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Kvinesdal is a municipality in Vest-Agder county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Lister. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Liknes. Other villages in Kvinesdal include Feda, Fjotland, Knaben, and Storekvina.

Kvinesdal kommune
View of the Kvinesdal valley
View of the Kvinesdal valley
Coat of arms of Kvinesdal kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Kvinesdal kommune
Vest-Agder within
Kvinesdal within Vest-Agder
Kvinesdal within Vest-Agder
Coordinates: 58°20′17″N 07°01′23″E / 58.33806°N 7.02306°E / 58.33806; 7.02306Coordinates: 58°20′17″N 07°01′23″E / 58.33806°N 7.02306°E / 58.33806; 7.02306
Administrative centreLiknes
 • Mayor (2015)Per Sverre Kvinlaug (KrF)
 • Total963.22 km2 (371.90 sq mi)
 • Land886.47 km2 (342.27 sq mi)
 • Water76.75 km2 (29.63 sq mi)
Area rank110 in Norway
 • Total5,988
 • Rank175 in Norway
 • Density6.8/km2 (18/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1037
Official language formNeutral

Kvinesdal is an elongated mountain-to-coast municipality, reaching saltwater at the head of the Fedafjorden, which provides access to the North Sea in the south. Further north, the landscape is cut by narrow valleys with scattered small villages. There are also abandoned mines at Knaben, a popular ski resort. Because Kvinesdal resembles the geography of the nation as a whole, it is often referred to as "Little Norway".[2]

The 963-square-kilometre (372 sq mi) municipality is the 110th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Kvinesdal is the 175th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 5,988. The municipality's population density is 6.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (18/sq mi) and its population has increased by 7% over the last decade.[3]

Kvinesdal belongs to a central area in the Norwegian south from which many people emigrated to North America, particularly the United States, from the 1850s until the 1950s. It is noted for being an "American village" (Norwegian: Amerika-bygd) because of the high number of American residents. These are typically either Norwegians who moved to the States, obtained US Citizenship and later moved back to Norway, or are descendants of Norwegians who have never acquired Norwegian citizenship.

General informationEdit

View of the Kvinesdal valley
View of Kvinesdal (1963)

The parish of Kvinesdal was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). In 1841, the neighboring municipality of Fjotland (population: 980) was merged with Kvinesdal to form a new, larger municipality of Kvinesdal, although this was short-lived. In 1858, the merger was un-done and Fjotland became a separate municipality once again. After the split, Kvinesdal had 4,485 residents.

On 1 January 1900, the municipality of Kvinesdal was divided into two: the municipality of Feda in the far southern part (population: 1,090) and the municipality of Liknes in the northern part (population: 2,937). The name of Liknes municipality was changed (back) to Kvinesdal in 1917. During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1963, the municipalities of Fjotland (population: 1,244), Feda (population: 576), and Kvinesdal (population: 3,218) were merged to form one large municipality of Kvinesdal.[4]


The Old Norse form of the name was Hvínisdalr. The first element is the genitive case of the fjord name Hvínir (now called the Fedafjorden) and the last element is dalr which means "valley" or "dale". The name of the fjord is derived from the river name Hvín (now Kvina), and that name is derived from the verb hvína which means "squeal". During the period from 1900–1917, the municipality was named Liknes.[5]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 15 March 1985. The arms show a Y-shaped silver or white figure on a blue background. The Y-shape symbolizes the meeting of the two rivers: Kvina and Litleåna which join together and then flow into the Fedafjorden just south of Liknes.[6]


The Church of Norway has three parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Kvinesdal. It is part of the Lister deanery in the Diocese of Agder og Telemark.

Churches in Kvinesdal
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Feda Feda Church Feda 1802
Fjotland Fjotland Church Fjotland 1836
Netlandsnes Chapel Netland 1886
Kvinesdal Kvinesdal Church Liknes 1837


The long, narrow municipality of Kvinesdal stretches from the mountains in the north, along the Kvinesdalen valley to the Fedafjorden in the south. To the west, Kvinesdal is bordered by Flekkefjord and Sirdal municipalities. To the east, it is bordered by Åseral and Hægebostad. To the south, it is bordered by Lyngdal, and it is bordered by Farsund in the east and south. A small segment of the northern boundary borders Bygland municipality in Aust-Agder county.

