Mosjøen (Norwegian: [ˈmùːʃøn] (About this soundlisten)) or Mussere  (Southern Sami) is a town in Vefsn Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. Mosjøen is the oldest town in the Helgeland region, with only the town of Bodø being older within Nordland county. The town is also the administrative centre of Vefsn Municipality. The old village of Mosjøen was declared a ladested in 1875. It was also a town municipality (bykommune) from 1875 until 1961 when it was merged into Vefsn, losing its status as a town (ladested). It is also a former garrison town and customs place.[3] In 1998, the urban area of Mosjøen was declared to be a town once again. People from Mosjøen are referred to using the demonym "mosjøværing". The 6.36-square-kilometre (1,570-acre) town has a population (2018) of 9,834 and a population density of 1,528 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,960/sq mi).[1]


Mussere  (Southern Sami)
View of southern parts of Mosjøen
View of southern parts of Mosjøen
Mosjøen is located in Nordland
Location of the town
Mosjøen is located in Norway
Mosjøen (Norway)
Coordinates: 65°50′13″N 13°11′29″E / 65.8370°N 13.1913°E / 65.8370; 13.1913Coordinates: 65°50′13″N 13°11′29″E / 65.8370°N 13.1913°E / 65.8370; 13.1913
RegionNorthern Norway
MunicipalityVefsn Municipality
 • Total6.36 km2 (2.46 sq mi)
Elevation5 m (16 ft)
 • Total9,843
 • Density1,528/km2 (3,960/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Post Code
8651–8665 Mosjøen
Former Municipality:Mosjøen
Municipality IDNO-1802
Created fromVefsn in 1875
Merged intoVefsn in 1962

Together with the other regional towns of Mo i Rana and Narvik, Mosjøen is one of the industrial towns in Nordland county. Owned by Alcoa, Mosjøen Aluminum Plant is among the biggest in Europe, and is traditionally the town's cornerstone. Additionally, the town's business sector includes trade, crafts, banking, transportation, and tourism. The town attracts customers from the entire region.

Mosjøen is a transport hub in Helgeland. From Mosjøen, it is 71 kilometres (44 miles) to the town of Sandnessjøen in the west, 87 kilometres (54 miles) to the town of Mo i Rana in the north, and 160 kilometres (99 miles) to the town of Brønnøysund in the south. Furthermore, the road distance is 318 km (198 miles) to the town of Bodø and 393 km (244 miles) to the city of Trondheim. The European route E6 highway runs through the town. There are daily departures from Mosjøen Bus Central, from Mosjøen Railway Station on the Nordland Line, and from Mosjøen Airport south of the town. There are both public and private quays in Mosjøen. The town's harbour is among the largest in Northern Norway.[4]

In the aspect of secondary and adult education, Mosjøen exercises both local and regional functions. Offering general (including music), vocational, and agricultural lines, Mosjøen High School also receives students from rural municipalities surrounding the town and from other regions of Nordland. Vefsn Folk High School lies in Mosjøen, while Sandvik Folk High School is located north of it. The town has got a department of the Open University. Many bigger events for children and youths take place in Mosjøen, among others Toppen International Summer Music School and The Kippermoen Cup.

Mosjøen is known for Sjøgata: Northern Norway's longest cluster of 19th-century wooden houses and piers. Other tourist attractions include Dolstad Church from 1735, the award-winning Town Park from 1905, and the aluminum plant.


Downtown as well as northern and north-eastern parts of Mosjøen

Historically located in the outskirts of a large and central farm called Mo, from which the town has got its name, Mosjøen means 'the sea(side) belonging to Mo'. In other words, it was a place where the Mo farmers had their boats and boatsheds. Descending from Old Norwegian mór, Mo translates as moorland. Earlier spellings are Mosøen in the 19th century and Moesøen in the 18th.


Spanning 300 years, Mosjøen's architecture includes villas of the early 20th century
The English sawmills in 1870. As Mosjøen grew wealthier and wealthier, surrounding forests were depleted
Mosjøen's telegraph station in 1906. The town was central for infrastructure and communications in Helgeland

Mentioned in Aslak Bolt's cadastre of the 15th century, Mo is a medieval farm with a history at least dating to the Viking Age. Mosjøen's own history starts in the early modern period. Mosjøen was populated by 1600.[5] The earliest inhabitant known by name is Svein Beachdweller, who lived there together with his wife and daughters in 1660.[5] In the 17th and early 18th century, especially following the 1645 Treaty of Brömsebro, several inhabitants of Jemtland escaped to Trøndelag and to Nordland. Many of them came to Vefsn, including Mosjøen. In the 18th century, Mosjøen as a settlement for nonagrarian occupations started to materialise. For example, the regional executioner resided there temporarily. As did a handful of craftsmen and public officials.

