Fitjar

Fitjar Municipality Fitjar kommune
Municipality
Fitje herred  (historic name)
View of the village of FitjarView of the village of Fitjar
Flag of Fitjar MunicipalityFlagCoat of arms of Fitjar MunicipalityCoat of arms
Vestland within NorwayVestland within Norway
Fitjar within VestlandFitjar within Vestland
Coordinates: 59°55′08″N 05°22′17″E / 59.91889°N 5.37139°E / 59.91889; 5.37139
CountryNorway
CountyVestland
DistrictSunnhordland
Established1 Jan 1863
 • Preceded byStord Municipality
Administrative centreFitjar
Government
 • Mayor (2023)Wenche Tislevoll (H)
Area
 • Total142.47 km2 (55.01 sq mi)
 • Land134.50 km2 (51.93 sq mi)
 • Water7.97 km2 (3.08 sq mi)  5.6%
 • Rank#317 in Norway
Population (2023)
 • Total3,181
 • Rank#224 in Norway
 • Density23.7/km2 (61/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)Increase +6.7%
DemonymFitjabu
Official language
 • Norwegian formNynorsk
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-4615
WebsiteOfficial website
Data from Statistics Norway

Fitjar (Norwegian pronunciation: ) is a municipality in Vestland county, Norway. The municipality is located in the traditional district of Sunnhordland. Fitjar municipality includes the northern part of the island of Stord and the hundreds of surrounding islands, mostly to the northwest of the main island. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Fitjar.

The 142-square-kilometre (55 sq mi) municipality is the 317th largest by area out of the 356 municipalities in Norway. Fitjar is the 224th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 3,181. The municipality's population density is 23.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (61/sq mi) and its population has increased by 6.7% over the previous 10-year period.

General information

View of Fitjar by night Aerial view of the Fitjar islands Fitjar Church

The parish of Fitje was established as a municipality on 1 January 1863 when it was separated from the large Stord Municipality. Initially, the population of Fitje was 2,313. On 1 January 1868, a small area in the municipality of Finnaas (population: 10) was transferred to Fitje. In 1900, the name was changed to Fitjar. The original municipality included all of the land surrounding the Selbjørnsfjorden.

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, the area of Fitjar located north of the Selbjørnsfjorden on the islands of Huftarøy and Selbjørn (population: 696) was transferred to the neighboring Austevoll Municipality. On 1 January 1995, the islands of Aga, Agasystra, Gisøya, Vikøya, Selsøy, Risøya, and many smaller surrounding islands (population: 225) were transferred from Fitjar to the neighboring Bømlo Municipality. These islands had recently been connected to Bømlo by road bridges which precipitated the municipal transfer.

Name

The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Fitjar farm (Old Norse: Fitjar) since the first Fitjar Church was built there. The name is the plural form of fit which means "meadow along the water" or "lush meadow". Before 1900, the name was written "Fitje".

Coat of arms

The coat of arms was adopted during the late 1940s, but they have never been formally granted since they did not meet the formal government design requirements. In 2018, the municipal council of Fitjar formally approved the arms after a change to a national law. The blazon is "Azure, a Viking helmet Or within a orle argent". This means the arms have a blue field (background) and the charge is a Viking helmet with a thin border around the edge of the shield. The charge has a tincture of Or which means it is commonly colored yellow, but if it is made out of metal, then gold is used. The arms often have a mural crown depicted above the escutcheon. The helmet and the color are derived from the belief that King Haakon the Good wore a golden helmet at the Battle of Fitjar in 961, which was fought in this municipality. King Haakon died from his wounds. His death and reception in Valhalla are described in the skaldic poem Hákonarmál, composed by the Eyvindr skáldaspillir. The arms were designed by Magnus Hardeland. The municipal flag is orange with a depiction of coat of arms in the centre along with the name of the municipality below the arms.

Churches

The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Fitjar. It is part of the Sunnhordland prosti (deanery) in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.

Churches in Fitjar
Parish (sokn) Church name Location of the church Year built
Fitjar Fitjar Church Fitjar 1867

History

King Haakon I of Norway (Haakon the Good) maintained his residence at Fitjar. The Battle of Fitjar (Slaget ved Fitjar på Stord) took place in Fitjar on the island of Stord in the year 961 between the forces of King Haakon I and the sons of his half-brother, Eric Bloodaxe. Traditionally, important shipping routes have passed through the area, and the municipality contains several trading posts dating as far back as 1648. Fitjar was separated from Stord in 1863. There have been discussions about a possible reunion of the two municipalities, but no decision has been made.

Population

Geography

The island municipality of Fitjar lies south of the Selbjørnsfjorden, west of the Langenuen strait, east of the island of Bømlo. The municipality includes over 350 islands, although most are uninhabited. The majority of the residents live on the island of Stord, the northern portion of which is in Fitjar. The southern portion of the island is part of the municipality of Stord. The island municipality of Austevoll lies to the north, across the fjord and the island municipality of Tysnes lies across the Langenuen strait to the east, and the island municipality of Bømlo lies to the west.

