Open main menu

About this soundHjelmeland  is a municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Ryfylke. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Hjelmelandsvågen. Other villages in the municipality include Fister, Årdal, and Jøsenfjorden.[3]

Hjelmeland kommune
View of the Hjelmeland Church
View of the Hjelmeland Church
Coat of arms of Hjelmeland kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Hjelmeland kommune
Rogaland within
Hjelmeland within Rogaland
Hjelmeland within Rogaland
Coordinates: 59°13′02″N 06°20′27″E / 59.21722°N 6.34083°E / 59.21722; 6.34083Coordinates: 59°13′02″N 06°20′27″E / 59.21722°N 6.34083°E / 59.21722; 6.34083
Administrative centreHjelmelandsvågen
 • Mayor (2015)Bjørn Laugaland (Sp)
 • Total1,088.82 km2 (420.40 sq mi)
 • Land968.60 km2 (373.98 sq mi)
 • Water120.22 km2 (46.42 sq mi)
Area rank95 in Norway
 • Total2,708
 • Rank281 in Norway
 • Density2.8/km2 (7/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Demonym(s)Hjelmelandsbu [1]
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1133
Official language formNynorsk [2]

Hjelmeland is known for its fruit (apples, pears, plums, cherries and strawberries) and fish production. Salmon has been important for the fish industry in Hjelmeland for a couple of decades, but white fish such as cod and halibut has increased its value in the latter years.

The 1,089-square-kilometre (420 sq mi) municipality is the 95th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Hjelmeland is the 281st most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 2,708. The municipality's population density is 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (7.3/sq mi) and its population has increased by exactly 0.0% over the last decade.[4]

General informationEdit

View of the Hjelmeland countryside
View of the Jøsenfjorden
View of an old stone bridge in Hjelmeland
View of the Old Årdal Church

Hjelmeland was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). In 1859, Hjelmeland municipality was split into two: the southern portion of the municipality (population: 1,315) was split off to form the new municipality of Årdal and the remainder of the municipality became the municipality of Hjelmeland og Fister (population: 3,084). On 1 July 1884, the western islands and the western coast of the mainland (population: 832) were split off from Hjelmeland og Fister to form the new municipality of Fister and the rest of the municipality was renamed simply "Hjelmeland" which now had 2,249 residents.

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1965, all of Hjelemland municipality (population: 1,691) was merged with most of the municipality of Årdal (except the Sundgardene area along the Årdalsfjorden), the mainland part and the island of Randøy from the municipality of Fister, and the small Buergårdene area on Ombo from the municipality of Jelsa. The population of the newly enlarged Hjelemland was 2,909; nearly doubling the size of the municipal population.[5]


The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Hjelmeland farm (Old Norse: Hjalmaland), since the first Hjelmeland Church was built there. Today the farm is a part of the Hjelmelandsvågen urban area. The first element of the name is the plural genitive case of hjalmr which means "helmet" and this is referring to two heights behind the farm which have the form of two helmets. The last element is land which means "land" or "farm".[6]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 30 November 1984. The arms show a six yellow woven straws on a red background. They are based on the local tradition of making chairs and other furniture with seats of woven twigs (jærstoler). The process of weaving is symbolised in the arms. At the same time the arms show the strength and solidarity of the municipality.[7]


The Church of Norway has three parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Hjelmeland. It is part of the Ryfylke deanery in the Diocese of Stavanger.

Churches in Hjelmeland
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Fister Fister Church Fister 1867
Hjelmeland Hjelmeland Church Hjelmelandsvågen 1858
Årdal Årdal Church Årdal 1919
Old Årdal Church Årdal 1619


All municipalities in Norway, including Hjelmeland, 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 Hjelmeland is made up of 19 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[8]

Hjelmeland Kommunestyre 2019–2023
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)2
 Conservative Party (Høgre)4
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)2
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)9
 Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)1
 Liberal Party (Venstre)1
Total number of members:19


View of Årdal

The municipality stretches from the mountains bordering the Setesdal valley to the shores of the fjords that connect to the main Boknafjorden. The small Jøsenfjorden and Årdalsfjorden cut into the mainland. There are several islands that are part of Hjelmeland including Randøy and part of Ombo as well as some smaller surrounding islands. The island of Randøy is connected to the mainland by the Randøy Bridge.

There are several large lakes in the municipality including Nilsebuvatnet, Øvre Tysdalsvatnet, and Tysdalsvatnet. The large lake Blåsjø partially lies in the municipality. The Trollgarden glacial moraine lies atop a mountain in Hjelmeland. The Ritland crater is also located in the municipality.


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
  2. ^ "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian).
  3. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Hjelmeland" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  4. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2017). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  5. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  6. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1915). Norske gaardnavne: Stavanger amt (in Norwegian) (10 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. pp. 321–329.
  7. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  8. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.

External linksEdit