From the late 16th century until the 1820s, Mo was possessed by the Mo family: wealthy farmers as well as skippers and merchants who contributed to Mosjøen's gradual expansion. In 1794, a member of the family received royal privilege to establish a trading post in Mosjøen.

In the 1860s, a group of Englishmen—the 'salmon lords'—established The North of Europe Land & Mining Company, introducing the first industrial period in Mosjøen. Sawmill industry created 'Klondike conditions': People came from everywhere in order to get a job, to trade, and so on, and salaries were relatively high.

On 4 April 1874, King Oscar II decided to grant ladested (town) status to Mosjøen effective on 1 January 1875. As a ladested, Mosjøen now had the privilege to export goods directly to foreign countries. As a new town, it had the right to self-government, so it was separated from Vefsn Municipality to become a separate municipality on 1 January 1876. Initially, the new town had 379 residents. In 1939, a small adjoining area of Vefsn was transferred into the town of Mosjøen.[6][3][4]

As the biggest and most important, central town in the Helgeland region, Mosjøen became northern headquarters of the Nazi German occupiers between 1940 and 1945. After the war in 1945, Mosjøen entered its second industrial period. Among several industrial establishments was Mosjøen Aluminum Plant.

Mosjøen's coat of arms was granted by King Olav V on 25 March 1960. Composed by sculptor Arthur Gustavsson, it is blazoned Sable, a cock Argent. The cock is traditionally equipped with red beak, wattles, comb, and claws: the so-called colour of armament. The cock represents watchfulness and fighting spirit. After the merger with Vefsn in 1962, the coat of arms has been used by Vefsn Municipality.

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1962, a major municipal merger took place. The town of Mosjøen (population: 4,628) was merged with the municipalities of Vefsn (population: 5,358), Drevja (population: 1,001), and Elsfjord (population: 920), creating a new municipality called Vefsn.[6][3] Upon merging, Mosjøen lost its status as a town.

In 1998, the municipal council of Vefsn declared Mosjøen to have the formal status as a town.


Mosjøen was a municipality from 1875 until 1962, and during that time, it was self-governing as a municipality. All municipalities in Norway, including Mosjøen, 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 elects a mayor.[7]

Municipal councilEdit

The municipal council (Bystyre) of Mosjøen was made up of representatives that were elected to four year terms. The party breakdown of the final municipal council was as follows:

Mosjøen Bystyre 1960–1963 [8]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)19
 Conservative Party (Høyre)5
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristelig Folkeparti)1
 Liberal Party (Venstre)4
Total number of members:29
Mosjøen Bystyre 1956–1959 [9]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)18
 Conservative Party (Høyre)5
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristelig Folkeparti)1
 Liberal Party (Venstre)5
Total number of members:29
Mosjøen Bystyre 1952–1955 [10]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)16
 Conservative Party (Høyre)5
 Communist Party (Kommunistiske Parti)1
 Liberal Party (Venstre)6
Total number of members:28
Mosjøen Bystyre 1948–1951 [11]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)10
 Conservative Party (Høyre)3
 Communist Party (Kommunistiske Parti)2
 Liberal Party (Venstre)5
Total number of members:20
Mosjøen Bystyre 1945–1947 [12]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)11
 Communist Party (Kommunistiske Parti)2
 Liberal Party (Venstre)4
 Local List(s) (Lokale lister)3
Total number of members:20
Mosjøen Bystyre 1938–1941* [13]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)11
 Liberal Party (Venstre)4
 Joint List(s) of Non-Socialist Parties (Borgerlige Felleslister)5
Total number of members:20
Mosjøen Bystyre 1935–1937 [14]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)9
 Liberal Party (Venstre)4
 Local List(s) (Lokale lister)1
 Non-Socialist Group (Borgerlig Samling)6
Total number of members:20

Industry and businessEdit

Mosjøen is one of the industrial towns in Nordland. Especially important is the Mosjøen Aluminum Plant, owned by Alcoa.

Mosjøen's business sector contains both traditional and modern companies as well as a wide spectre of branches, including trade, crafts, banking, transportation, and tourism. The town is a commercial centre in the region, attracting customers from smaller neighbouring towns and from rural municipalities.


Part of the harbour

As a transport hub in Helgeland, Mosjøen connects to the towns of Sandnessjøen 71 kilometres (44 miles) to the west, Mo i Rana 87 kilometres (54 miles) to the north, and Brønnøysund 160 kilometres (99 miles) to the south by road. The European route E6 between Trondheim 393 kilometres (244 miles) to the south and the county capital Bodø 318 kilometres (198 miles) to the north runs through Mosjøen.

