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Helgeland is the most southerly district in Northern Norway. Generally speaking, Helgeland refers to the part of Nordland county that is located south of the Arctic Circle. It is bordered in the north by the Saltfjellet mountains and Svartisen glacier, which form a natural border with the Salten district. In the south, Helgeland borders Trøndelag county.
The district covers an area of about 18,832 square kilometres (7,271 sq mi), with nearly 79,000 inhabitants. There are four towns in the district: from south to north these are Brønnøysund, Mosjøen, Sandnessjøen, and Mo i Rana.
The Old Norse form of the name was Hálogaland (see Hålogaland).
Helgeland is commonly divided into three or four sections:
Helgeland is characterized by pointed mountains and Strandflaten, a shallow lowland area, sometimes just above the sea surface, and sometimes just below the surface. People living on the coast have settled on this lowland (while inland towns, such as Mo and Mosjøen, are situated in valleys). A consequence of the Strandflaten is thousands of islands, and shallow waters going far into the sea. This has provided some shelter from stormy weather, which might occur in winter. Some islands are fairly large, often with unique mountains, such as Torghatten, De syv søstre (The Seven Sisters), Hestmannen, Rødøyløva (in Rødøy), Dønnamannen (picture), and Træna. There are several sea bird colonies, such as Lovund (picture) with thousands of puffins. The Solvær Islands (Solværøyene) in Lurøy consists of about 300 small and flat islands and has the highest densities of Eurasian eagle-owls in Europe.
The highest mountains, are located inland, where Oksskolten is the highest mountain in Northern Norway. There are many valleys inland, such as the Dunderland Valley, Vefsndalen, and Hattfjelldal. Røssvatnet is the second largest lake in Norway. There are three large national parks in Helgeland: Saltfjellet–Svartisen National Park (partly), Børgefjell National Park (partly), and Lomsdal–Visten National Park (created in May 2009).
Helgeland is the scene for Henrik Ibsen's 1857 historical play "The Vikings at Helgeland" (Hærmændene paa Helgeland), whose plot takes place at this region during the time of Erik Blood-axe (c. 930–934).
Helgeland Kammerkor, a mixed choir with members from all parts of Helgeland, have recorded an album of folk music from Helgeland (Folketoner fra Helgeland, 2005). The album contains 27 folk tunes from Helgeland, recorded in collaboration with folk musicians from the area. The album was recorded in Alstahaug Church, a 900-year-old stone church located near Sandnessjøen.
Nordland is a county in Norway in the Northern Norway region, bordering Troms og Finnmark in the north, Trøndelag in the south, Norrbotten County in Sweden to the east, Västerbotten County to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The county was formerly known as Nordlandene amt. The county administration is in the town of Bodø. The remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen has been administered from Nordland since 1995. In the southern part of the county is Vega, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
Alstahaug is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Sandnessjøen. Some of the villages in Alstahaug include Søvika and Tjøtta.
Vefsn is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Mosjøen. Some of the notable villages in Vefsn include Drevvassbygda, Elsfjord, and Husvik.
Hattfjelldal is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Hattfjelldal. Other villages include Grubben, Svenskvollen, and Varntresk. Hattfjelldal Airfield is located in the village of Hattfjelldal.
Lurøy is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Lurøy, located on the island of Lurøya. Other villages in Lurøy include Aldra, Haugland, Konsvikosen, Lovund, Sleneset / Solværøyene, Stokkvågen, and Tonnes.
Træna is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the island/village of Husøya. Other population centres include Selvær and Sanna.
Rødøy is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Vågaholmen. Other villages include Gjerøy, Jektvika, Kilboghamn, Melfjordbotn, Oldervika, Sørfjorden, and Tjong. The municipality consists of many islands to the west of Norway's second biggest glacier, Svartisen.
Meløy is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Salten traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Ørnes. Other villages include Eidbukta, Neverdal, Glomfjord, Halsa, Reipå, Støtt, and Ågskardet.
