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Førde is a municipality in the county of Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Sunnfjord. The administrative center is the town of Førde which in 2016 had 10,255 inhabitants.[2] Other villages in Førde municipality include Bruland, Holsen, Moskog, and Haukedalen. The Øyrane area in the town of Førde is a large industrial/commercial area for the region. The European Route E39 highway goes through the municipality, and it passes by the lake Holsavatnet.

Førde kommune
Førde town center
Førde town center
Coat of arms of Førde kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Førde kommune
Sogn og Fjordane within
Førde within Sogn og Fjordane
Førde within Sogn og Fjordane
Coordinates: 61°26′35″N 05°54′13″E / 61.44306°N 5.90361°E / 61.44306; 5.90361Coordinates: 61°26′35″N 05°54′13″E / 61.44306°N 5.90361°E / 61.44306; 5.90361
CountySogn og Fjordane
Administrative centreFørde
 • Mayor (2011)Olve Arlid Grotle (H)
 • Total585.82 km2 (226.19 sq mi)
 • Land553.01 km2 (213.52 sq mi)
 • Water32.81 km2 (12.67 sq mi)
Area rank#189 in Norway
 • Total13,009
 • Rank#92 in Norway
 • Density23.5/km2 (61/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1432
Official language formNynorsk

Førde Airport, Bringeland is the regional airport that is about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from the town centre and it has flights that connect Oslo and Bergen with Førde. The airport is actually located in neighboring Gaular municipality, just south of the border. The largest hospital in Sogn og Fjordane county, Førde Central Hospital, and the regional offices of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation are located in the town. The International Førde Folk Music Festival is held each summer. The local newspaper is called Firda.

The 586-square-kilometre (226 sq mi) municipality is the 189th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Førde is the 92nd most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 13,009. The municipality's population density is 23.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (61/sq mi) and its population has increased by 13.5% over the last decade.[3]


General informationEdit

Førde bus station

Førde was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The original municipality was identical to the Førde parish (prestegjeld) with the sub-parishes (sokn) of Førde, Holsen, and Naustdal.[4]

On 1 January 1896, the northern sub-parish of Naustdal (population: 2,543) was separated from Førde and it became a municipality of its own. This left Førde with 2,903 residents. On 1 January 1964, the areas of Naustdal south of the Førdefjorden (population: 265) were transferred to Førde municipality.[5]

On 1 January 2020, the neighboring municipalities of Førde, Naustdal, Gaular, and Jølster are scheduled to merge into one large municipality that may possibly be called Indre Sunnfjord.[6]


The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the Førde farm (Old Norse Fjǫrðr nominative and Firði dative) since the first Førde Church was built there. The name is identical with the word fjǫrðr which means fjord (referring to the fjord now called Førdefjorden).[7]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 27 April 1990. It shows three silver plowshares on a red background. They symbolize the three pillars of the local economy: agriculture, horticulture, and development.[8]


The Church of Norway has two parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Førde. It is part of the Sunnfjord deanery in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.

Churches in Førde
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Førde Førde Church Førde 1885
Holsen og Haukedalen Haukedalen Church Haukedalen 1885
Holsen Church Holsen 1861


Lake Haukedalsvatnet
Lake Langeland

The municipality of Førde encompasses the valleys that lead away from the inner end of the Førdefjorden. The municipality of Naustdal borders Førde to the north, the municipalities of Jølster, Sogndal, and Balestrand are to the east, Gaular municipality is to the south, and the municipality of Askvoll lies to the west. The two largest lakes are Holsavatnet and Haukedalsvatnet. The rivers Jølstra and Gaula are both partially located in Førde municipality. The Gaularfjellet mountains are located in the east and south of the municipality. The glaciers Grovabreen and Jostefonn are located in the eastern mountainous part of Førde. The westernmost edges of the Jostedalsbreen National Park are located in the Haukedalen valley in Førde.


All municipalities in Norway, including Førde, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.

Municipal councilEdit

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Førde is made up of 27 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[9]

Førde Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet9
 Progress PartyFramstegspartiet1
 Conservative PartyHøgre6
 Christian Democratic PartyKristelig Folkeparti2
 Green PartyMiljøpartiet Dei Grøne1
 Centre PartySenterpartiet4
 Socialist Left PartySosialistisk Venstreparti2
 Liberal PartyVenstre2
Total number of members:27



  • Huldefossen: Located approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the town of Førde, it is a 90 metres (300 ft) tall waterfall into the peaceful valley below.
  • Halbrendsfossen: located a short walk from the Førde town center. It is a very powerful waterfall in the spring.[10]

The SalmonEdit

The Salmon is a 65 metres (213 ft) long stone sculpture which is Norway's longest individual sculpture. It was created by Jørn Rønnau. It blends naturally in with the green surroundings on the banks of the river Jølstra, close to the Førdehuset cultural centre.[10]


Førdehuset (literal meaning: the Førde house) is a regional cultural centre, a cornerstone for cultural life in Western Norway. The centre is centrally located in the town of Førde, surrounded by a sports complex, amphitheatre, and is next door to the County Gallery. A multitude of cultural activities are gathered together under one roof - small and large attractions/events the whole year round.[10]

National Tourist RoadEdit

View of Fv13

Norwegian County Road 13 (Fv13) is one of 18 national tourist roads in Norway because of the nearby waterfalls. From Førde, drivers start on a sightseeing journey with cultural attractions that date from the 19th century to the present day’s city environment. The districts of Holsen and Haukedalen are typical of Western Norwegian farming communities that have created a picturesque cultivated landscape.

Rørvik Mountain, the trail with the fascinating stone walls and a marvellous view over Haukedalen. Along Råheimsdalen and Eldalen to the Gaularfjellet mountains, you will see a marvellous waterfall landscape that has been landscaped with paths for visitors. From the top of Gaularfjell mountains, hairpin bends wind down to the Vetlefjorden, an arm of the Sognefjorden. The breathtaking contrasts of steep mountainsides, winding roads, and waterfalls are characteristic of Western Norway’s exceptional scenery.[10]

Sunnfjord MuseumEdit

Sunnfjord Museum

The Sunnfjord Museum is one of four district museums in Sogn og Fjordane County. The main courtyard of the outdoor museum is a cluster of 25 restored antiquarian buildings sited in a cultural landscape representative of the same period. These buildings provide an insight into life and lifestyles in the Sunnfjord districts around the middle of the 19th century. The land tenant’s home is on its original site with the interior as it was at the end of the 19th century. In June, July and August, there are daily guided tours through the old buildings.[10]

Notable peopleEdit

Twin towns — sister citiesEdit

Førde is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (1 January 2016). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality".
  3. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2017). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  4. ^ Natvik, Oddvar (9 February 2005). "Some historical data on the 26 Kommunes". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011.
  5. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
  6. ^ "Ny kommune i Indre Sunnfjord" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  7. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1919). Norske gaardnavne: Nordre Bergenhus amt (in Norwegian) (12 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 325.
  8. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Retrieved 2013-11-22.
  9. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Førde Municipality in Norway". Retrieved 11 August 2008.

External linksEdit