Mosjøen is also accessible by airplane, by train, and by ship. Mosjøen is served by Mosjøen Airport, Kjærstad, which is located five minutes by car south of the town. Mosjøen Station on the Nordland Line has daily departures for Trondheim in the south and for the Bodø in the north. A smaller commuter rail operates between Trofors and Mo i Rana.

Encompassing both private and public quays, Mosjøen's harbour is the biggest port in Northern Norway. Mosjøen Aluminum Plant has got its own port.


Part of Sjøgata
Dolstad Church from 1735

The following are popular sightseeing spots:

  • Sjøgata, a historic and picturesque street containing the largest concentration of 19th-century wooden buildings in Northern Norway.
  • Fru Haugans Hotel, established in 1794 and today the oldest hotel in Northern Norway.
  • Dolstad Church, established in 1735.
  • The Town Park, established ca. 1900 and regarded as one of the finest public parks in Norway.


Topographic situation


Mosjøen is situated in the lower part of the Vefsn Valley, where the Vefsna and Skjerva rivers flow into the Vefsnfjord. Downtown Mosjøen lies on a flat moorland between these two rivers. Moreover, the town is surrounded by mountains and hills, which are mainly vegetated. Standing immediately west of the town, the 814-metre (2,671 ft) tall mountain Øyfjellet dominates the town's landscape.


Mosjøen is located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south of the Arctic circle, and the town has a wet and mild subarctic climate (Köppen: Dfc). The town has mild summers and moderately cold winters, but is mild compared to other places on similar latitudes. Situated at the head of a relatively narrow fjord, Mosjøen is not as mild in winter as places on the outer seaboard, but has slightly warmer summers. On July 27, 2019, Mosjøen recorded a high of 35 °C (95 °F), the warmest temperature recorded in Nordland and Northern Norway.[15] Mosjøen receives a large amount of precipitation, particularly in autumn and early winter. Its temperatures are fairly similar to that of Anchorage, Alaska.The weather station is located at the airport, about 7 km further into the valley from Mosjøen.

Climate data for Mosjøen 1961-90 (recent decades have been warmer)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −5
Daily mean °C (°F) −5.7
Average low °C (°F) −9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 186
Source: [16][17]

Friendship townsEdit

Town Country Start Reason
  Lycksele   Sweden 1965[18] Old trade connections. Besides, Lycksele was first in Lapland to become a town.[19]
  Gornji Milanovac   Serbia 28 Sep 1975 During WW2, at least 425 Serbian prisoners at Osen Camp, Vefsn, were killed.[19]
  Volkhov   Russia 16 Jun 1992 Established in 1932, Kirov was Russia's first aluminum plant.[19]


  1. ^ a b c Statistisk sentralbyrå (1 January 2018). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality".
  2. ^ "Mosjøen, Vefsn (Nordland)". Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  3. ^ a b c Thorsnæs, Geir, ed. (2014-11-27). "Mosjøen – tidligere kommune". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  4. ^ a b Thorsnæs, Geir, ed. (2016-02-01). "Mosjøen". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  5. ^ a b Jæger, Claes-Henrik: Mosjøen i Norges Bebyggelse : Fylkesbindet for Sør-Trøndelag, Nord-Trøndelag og Nordland fylker, p. 725–732. Norsk Yrkesforlag, 1954.
  6. ^ a b Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  7. ^ Hansen, Tore, ed. (2016-05-12). "kommunestyre". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  8. ^ "Kommunevalgene og Ordførervalgene 1959" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Oslo: Statistisk sentralbyrå. 1960. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  9. ^ "Kommunevalgene og Ordførervalgene 1955" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Oslo: Statistisk sentralbyrå. 1957. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  10. ^ "Kommunevalgene og Ordførervalgene 1951" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Oslo: Statistisk sentralbyrå. 1952. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  11. ^ "Kommunevalgene og Ordførervalgene 1947" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Oslo: Statistisk sentralbyrå. 1948. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  12. ^ "Kommunevalgene og Ordførervalgene 1945" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Oslo: Statistisk sentralbyrå. 1947. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  13. ^ "Kommunevalgene og Ordførervalgene 1937" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Oslo: Statistisk sentralbyrå. 1938. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  14. ^ "Kommunevalgene og Ordførervalgene 1934" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Oslo: Statistisk sentralbyrå. 1935. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  15. ^ "Infoclimat Mosjøen".
  16. ^ "Mosjøen average conditions - base period 10 last years". Storm Weather Center. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  17. ^ "Normaler for Vefsn kommune (1961-1990)". Meterologisk institutt. Archived from the original on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  18. ^ Municipality of Lycksele: Our Twin Municipalities Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ a b c Municipality of Vefsn: Vennskapskommuner Archived 2017-07-28 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit