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Hordaland fylke
Hordaland Hardangerfjord 05.JPG
Hardangerfjord in July 2012
Hordaland in Norway.svg
Hordaland within Norway
Coordinates: 60°15′N06°00′E / 60.250°N 6.000°E / 60.250; 6.000 Coordinates: 60°15′N06°00′E / 60.250°N 6.000°E / 60.250; 6.000
Country Norway
County Hordaland
Region Vestlandet
County ID NO-12
Administrative centre Bergen
   Governor Lars Sponheim
   County mayor Anne Gine Hestetun
  Total15,460 km2 (5,970 sq mi)
  Land14,551 km2 (5,618 sq mi)
Area rank#9 in Norway, 4.78% of Norway's land area
 (May 13, 2021 est.) [1]
  Rank3 (9.72% of country)
  Density35/km2 (90/sq mi)
  Change (10 years)
7.9 %
Demonym(s) Hordalending
Time zone UTC+01 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02 (CEST)
Official language form Nynorsk
Income (per capita)(EUR 18,500) 148,000 NOK
GDP (per capita)(EUR 33,000) 263,000 NOK (2001)
GDP national rank2 (7.55% of country)
Website www.hordaland.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Hordaland (Urban East Norwegian:  [ˈhɔ̂rdɑlɑn] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) was a county in Norway, bordering Sogn og Fjordane, Buskerud, Telemark, and Rogaland counties. Hordaland was the third largest county after Akershus and Oslo by population. The county government was the Hordaland County Municipality which is located in Bergen. Before 1972, the city of Bergen was its own separate county apart from Hordaland. On 1 January 2020, the county was merged with neighbouring Sogn og Fjordane county to form the new Vestland county.


Name and symbols


Hordaland (Old Norse: Hǫrðaland) is the old name of the region which was revived in 1919. The first element is the plural genitive case of hǫrðar, the name of an old Germanic tribe (see Charudes). The last element is land which means "land" or "region" in the Norwegian language.

Until 1919 the name of the county was Søndre Bergenhus amt which meant "(the) southern (part of) Bergenhus amt". (The old Bergenhus amt was created in 1662 and was divided into Northern and Southern parts in 1763.)


The flag of Hordaland Flag of Hordaland.svg
The flag of Hordaland

Hordaland's flag shows two golden axes and a crown in red. The flag is a banner of the coat of arms derived from the old seal of the guild of St. Olav from Onarheim in Tysnes municipality. This seal was used by the delegates of Sunnhordland in 1344 on the document to install king Haakon V of Norway. It was thus the oldest symbol used for the region and adapted as the arms and flag in 1961. The symbols refer to the patron saint of the guild, Saint Olav, King of Norway, whose symbol is an axe. [2]

Coat of arms

The coat-of-arms were officially granted on 1 December 1961. They were designed by Magnus Hardeland, but the general design had been originally used in the Sunnhordland region during the 14th century. In the early 20th century, leaders of the county began using the old arms as a symbol for the county once again. The arms are on a red background and consist of two golden axes that are crossed with a golden crown above them. [3]


Historical population
Source: Statistics Norway. [4] [5]
Religion in Hordaland [6] [7]

Hordaland county had been around for more than one thousand years. In the 7th century, the area was made up of many petty kingdoms under the Gulating and was known as Hordafylke from around the year 900. 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. [8]

In 1662, the lens were replaced by amts. Bergenhus amt originally consisted of the present-day areas of Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane, and Sunnmøre and the far northern Nordlandene amt was subordinate to Bergenhus. In the 1680s, Nordlandene and Sunnmøre were split from Bergenhus. 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. Søndre Bergenhus amt was renamed Hordaland fylke in 1919. [8]

The city of Bergen was classified as a city-county (byamt) from 1831 to 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. [8]


Hardanger is one of Norway's most important sources of fruit, providing approximately 40% of the country's fruit production, including apples, plums, pears, cherries, and redcurrants. Lofthus1.jpg
Hardanger is one of Norway's most important sources of fruit, providing approximately 40% of the country's fruit production, including apples, plums, pears, cherries, and redcurrants.

