Vestland

Vestland
Myklebustdalen
Myklebustdalen
Vestland within Norway
Vestland within Norway
Coordinates: 60°55′49″N 6°25′57″E / 60.93024°N 6.43261°E / 60.93024; 6.43261Coordinates: 60°55′49″N 6°25′57″E / 60.93024°N 6.43261°E / 60.93024; 6.43261
CountryNorway
RegionWestern Norway
County IDNO-46
Administrative centresBergen, Leikanger
Other townsFlorø, Førde, Leirvik, Måløy, Odda
Government
 • GovernorLars Sponheim
 • County mayorJon Askeland (Sp)
Area
 • Total33,870.99 km2 (13,077.66 sq mi)
 • Land31,978.41 km2 (12,346.93 sq mi)
 • Water1,892.58 km2 (730.73 sq mi)  5.6%
Area rank5
Population
 (1 January 2020)[3]
 • Total636,533[1]
 • Rank3
Demonym(s)Vestlending
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Official language formNynorsk[4]
Websitevlfk.no

Vestland is a county in Norway established on 1 January 2020.[5][6] The county is located in Western Norway and it is centred around the city of Bergen, Norway's second largest city. The administrative centre of the county is the city of Bergen where the executive and political leadership is based, but the County Governor is based in Hermansverk. The county is one of two counties in Norway that have Nynorsk as their official written language form (the others are neutral as to which form people use).[7]

Vestland was created in 2020 when the former counties of Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane (with the exception of Hornindal municipality, which became part of Volda municipality in Møre og Romsdal county) were merged.[8]

History[]

Vestland county is a newly created county, but it has been inhabited for centuries. The area was made up of many petty kingdoms under the Gulating during the Middle Ages. The northern part was the known as Firdafylke (now the Fjordane region; Nordfjord-Sunnfjord), the central are was known as Sygnafylke (now the Sogn region), and the southern part was known as Hordafylke.

In the early 16th century, Norway was divided into four len. The Bergenhus len was headquartered in Bergen and encompassed much of western and northern Norway including Firdafylke, Sygnafylke, Hordafylke, and Sunnmørafylke (in the present day Møre og Romsdal county). The new Bergenhus len was administered from the Bergenhus Fortress in the city of Bergen.

In 1662, the lens were replaced by amts. On 19 February 1662, a royal decree changed the name to Bergenhus amt. The new Bergenhus amt originally consisted of the present-day areas of Vestland and the Sunnmøre region of Møre og Romsdal, plus the far northern Nordlandene amt was subordinate to Bergenhus amt. The Sunnmøre region was transferred to Romsdalen amt in 1689 and the Nordlandene amt was separated around that time as well.

In 1763, the amt was divided into northern and southern parts: Nordre Bergenhus amt and Søndre Bergenhus amt. When the amt was split, the present day municipality of Gulen was split with the southern part ending up in Søndre Bergenhus amt. In 1773, the border was re-drawn so that all of Gulen was located in the northern part.

On 1 January 1919, Nordre Bergenhus amt was renamed Sogn og Fjordane fylke and Søndre Bergenhus amt was renamed Hordaland fylke during a period of time when many location names in Norway were changed.[9]

The city of Bergen was removed from the Bergenhus amt in 1831 and it was classified as a city-county (byamt) from 1831–1972. During that time in 1915, the municipality of Årstad was annexed into Bergen. In 1972, the neighbouring municipalities of Arna, Fana, Laksevåg and Åsane were annexed into the city of Bergen. Also at that same time, the city of Bergen lost its county status, and became a part of Hordaland county once again.

On 1 January 2020, Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane counties were merged back together once again, forming Vestland county.

Geography[]

Hardanger is one of Norway's most important sources of fruit, providing about 40% of Norway's fruit production, including apples, plums, pears, cherries, and redcurrants.

Vestland is located on the western coast of Norway. It is split up by several long, deep fjords including the Nordfjorden, Sognefjorden, and Hardangerfjorden, some of Norway's most notatble fjords and great tourist attractions. About half of the Hardangervidda National Park is in the county. It also includes the Jostedal, Folgefonna, and Hardangerjøkulen glaciers. The county also includes many well-known waterfalls, such as Vøringsfossen and Stykkjedalsfossen. Ramnefjellsfossen (previously called Utigardfossen) is the tallest in Norway and third tallest in the world and Vettisfossen is one of Norway's highest waterfalls with a vertical drop of 275 metres (902 ft). Both are located in the Jotunheim mountains.