The river Kvina, which runs through the municipality, is known for its salmon, and salmon fishing is a popular activity.

Two valleys meet in Kvinesdal's center: Vesterdalen (the Western Valley) through which flows the river Kvina and Austerdalen (the Eastern Valley) through which flows the river Litleåna to join the Kvina.


Climate data for Liknes
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 180
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 16.6 11.1 12.8 10.4 11.7 10.9 11.0 12.3 15.8 16.6 17.9 16.9 164
Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute[7]


About 10% of the inhabitants of Kvinesdal are American citizens, and Kvinesdal does enjoy a special relationship with the United States. Every year, the municipality hosts a special festival remembering the days when local people emigrated to the new world.


View of the Salmeli farm

Kvinesdal was home of many prominent characters in the Saga Period. Among them were the Skald Tjodolv the Frode. Frode means one with great knowledge of the history of ancestors. He composed a historic poem for his king Harold Fairhair. His work was later combined into the Heimskringla when it was recorded by Snorri Sturluson.

In northern Kvinesdal, along the high plateau which sits at 550 metres (1,800 ft) above sea level, records show that the Salmeli Farm dates back at least to the year 1300. During the Black Death years of 1350 the farm became deserted, but was back as a working farm again by 1647. It is now a historic site.

The bailiff Stig Bagge, who was granted local leadership from 1536-1542 by Christian III of Denmark, was an energetic man when he lived at his ancestral home of Eikeland in Kvinesdal. According to the reports of Peder Claussøn Friis, he executed refractory peasants so willingly that the district thought it was to excess; he was the district's bogeyman for many years thereafter. When the bailiff in Nedenes was killed in his bed and rebels came in an unsuccessful attempt to capture and execute Stig, he collected his men and brutally stifled the revolt. Stig himself died by being drawn and quartered by the Dutch when he was caught in piracy or espionage off their coast at Walcheren.[8]


All municipalities in Norway, including Kvinesdal, 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 Kvinesdal is made up of 27 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[9]

Kvinesdal Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet9
 Progress PartyFremskrittspartiet5
 Conservative PartyHøyre5
 Christian Democratic PartyKristelig Folkeparti5
 Green PartyMiljøpartiet De Grønne1
 Centre PartySenterpartiet2
Total number of members:27


In addition to various small businesses and public services, Kvinesdal's economy is driven in part by hydroelectric power. The Sira-Kvina power company derives hydroelectric power from the Kvina river, in addition to various smaller dams. Eramet is an important local employer that provides work to about 200 persons in producing manganese-alloys.[10] There is also a small tourism industry, with golfing and fishing being the main draws.

Notable residentsEdit

  • Aril Edvardsen, a world-renowned Christian charismatic evangelist and the founder of Troens Bevis Verdens Evangelisering (English: Evidence of Faith World Evangelisation). The organization has its headquarters in Kvinesdal, called Sarons Dal [no] (English: The Valley of Saron), with a giant mess hall, offices, music studio, TV-studio, a small congregation called Kirken i Dalen (English: The Church in the Valley), a theological seminary, camping sites and swimming pools.
  • Kristian Marcelius Førland (1891–1978), one of Southern Norway's greatest artists, lived and painted in Kvinesdal. His home is now a museum.
  • European Rallycross Champions Ludvig Hunsbedt and Guttorm Lindefjell
  • The Band Luxus Leverpostei
  • The footballers Atle Roar Håland, Tor Henning Hamre and Roger Eskeland
  • Social scientist and journalist Andreas Hompland
  • Graphic Designer Liv Denmark

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ Welle-Strand, Erling (1996). Adventure Roads in Norway. Nortrabooks. ISBN 82-90103-71-9.
  3. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2017). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  4. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  5. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Kvinesdal" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  6. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  7. ^ "eKlima Web Portal". Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Archived from the original on 2004-06-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ Stagg, Frank Noel (1958). South Norway. George Allen & Unwin, Ltd.
  9. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.
  10. ^ "Eramet Norway Kvinesdal". Eramet Norway.

External linksEdit