Government

Fitjar Municipality is responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, welfare and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads and utilities. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of directly elected representatives. The mayor is indirectly elected by a vote of the municipal council. The municipality is under the jurisdiction of the Haugaland og Sunnhordland District Court and the Gulating Court of Appeal.

Municipal council

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Fitjar is made up of 17 representatives that are elected to four year terms. The tables below show the current and historical composition of the council by political party.

Fitjar kommunestyre 2023–2027   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 2
  Progress Party (Framstegspartiet) 3
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 5
  Industry and Business Party (Industri‑ og Næringspartiet) 1
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 5
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 1
Total number of members:17
Fitjar kommunestyre 2019–2023   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 3
  Progress Party (Framstegspartiet) 2
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 3
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 6
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 3
Total number of members:17
Fitjar kommunestyre 2015–2019   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 3
  Progress Party (Framstegspartiet) 2
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 7
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 3
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 2
Total number of members:17
Fitjar kommunestyre 2011–2015   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 3
  Progress Party (Framstegspartiet) 1
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 7
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 4
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 2
Total number of members:17
Fitjar kommunestyre 2007–2011   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 4
  Progress Party (Framstegspartiet) 1
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 4
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 3
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 3
  Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti) 1
  Liberal Party (Venstre) 1
Total number of members:17
Fitjar kommunestyre 2003–2007   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 6
  Progress Party (Framstegspartiet) 2
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 2
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 4
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 2
  Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti) 1
Total number of members:17
Fitjar kommunestyre 1999–2003   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 5
  Progress Party (Framstegspartiet) 3
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 3
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 6
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 3
  Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti) 1
Total number of members:21
Fitjar kommunestyre 1995–1999   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 3
  Progress Party (Framstegspartiet) 2
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 4
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 5
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 4
  Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti) 3
Total number of members:21
Fitjar kommunestyre 1991–1995   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 3
  Progress Party (Framstegspartiet) 3
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 3
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 5
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 4
  Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti) 2
  Liberal Party (Venstre) 1
Total number of members:21
Fitjar kommunestyre 1987–1991   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 5
  Progress Party (Framstegspartiet) 2
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 4
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 6
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 2
  Liberal Party (Venstre) 1
 Local list for the islands in Fitjar
(Kretsliste for øyane i Fitjar)
1
Total number of members:21
Fitjar kommunestyre 1983–1987   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 5
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 4
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 6
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 2
  Liberal Party (Venstre) 2
 Local list for the islands (Kretsliste for Øyane)2
Total number of members:21
Fitjar kommunestyre 1979–1983   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 3
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 5
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 7
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 2
  Liberal Party (Venstre) 2
 Local list for the islands in Fitjar
(Krinsliste for Øyane i Fitjar)
2
Total number of members:21
Fitjar kommunestyre 1975–1979   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 4
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 4
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 8
  New People's Party (Nye Folkepartiet) 1
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 2
 Local list for the islands in Fitjar
(Krinsliste for Øyane i Fitjar)
2
Total number of members:21
Fitjar kommunestyre 1971–1975   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 4
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 3
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 7
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 3
  Liberal Party (Venstre) 2
  Local List(s) (Lokale lister) 2
Total number of members:21
Fitjar kommunestyre 1967–1971   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 4
  Conservative Party (Høgre) 3
  Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti) 5
  Centre Party (Senterpartiet) 3
  Liberal Party (Venstre) 4
  Local List(s) (Lokale lister) 2
Total number of members:21
Fitjar kommunestyre 1963–1967   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 3
  Local List(s) (Lokale lister) 18
Total number of members:21
Fitjar heradsstyre 1959–1963   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 1
  Local List(s) (Lokale lister) 20
Total number of members:21
Fitjar heradsstyre 1955–1959   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Local List(s) (Lokale lister) 21
Total number of members:21
Fitjar heradsstyre 1951–1955   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Local List(s) (Lokale lister) 20
Total number of members:20
Fitjar heradsstyre 1947–1951   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 2
  Local List(s) (Lokale lister) 18
Total number of members:20
Fitjar heradsstyre 1945–1947   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet) 17
  List of workers, fishermen, and small farmholders (Arbeidarar, fiskarar, småbrukarar liste) 3
  Local List(s) (Lokale lister) 17
Total number of members:20
Fitjar heradsstyre 1937–1941*   
Party name (in Nynorsk) Number of
representatives
  Local List(s) (Lokale lister) 20
Total number of members:20
Note: Due to the German occupation of Norway during World War II, no elections were held for new municipal councils until after the war ended in 1945.

Mayors

The mayors (Nynorsk: ordførar) of Fitjar:

Attractions

Fitjar Church and Håkonarparken

Fitjar Church was built in 1867 over the site of the old medieval stone church which had been demolished. Stone blocks taken from the old stone church were used as foundations for the present-day church as well as for the walling enclosing the churchyard. Opposite Fitjar Church is Haakon's Park (Håkonarparken), the location of a sculpture of Haakon the Good sculpted by Anne Grimdalen. The statue was erected in 1961 at the one thousand year commemoration of the Battle of Fitjar.

Notable people

References

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External links