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This article is about the municipality in Norway. For the island in Norway, see Rennesøy (island).
Rennesøy kommune
View of the Askjesund Bridge in Rennesøy
View of the Askjesund Bridge in Rennesøy
Coat of arms of Rennesøy kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Rennesøy kommune
Rogaland within
Rennesøy within Rogaland
Rennesøy within Rogaland
Coordinates: 59°06′04″N 05°43′55″E / 59.10111°N 5.73194°E / 59.10111; 5.73194Coordinates: 59°06′04″N 05°43′55″E / 59.10111°N 5.73194°E / 59.10111; 5.73194
Country Norway
County Rogaland
District Ryfylke
Administrative centre Vikevåg
 • Mayor (2011) Dagny Sunnanå Hausken (Sp)
 • Total 65.50 km2 (25.29 sq mi)
 • Land 64.89 km2 (25.05 sq mi)
 • Water 0.61 km2 (0.24 sq mi)
Area rank 408 in Norway
Population (2014)
 • Total 4,794
 • Rank 209 in Norway
 • Density 73.9/km2 (191/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 43.1 %
Demonym(s) Rennesøybu[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1142
Official language form Neutral
Data from Statistics Norway

Rennesøy is an island municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Ryfylke. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Vikevåg. Other villages in Rennesøy include Askje and Sørbø. The municipality encompasses a number of islands on the south side of the Boknafjorden, north of the city of Stavanger.

General information[edit]

Aerial view of the municipality
View of a farm on Mosterøy island
View of the Utstein Abbey on Klosterøy

The parish of Rennesø was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 July 1884, the municipality was split in two with the islands of Mosterøy, Klosterøy, Fjøløy, Kvitsøy, and the western part of Åmøy forming the new municipality of Mosterøy, and the islands of Rennesøy and Brimse remained as Rennesøy municipality. This split left Rennesøy with 1,092 residents, less than half of its previous population. The island of Kvitsøy later became an independent municipality of its own.

On 1 July 1918, the Hanasand area of the neighboring municipality of Finnøy (population: 72) that was located on the island of Rennesøy was transferred to Rennesøy municipality.

On 1 January 1965 a series of municipality mergers took place across the whole country as a result of the work of the Schei Committee. On that date, the municipality of Mosterøy was merged back into Rennesøy. Prior to the merger, Rennesøy had 1,370 residents.[2]


The municipality was named after the main island of the municipality, Rennesøy. The Old Norse form of the name was Rennisøy. The meaning of the first element is unknown and the last element is øy which means "island". Before 1918, the name was written "Rennesø".[3][4]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 20 February 1981. The arms show two silver/white crosiers on a blue background. The blue represents the ocean, an important feature for this island municipality. The crosiers represent the importance of Norway's oldest and best preserved monasteries, Utstein Abbey, located in the municipality.[5]


The Church of Norway has two parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Rennesøy. It is part of the Tungenes deanery in the Diocese of Stavanger.

Churches in Rennesøy
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Mosterøy Askje Church Askje, Mosterøy island 1846
Utstein Church Klosterøy island 1280
Vestre Åmøy Chapel Åmøy island (western side) 1953
Rennesøy Hausken Church Vikevåg, Rennesøy island 1857
Sørbø Church Sørbø, Rennesøy island 1130


The island municipality sits on the south side of the large Boknafjorden. It consists of about 80 islands, most of which are uninhabited. The main islands are Rennesøy, Mosterøy, Klosterøy, Fjøløy, Sokn, Bru, Brimse, and the western part of Åmøy (the eastern part is part of Stavanger municipality). All of the main islands are connected together and to the mainland by a series of bridges and tunnels (except for Brimse which has a ferry connection). The Fjøløy Lighthouse is located in the northwestern part of the municipality, lighting a main shipping channel to Stavanger.[4]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1951 1,483 —    
1961 1,418 −4.4%
1971 2,045 +44.2%
1981 2,363 +15.6%
1991 2,578 +9.1%
2001 3,168 +22.9%
2011 4,202 +32.6%
2015 4,794 +14.1%
Source: Statistics Norway.[6][7]


All municipalities in Norway, including Rennesøy, 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 Rennesøy is made up of 21 representatives that are elected to every four years. For 2011–2015, the party breakdown is as follows:[8]

Rennesøy Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
  Labour Party Arbeiderpartiet 3
  Progress Party Fremskrittspartiet 4
  Conservative Party Høyre 6
  Christian Democratic Party Kristelig Folkeparti 3
  Centre Party Senterpartiet 5
Total number of members: 21


View of the entrance to the Mastrafjord Tunnel

Since 1992, Rennesøy municipality has been connected to the mainland by a series of bridges and undersea tunnels. The Byfjord Tunnel connects the mainland to the island of Sokn, and it is part of the European route E39 highway. The island of Sokn is connected to the three islands of Åmøy, Bru, and Mosterøy by bridges. Mosterøy is connected to Fjøløy and Klosterøy by short bridges and to Rennesøy by the undersea Mastrafjord Tunnel. Rennesøy island is also connected to the island of Vestre Bokn (across the Boknafjorden) by ferry. Furthermore, the island of Rennesøy is connected to the two islands of Finnøy and Talgje in the neighboring municipality of Finnøy to the northeast by the Finnøy Tunnel.[4]


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  2. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 
  3. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1915). Norske gaardnavne: Stavanger amt (in Norwegian) (10 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 257. 
  4. ^ a b c Store norske leksikon. "Rennesøy – kommune" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  5. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  6. ^ Projected population – Statistics Norway
  7. ^ Per 1 January 1965, 1142 Rennesøy and 1143 Mosterøy were merged to one municipality, 1142 Rennesøy.
  8. ^ "Valgresultat" (in Norwegian). Rennesøy kommune. 2015. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Rennesøy at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of Rennesøy at Wiktionary
  • Rogaland travel guide from Wikivoyage