A county (fylke) is the chief local administrative area in Norway. The whole country is divided into 19 counties. A county is also an election area, with popular votes taking place every 4 years. In Hordaland, the government of the county was the Hordaland County Municipality. It included 57 members elected to form a county council (Fylkesting). Heading the Fylkesting was the county mayor (fylkesordførar). The last county mayor for the Hordaland County Municipality was Anne Gine Hestetun.

The county also had a County Governor (fylkesmann) who was the representative of the King and Government of Norway. Lars Sponheim was the last County Governor of Hordaland. The municipalities in Hordaland were divided among four district courts (tingrett): Nordhordland, Sunnhordland, Bergen, and Hardanger. Hordaland was also part of the Gulating Court of Appeal district based in Bergen. [8]

Most of the municipalities in Hordaland were part of the Hordaland police district. Gulen and Solund in Sogn og Fjordane county were also part of the Hordaland police district. Bømlo, Etne, Fitjar, Stord and Sveio were a part of the "Haugaland and Sunnhordland" police district, along with eight other municipalities in Rogaland county. [8]


Finse is the highest point of the Norwegian Railway System, located at 1,222 m (4,009 ft) above sea level. FinseInWinter.jpg
Finse is the highest point of the Norwegian Railway System, located at 1,222 m (4,009 ft) above sea level.

Hordaland is semi-circular in shape. It is located on the western coast of Norway, split from southwest to northeast by the long, deep Hardangerfjorden, one of Norway's main fjords and a great tourist attraction. About half of the National park of Hardangervidda is in this county. The county also includes many well-known waterfalls, such as Vøringsfossen and Stykkjedalsfossen. It also includes the Folgefonna and Hardangerjøkulen glaciers.

More than 60% of the inhabitants live in Bergen and the surrounding area. Other urban or semi-urban centres include Leirvik, Voss and Odda.

Panorama over the island of Sotra.
Location of Oppland Municipalities Hordaland Municipalities.png
Location of Oppland Municipalities


  1. Askøy
  2. Austevoll
  3. Austrheim
  4. Bergen
  5. Bømlo
  6. Eidfjord
  7. Etne
  8. Fedje
  9. Fitjar
  10. Fjell
  11. Fusa
  12. Granvin
  13. Jondal
  14. Kvam
  15. Kvinnherad
  16. Lindås
  17. Masfjorden
  18. Meland
  19. Modalen
  20. Odda
  21. Os
  22. Osterøy
  23. Øygarden
  24. Radøy
  25. Samnanger
  26. Stord
  27. Sund
  28. Sveio
  29. Tysnes
  30. Ullensvang
  31. Ulvik
  32. Vaksdal
  33. Voss





Former municipalities

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Hordaland county is twinned with: [8]

Notable residents

Related Research Articles

Sogn og Fjordane Former county (fylke) of Norway

Sogn og Fjordane was, up to 1 January 2020, a county in western Norway, when it was merged to become part of Vestland county. Bordering previous counties Møre og Romsdal, Oppland, Buskerud, and Hordaland, the county administration was in the village of Hermansverk in Leikanger municipality. The largest town in the county was Førde.

Fitjar Municipality in Vestland, Norway

Fitjar 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.

Eidfjord Municipality in Vestland, Norway

Eidfjord is a municipality in Vestland county, Norway. The municipality is located in the traditional district of Hardanger. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Eidfjord, where the majority of the municipal population lives. The other major population centre in the municipality is the village of Øvre Eidfjord.

Ulvik Municipality in Vestland, Norway

Ulvik is a municipality in Vestland county, Norway. The municipality stretches from the Hardangerfjord to the mountains that reach 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) above sea level. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Ulvik. The villages of Osa and Finse are also located in Ulvik municipality.

Gulen Municipality in Vestland, Norway

Gulen  is a municipality in the southwestern part of Vestland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Sogn. The administrative center of the municipality is the village of Eivindvik. Other villages in Gulen include Brekke, Byrknes, Dalsøyra, Dingja, Instefjord, Mjømna, Rutledal, and Ytre Oppedal.


