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Sandtorg herad
Former Municipality
Sandtorg church
Sandtorg church
Coordinates: 68°41′00″N 16°31′53″E / 68.68333°N 16.53139°E / 68.68333; 16.53139Coordinates: 68°41′00″N 16°31′53″E / 68.68333°N 16.53139°E / 68.68333; 16.53139
Country Norway
County Troms
District Central Hålogaland
Municipality ID NO-1912
Adm. Center Harstad
 • Total 177 km2 (68 sq mi)
Created from Trondenes in 1926
Merged into Harstad in 1964

Sandtorg is a village and a former municipality in Troms county in Norway. It is located in the southern part of the present-day municipality of Harstad. The old Sandtorg municipality covered the eastern part of the island of Hinnøya as well as some smaller islands in the Vågsfjorden. The municipality stretched from the southern border of the town of Harstad to the county border in the south. The administrative centre of the municipality was actually located in the town of Harstad, although the town was not part of the municipality. The main church for the municipality was Sandtorg Church, located in the village of Sørvika.[1][2]

The village of Sandtorg is located along the European route E10 highway in the southern part of the municipality, on the shore of the Tjeldsundet. The 1,095-metre (3,593 ft) tall mountain Sætertinden is located northwest of the village of Sandtorg, along the county border with Nordland.


View of the Sandtorgholmen trading post in 1895.

Since the early 13th century, there has been a trading post at Sandtorgholmen (where the village of Sandtorg is located). This location became more important in the late 18th century when pilot services were added for foreign and local ships. The trading post continued to be a focal point of Sandtorg until 1945 when the Norwegian Army's communication services took over the facilities after the German occupation (1940–1945). The army returned Sandtorgholmen to civilian use in the 1990s. Today, the Sandtorgholmen trading post features a hotel with a harbor restaurant and meeting facilities.

The municipality of Sandtorg was established on 1 July 1926, when it was split from the municipality of Trondenes. Initially, Sandtorg had a population of 4,224. On 1 January 1964, Sandtorg was merged with the neighboring municipalities of Harstad and Trondenes. Prior to the merger, Sandtorg had a population of 7,512.[3]

Bjarne Berg-Sæther (born 1919) was a significant leader in Sandtorg during the 20th century. He was the mayor of Sandtorg from 1948 until 1964 when it was merged with Harstad. He was also the first mayor of the new merged municipality of Harstad, which occurred in 1964 (and therefore also the last mayor of Sandtorg). During his 20 years as mayor after World War II, boat building factories at Rødskjæret were added, lighted ski tracks, and a community cultural house was built. Many of these additions caused Sandtorg's population to almost double. Today, Sandtorg is a community in transition from farming, fishing, and meat production to a commuter community with a significant part of the population working in Harstad about 37 kilometres (23 mi) away.


The municipality is named after the old Sandtorg farm (Old Norse: Sandþorghom). The first element comes from the word sandr which means "sandy area", and the second element means "square". The name was frequently used historically for farms where there was a marketplace.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b c "Sandtorg" (in Norwegian). Store norske leksikon. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  2. ^ "Sandtorg herredskommune" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  3. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 
  4. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1911). Norske gaardnavne: Troms amt (in Norwegian) (17 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 16. 

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