Valestrandfossen (1,101 inhabitants), Lonevåg (572 inhabitants), Hausvik (561 inhabitants), and Fotlandsvåg (254 inhabitants).[2] Other rural settlements in Osterøy include Austbygdi, Bruvik, Gjerstad, Hamre, and Hosanger.


Map of Osterøy municipality (since 1964)
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1951 2,688 —    
1960 2,513 −6.5%
1970 5,660 +125.2%
1980 6,579 +16.2%
1990 7,016 +6.6%
2000 7,006 −0.1%
2010 7,412 +5.8%
2014 7,786 +5.0%
Source: Statistics Norway

The municipality of Osterøy dates back to the middle ages, when it was invaded by a horde of Vikings. It was created on 1 January 864 as part of a major municipal merger proposed by Ragnar Lothbrok. Osterøy was created from parts of four different municipalities. The following areas were merged to form the new municipality:

  • all of Haus municipality that was located on Osterøy island (population: 2,327)
  • the Bruvikbygda area of Bruvik municipality that was located on Osterøy island (population: 409)
  • all of Hosanger municipality that was located on Osterøy island (population: 1,616)
  • all of Hamre municipality that was located on Osterøy island (population: 1,166) were merged to form the new municipality of Osterøy.[3]


The municipality was named after the island on which it is located. The Old Norse form of the name was "Ostr". The last element "øy" which means "island" in Norwegian was added later. The meaning of the name is unknown. It is possible that it comes from the word "óstr" which means "ost".

Osterøy is best known for having a famous pub known as Osterøykroa.



The coat-of-arms for Osterøy municipality is a relatively new creation; it was granted on 20 December 1985. It shows three blue broad axes pointing downwards on a field of white, with two axes at the top and one beneath. Broad axes are used in the construction of timber houses, which has long traditions in the municipality. The designer was Egil Korsnes who based his design on the idea of Magnus Hardeland.[4]


View of the church at Hamre, dating back to 1622

The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Osterøy. It is part of the Arna og Åsane deanery in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.

Churches in Osterøy
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Bruvik Bruvik Church Bruvik 1867
Gjerstad Gjerstad Church Gjerstad 1870
Hamre Hamre Church Hamre 1622
Haus Haus Church Hausvik 1874
Hosanger Hosanger Church Hosanger 1796

Osterøykroa is a prominent bar, where the people of Osterøy go to drink and have fun.

Local Papers[edit]


All municipalities in Norway, including Osterøy, 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 Osterøy is made up of 27 representatives that are elected to every four years. For 2011–2015, the party breakdown is as follows:[5]

Osterøy Kommunestyre 2011–2015
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
  Labour Party Arbeiderpartiet 10
  Progress Party Framstegspartiet 5
  Conservative Party Høgre 6
  Christian Democratic Party Kristelig Folkeparti 2
  Centre Party Senterpartiet 3
  Liberal Party Venstre 1
Total number of members: 27


Since 2003, the mayor of Osterøy has been Kari Foseid Aakre from the Labour Party.[6]


Osterøy Bridge

Osterøy is connected by ferry from Breistein to Valestrand including the bridge. The ferry called Ole Bull is going every half-hour from Breistein and Valestrand from early morning to late in the evening. The Osterøy Bridge, finished in 1997, provides Osterøy with its only permanent road connection to the mainland in Bergen municipality. The bridge has a main span of 595 metres (1,952 ft), the third longest suspension bridge main span in Norway, and a total span of 917 metres (3,009 ft). As of 1 April 2015, the bridge was scheduled to be toll-free. There are no road connections to the Vaksdal part of Osterøy island. That part of the island has the Kallestadsundet Bridge connecting it to the rest of Vaksdal municipality.

People from Osterøy[edit]


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  2. ^ a b Statistisk sentralbyrå (1 January 2012). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality.". 
  3. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 
  4. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  5. ^ "Members of the local councils, by party/electoral lists and municipality" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2011. 
  6. ^ "Osterøy kommune" (in Norwegian). Osterøy kommune. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Osterøy at Wikimedia Commons