Tjøtta (island)

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Tjotta med utsyn mot Vega.JPG
View of Tjøtta in the foreground (Vega is in the background)
Norway Nordland location map.svg
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Location of the island
Norway location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Tjøtta (Norway)
Location Nordland, Norway
Coordinates 65°50′19″N12°27′15″E / 65.8386°N 12.4542°E / 65.8386; 12.4542 Coordinates: 65°50′19″N12°27′15″E / 65.8386°N 12.4542°E / 65.8386; 12.4542
Area11.3 km2 (4.4 sq mi)
Length7 km (4.3 mi)
Width4 km (2.5 mi)
Highest elevation77 m (253 ft)
Highest pointKalvberghaugen
County Nordland
Municipality Alstahaug Municipality

Tjøtta is an island in Alstahaug Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. The 11.3-square-kilometre (4.4 sq mi) island lies at the entrance to the Vefsnfjorden, just south of the island of Alsta. The U-shaped island is relatively flat, and the highest point is the 77-metre (253 ft) tall Kalvberghaugen, just east of the village of Tjøtta. The island has two main villages on it: Tjøtta and Svinnes. The Norwegian County Road 17 crosses the island and it connects it to the neighboring islands of Offersøya and Alsta by two causeways. [1]

Island Any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water

An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.

Nordland County (fylke) of Norway

Nordland is a county in Norway in the Northern Norway region, bordering Troms 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 Bodø. The remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen has been administered from Nordland since 1995.

Norway constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northwestern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.



Tjøtta has one of the largest and oldest Iron Age farms in Northern Norway, and hardly any places in the region have this many historical relics preserved in one limited area. The chief Hårek of Tjøtta was from here. He was known in the stories of Snorre Sturlason as the governor of Hålogaland. [1]

The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, preceded by the Stone Age (Neolithic) and the Bronze Age. It is an archaeological era in the prehistory and protohistory of Europe and the Ancient Near East, and by analogy also used of other parts of the Old World. The three-age system was introduced in the first half of the 19th century for the archaeology of Europe in particular, and by the later 19th century expanded to the archaeology of the Ancient Near East. Its name harks back to the mythological "Ages of Man" of Hesiod. As an archaeological era it was first introduced for Scandinavia by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen in the 1830s. By the 1860s, it was embraced as a useful division of the "earliest history of mankind" in general and began to be applied in Assyriology. The development of the now-conventional periodization in the archaeology of the Ancient Near East was developed in the 1920s to 1930s. As its name suggests, Iron Age technology is characterized by the production of tools and weaponry by ferrous metallurgy (ironworking), more specifically from carbon steel.

Northern Norway Region of Norway

Northern Norway is a geographical region of Norway, consisting of the three northernmost counties Nordland, Troms and 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.

Hålogaland district of Norway

Hålogaland was the northernmost of the Norwegian provinces in the medieval Norse sagas. In the early Viking Age, before Harald Fairhair, Hålogaland was a kingdom extending between the Namdalen valley in Trøndelag county and the Lyngen fjord in Troms county.


Gullhaugen is located on Tjøtta. The name comes from the Old Norse word haugr meaning hill or mound. Gullhaugen is the site of a large burial mound consisting of over 30 mounds, 5 large round mounds, several elongated mounds, 2 large burial cairns, several stone rings, and a large number of smaller round mounds. The largest mound is about 25 metres (82 ft) across and about 2 to 3 metres (6 ft 7 in to 9 ft 10 in) high. All the mounds in this part of the cemetery has been dated back to the Iron Age. [2]

Old Norse North Germanic language

Old Norse was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements from about the 9th to the 13th century.

Cairn man-made pile of stones or burial monument

A cairn is a human-made pile of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn[ˈkʰaːrˠn̪ˠ].

War Cemetries

There are two war cemeteries: Tjøtta Russian War Cemetery from 1953 and Tjøtta International War Cemetery from 1970 with the remains of the victims of Rigel sunk in 1944.

Tjøtta Russian War Cemetery

Tjøtta Russian War Cemetery on Tjøtta has more than 7,500 war graves, mostly Russians who were taken prisoners by Nazi Germany. The Soviet prisoners of war who died in North Norway during World War II were buried in ordinary cemeteries. After the war, however, the Norwegian authorities decided that they should be moved and brought together in a common cemetery on state ground at Tjøtta. The cemetery was consecrated in 1953 and comprises an enclosed common grave to the north with 6,725 dead, and 826 individual graves to the south.

Tjøtta International War Cemetery is a war cemetery on Tjøtta founded in 1970.

MS <i>Rigel</i> Norwegian cargo ship, 1924-1944

MS Rigel was a Norwegian vessel built in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1924. The ship was used as a German prisoner of war (POW) transport during World War II, and was sunk by British Fleet Air Arm aircraft off Norway on 27 November 1944 with more than 2,500 dead, mostly POWs.

See also

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Vestfold County (fylke) of Norway

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Loppa (island) island in Finnmark, Norway

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Vega (island in Norway) island in Vega, Norway

Vega is an island in Vega Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. The 108-square-kilometre (42 sq mi) island is the largest island in the 6,500 islands in the Vegaøyan archipelago, all of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island lies in the Norwegian Sea, about 18 kilometres (11 mi) west of the mainland of Norway. The islands of Igerøya and Ylvingen lie between Vega and the mainland. The main villages on the island are Gladstad, the administrative centre of the municipality, and Holand.


Offersøya or Offersøy is an island in Alstahaug Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. The 6.7-square-kilometre (2.6 sq mi) island lies directly between the large island of Alsta and the smaller island of Tjøtta at the mouth of the Vefsnfjorden. The Norwegian County Road 17 runs across the island connecting Alsta and Tjøtta. The island is relatively flat, with the highest point only reaching 43 metres (141 ft) above sea level. In 2016, there were 61 residents living on the island.

Altra, Nordland

Altra is an island in Alstahaug Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. The 0.24-square-kilometre (59-acre) island lies between the large island of Alsta and the small island of Tenna. The flat island is rather unique in the area because it is about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) long and at most about 2 kilometres (6,600 ft) wide at the northern end. Most of the island is very narrow, and in some places, it is only about 60 metres (200 ft) wide.


  1. 1 2 Thorsnæs, Geir, ed. (2016-02-29). "Tjøtta – øy". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget . Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  2. The Megalithic Portal. "Gullhaugen".