Northern Norway is a geographical region of Norway, consisting of the two northernmost counties Nordland and Troms og Finnmark, in total about 35% of the Norwegian mainland. Some of the largest towns in Northern Norway are Mo i Rana, Bodø, Narvik, Harstad, Tromsø and Alta. Northern Norway is often described as the land of the midnight sun and the land of the northern lights. Further north, halfway to the North Pole, is the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, traditionally not regarded as part of Northern Norway.
Saltfjellet–Svartisen National Park is a national park in Nordland county in Norway. It is located within the municipalities of Beiarn, Meløy, Rana, Rødøy, Saltdal, and Bodø. European route E6 and the Nordland Line both follow the southern and eastern borders around the park. The park's eastern border is the Norway-Sweden border and a portion of this border is shared with the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve which lies in Sweden.
Saltfjellet is a mountain area in Nordland county, Norway that separates the two regions of Helgeland and Salten. It is also a cultural border between the Southern and Central parts of Sápmi.
Lovund Church is a chapel of the Church of Norway in Lurøy Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is located in the island village of Lovund. It is an annex chapel in the Lurøy parish which is part of the Nord-Helgeland prosti (deanery) in the Diocese of Sør-Hålogaland. The white, wooden chapel was built in a long church style in 1960 using plans drawn up by the architects John Egil Tverdahl, Petter Andersen, and Harald Myrvang. The building was consecrated on 11 September 1960 by the Bishop Hans Edvard Wisløff.
Melfjorden is a fjord in the municipality of Rødøy in Nordland county, Norway. It is located on the Arctic Circle. The 33-kilometre (21 mi) long fjord goes from the village of Melfjordbotn in the east to its mouth in the Rødøyfjorden near the island of Rangsundøya. There are two fjord arms that branch off the main fjord: Nordfjorden flows to the north into the Saltfjellet–Svartisen National Park and Sørfjorden to the south past the villages of Sørfjorden and Kilboghavn.
Melfjordbotn or Melfjorden is a village in Rødøy Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. The village is located at the eastern end of the Melfjorden, southwest of the Svartisen glacier. The Saltfjellet–Svartisen National Park lies about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) north of the village.
Helgeland Kammerkor is a mixed choir from the region of Helgeland in Northern Norway. The choir was founded in Sandnessjøen i 1992, and currently has around 30 members. The members of Helgeland Kammerkor meet once a month for rehearsals, and give concerts 4-5 times a year. The choir has a broad repertoire that includes church music, madrigals, Nordic folk music and large concert works such as Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. From 2009 to 2018 the choir was conducted by Christopher Eva.
Alstahaug District Court is a district court located in the town of Sandnessjøen in Nordland county, Norway. The court serves the southern part of the county which includes the municipalities of Alstahaug, Dønna, Grane, Hattfjelldal, Herøy, Leirfjord, and Vefsn. The court is subordinate to the Hålogaland Court of Appeal. The court is led by the chief judge Rolf Selfors, who also leads the neighboring Rana District Court and Brønnøy District Court. This court employs a chief judge and three other judges.
Rana District Court is a district court located in the town of Mo i Rana in Nordland county, Norway. The court serves the central part of the county which includes the municipalities of Rana, Hemnes, Nesna, Lurøy, Træna, and Rødøy. The court is subordinate to the Hålogaland Court of Appeal. The court is led by the chief judge Rolf Selfors, who also leads the neighboring Alstahaug District Court and Brønnøy District Court. This court employs a chief judge, two other judges, and two prosecutors.
The Helgeland Museum is a group of 18 museums and collections of buildings in 18 municipalities in Helgeland, Norway. The concept of the museum is to distribute the museum's expertise across Helgeland. This allows people with special professional skills to work for all of the museums in this collaboration. The Helgeland Museum has about 49 permanent employees. Its administrative office is on Sjøgata in Mosjøen.
The Nordland Fotballkrets(Nordland Football Association) is one of the 18 district organisations of the Norwegian Football Federation. It administers lower tier football in the traditional district of Helgeland and Salten.