The Hardangerfjord is the fifth longest fjord in the world, and the second longest fjord in Norway. It is located in Vestland county in the Hardanger region. The fjord stretches 179 kilometres (111 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean into the mountainous interior of Norway along the Hardangervidda plateau. The innermost point of the fjord reaches the town of Odda.

Haugaland District in Rogaland and Vestland, Norway

Haugaland or Haugalandet is a traditional district situated on the western coast of Norway. Haugaland is one of the 15 traditional districts located within the Vestlandet region.

Sunnhordland District in Vestland, Norway

Sunnhordland is a traditional district in the western region of Norway. The district consists of the southern coastal regions of the old Hordaland county. In includes the areas that surround the mouth of the Hardangerfjorden and the surrounding islands. The municipalities of Sveio, Etne, Stord, Bømlo, Fitjar, Kvinnherad, and Tysnes make up the district of Sunnhordaland. The regional centre of this district is the town of Leirvik in Stord.

Nordhordland District in Vestland, Norway

Nordhordland is a traditional district in the western part of Norway. The district consists of the northern portion of the old Hordaland county, north of the city of Bergen. It includes the municipalities Alver, Austrheim, Fedje, Masfjorden, Modalen, Osterøy, and Vaksdal. The district roughly corresponds to the Nordhordland prosti, a Church of Norway deanery and also to the municipalities that fall under the Nordhordland District Court. Historically, the municipality of Gulen to the north was included in the district.

This is an incomplete list of Norwegian coats of arms. Today most municipalities and all counties have their own coats of arms. Many Norwegian military units and other public agencies and some private families have coats of arms. For more general information see the page about Norwegian heraldry.

Bergenhus len was an administrative division of the Kingdom of Norway that existed from 1503 to 1662, with the Bergenhus Fortress in Bergen as its administrative center Norwegian administrative division. The len was changed to an amt (district) in 1662 but it kept its original name and capital until 1919.

Bergenhus may refer to:

Bergen og omland District in Vestland, Norway

Bergen og omland is a region in Vestland county, Norway. It consists of the districts Midthordland and Nordhordland. The center is the city of Bergen.

Nordhordland District Court

Nordhordland District Court was a district court in Norway serving the Nordhordland and Midhordland in Hordaland county, as well as Gulen Municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county. The court served the municipalities of Askøy, Austevoll, Austrheim, Fedje, Fjell, Fusa, Gulen, Lindås, Masfjorden, Meland, Modalen, Os, Osterøy, Radøy, Samnanger, Sund, Vaksdal, Voss, and Øygarden. The court was subordinate to the Gulating Court of Appeal. The court was led by the chief judge. The Nordhordland District Court was co-located with the Bergen District Court at the Bergen Tinghus at Tårnplads 2 in Bergen. Cases can be appealed to Gulating Court of Appeal.

Hordaland Police District is headquartered in Bergen, Norway. In the police district are approximately 454,000 inhabitants.

Sunnhordland District Court

Sunnhordland District Court is a district court in Sunnhordland in Vestland county, Norway. The court is based in the town of Leirvik in Stord Municipality. The court has jurisdiction over the municipalities of Bømlo, Fitjar, Kvinnherad, Stord, Sveio, and Tysnes and it is subordinate to the Gulating Court of Appeal.

Vestland County (fylke) of Norway

Vestland is a county in Norway established on 1 January 2020. 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.


  1. Statistics Norway – Population per 1 April 2011 and population changes during 1st quarter of 2011. Hordaland.
  2. "Civic heraldry of Norway – Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2015-04-12.
  3. "Hordaland fylke" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2008-08-29.
  4. http://www.ssb.no/fob/kommunehefte/12/fob_12_tabeller.pdf
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-21. Retrieved 2016-02-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. Statistics Norway – Church of Norway.
  7. Statistics Norway – Members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway, by religion/life stance. County. 2006–2010 Archived 2011-11-02 at the Wayback Machine
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 no:Hordaland
  9. The City and the Stril country University of Bergen Grind website.
  10. "Home page of Cardiff Council – Cardiff's twin cities". Cardiff Council. 15 June 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2010.