Outside of the Bergen metropolitan area, the county is mostly a rural area with a scattered population. Cruise ships visit Vestland all summer because of the unique vistas of high mountains and deep blue fjords. The famous Nærøyfjord is located in the south of the county. This is a UNESCO listed fjord area. There are several archipelagos, including Øygarden, Austevoll, Bulandet, Bremangerlandet, and Kinn. The westernmost point in Norway proper is Holmebåen in Solund municipality. The island of Unst, part of Shetland Islands is around 300 kilometres (190 mi) west of Holmebåen.

The terrain changes quite rapidly with mostly smaller mountains on the coastline, gradually increasing to mountains reaching more than 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). Because of the steep rise in elevation and fjords cutting through the terrain, the amount of precipitation is very high. Low pressure systems come in from the west and meet the mountains (a phenomenon known as orographic lifting) and cause rain and snowfall.

Government[]

A county (fylke) is the chief local administrative area in Norway. The whole country is divided into 11 counties. A county is also an election area, with popular votes taking place every 4 years. In Vestland, the government of the county is the Vestland County Municipality. It includes 65 members who are elected to form a county council (Fylkesting). Heading the Fylkesting is the county mayor (fylkesordførar). Since 2020, the Vestland County Municipality has been led by Jon Askeland, the county mayor.

The county also has a County Governor (fylkesmann) who is the representative of the King and Government of Norway. Lars Sponheim is the current County Governor of Vestland.

The municipalities in Vestland are divided among several district courts (tingrett): Nordhordland District Court, Sunnhordland District Court, Bergen District Court, Hardanger District Court, and Sogn og Fjordane District Court. All of these courts are subordinate to the Gulating Court of Appeal district based in Bergen.

Media gallery[]

Panorama over the island of Sotra.

Municipalities[]

Vestland County has a total of 43 municipalities:[10]

Municipal
Number
Name Adm. Centre Location in
the county
Established Old Municipal No.
(before 2020)
Former County
(before 2020)
4601 Bergen komm.svg Bergen Bergen NO 4601 Bergen.svg 1 Jan 1972 1201 Bergen Hordaland
4602 Kinn komm.svg Kinn Florø NO 4602 Kinn.svg 1 Jan 2020 1401 Flora
1439 Vågsøy (part)
Sogn og Fjordane
4611 Etne komm.svg Etne Etnesjøen NO 4611 Etne.svg 1 Jan 1838 1211 Etne Hordaland
4612 Sveio komm.svg Sveio Sveio NO 4612 Sveio.svg 1 Jan 1865 1216 Sveio
4613 Bømlo komm.svg Bømlo Svortland NO 4613 Bømlo.svg 1 Jan 1916 1219 Bømlo
4614 Stord komm.svg Stord Leirvik NO 4614 Stord.svg 1 Jan 1838 1221 Stord
4615 Fitjar komm.svg Fitjar Fitjar NO 4615 Fitjar.svg 1 Jan 1863 1222 Fitjar
4616 Tysnes komm.svg Tysnes Uggdal NO 4616 Tysnes.svg 1 Jan 1838 1223 Tysnes
4617 Kvinnherad komm.svg Kvinnherad Rosendal NO 4617 Kvinnherad.svg 1 Jan 1838 1224 Kvinnherad
4618 Ullensvang komm 2020.svg Ullensvang Odda NO 4618 Ullensvang.svg 1 Jan 1838 1227 Jondal
1228 Odda
1230 Ullensvang
4619 Eidfjord komm.svg Eidfjord Eidfjord NO 4619 Eidfjord.svg 1 Jan 1977 1232 Eidfjord
4620 Ulvik komm.svg Ulvik Ulvik NO 4620 Ulvik.svg 1 Jan 1838 1233 Ulvik
4621 Voss herad.svg Voss Vossevangen NO 4621 Voss.svg 1 Jan 1838 1234 Granvin
1235 Voss
4622 Kvam komm.svg Kvam Norheimsund NO 4622 Kvam.svg 1 Jan 1838 1238 Kvam
4623 Samnanger komm.svg Samnanger Tysse NO 4623 Samnanger.svg 1 Jan 1907 1242 Samnanger
4624 Bjørnafjorden komm.svg Bjørnafjorden Osøyro NO 4624 Bjørnafjorden.svg 1 Jan 2020 1241 Fusa
1243 Os
4625 Austevoll komm.svg Austevoll Storebø NO 4625 Austevoll.svg 1 Jan 1886 1244 Austevoll
4626 Sund komm.svg Øygarden Straume NO 4626 Øygarden.svg 1 Jan 1964 1245 Sund
1246 Fjell
1259 Øygarden
4627 Askøy komm.svg Askøy Kleppestø NO 4627 Askøy.svg 1 Jan 1838 1247 Askøy
4628 Vaksdal komm.svg Vaksdal Dale NO 4628 Vaksdal.svg 1 Jan 1964 1251 Vaksdal
4629 Modalen komm.svg Modalen Mo NO 4629 Modalen.svg 1 Jan 1910 1252 Modalen
4630 Osterøy komm.svg Osterøy Lonevåg NO 4630 Osterøy.svg 1 Jan 1964 1253 Osterøy
4631 Alver komm.svg Alver Knarvik NO 4631 Alver.svg 1 Jan 2020 1256 Meland
1260 Radøy
1263 Lindås
4632 Austrheim komm.svg Austrheim Årås NO 4632 Austrheim.svg 1 Jan 1910 1264 Austrheim
4633 Fedje komm.svg Fedje Fedje NO 4633 Fedje.svg 1 Jan 1947 1265 Fedje
4634 Masfjorden komm.svg Masfjorden Masfjordnes NO 4634 Masfjorden.svg 1 Mar 1879 1266 Masfjorden
4635 Gulen komm.svg Gulen Eivindvik NO 4635 Gulen.svg 1 Jan 1838 1411 Gulen Sogn og Fjordane
4636 Solund komm.svg Solund Hardbakke NO 4636 Solund.svg 1 Jan 1858 1412 Solund
4637 Hyllestad komm.svg Hyllestad Hyllestad NO 4637 Hyllestad.svg 1 Jan 1862 1413 Hyllestad
4638 Høyanger komm.svg Høyanger Høyanger NO 4638 Høyanger.svg 1 Jan 1964 1416 Høyanger
4639 Vik komm.svg Vik Vikøyri NO 4639 Vik.svg 1 Jan 1838 1417 Vik
4640 Sogndal komm 2020.svg Sogndal Hermansverk NO 4640 Sogndal.svg 1 Jan 1838 1418 Balestrand
1419 Leikanger
1420 Sogndal
4641 Aurland komm.svg Aurland Aurlandsvangen NO 4641 Aurland.svg 1 Jan 1838 1421 Aurland
4642 Lærdal komm.svg Lærdal Lærdalsøyri NO 4642 Lærdal.svg 1 Jan 1838 1422 Lærdal
4643 Årdal komm.svg Årdal Årdalstangen NO 4643 Årdal.svg 1 Jan 1863 1424 Årdal
4644 Luster komm.svg Luster Gaupne NO 4644 Luster.svg 1 Jan 1838 1426 Luster
4645 Askvoll komm.svg Askvoll Askvoll NO 4645 Askvoll.svg 1 Jan 1838 1428 Askvoll
4646 Fjaler komm.svg Fjaler Dale NO 4646 Fjaler.svg 1 Jan 1838 1429 Fjaler
4647 Sunnfjord komm.svg Sunnfjord Førde NO 4647 Sunnfjord.svg 1 Jan 2020 1430 Gaular
1431 Jølster
1432 Førde
1433 Naustdal
4648 Bremanger komm.svg Bremanger Svelgen NO 4648 Bremanger.svg 1 Jan 1866 1438 Bremanger
4649 Stad komm.svg Stad Nordfjordeid NO 4649 Stad.svg 1 Jan 2020 1439 Vågsøy (part)
1441 Selje
1443 Eid
4650 Gloppen komm.svg Gloppen Sandane NO 4650 Gloppen.svg 1 Jan 1838 1445 Gloppen
4651 Stryn komm.svg Stryn Stryn NO 4651 Stryn.svg 1 Jan 1843 1449 Stryn

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ https://www.ssb.no/en/befolkning/statistikker/folkemengde
  2. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2020). "09280: Area of land and fresh water (km²) (M)" (in Norwegian).
  3. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2020). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian).
  4. ^ "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar (målvedtaksforskrifta)" (in Norwegian). Lovdata.no. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Arealstatistikk for Norge". Kartverket (in Norwegian Bokmål). 8 March 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  6. ^ "19 fylker blir til 11 – dette skal de hete (19 counties becoming 11 – this will be their names)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar (målvedtaksforskrifta)" (in Norwegian). Lovdata.no. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Navn på nye kommuner (Name of new municipalities)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  9. ^ Natvik, Oddvar (29 August 2005). "Sogn og Fjordane". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  10. ^ List of Norwegian municipality numbers