Sunnfjord (municipality)

Sunnfjord is a municipality in Vestland county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Sunnfjord. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Førde. Other villages in the municipality include Naustdal, Sande, Vassenden, and Skei.

Sunnfjord kommune
Aerial view of the town of Førde
Aerial view of the town of Førde
Coat of arms of Sunnfjord kommune
Official logo of Sunnfjord kommune
Sunnfjord within Vestland
Sunnfjord within Vestland
Coordinates: 61°27′08″N 5°51′26″E / 61.4522°N 5.8572°E / 61.4522; 5.8572
Established1 Jan 2020
 • Preceded byNaustdal, Førde, Gaular, and Jølster
Administrative centreFørde
 • Mayor (2021)Jenny Følling (SP)
 • Total2,208.13 km2 (852.56 sq mi)
 • Land2,065.33 km2 (797.43 sq mi)
 • Water142.80 km2 (55.14 sq mi)  6.5%
 • Rank#27 in Norway
 • Total22,116
 • Rank#56 in Norway
 • Density10.7/km2 (28/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Increase +5.7%
Official language
 • Norwegian formNynorsk
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-4647
WebsiteOfficial website

The 2,208-square-kilometre (853 sq mi) municipality is the 27th largest by area out of the 356 municipalities in Norway. Sunnfjord is the 56th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 22,116. The municipality's population density is 10.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (28/sq mi) and its population has increased by 5.7% over the previous 10-year period.[3][4]

General informationEdit

The municipality was established on 1 January 2020 when the old municipalities of Førde, Gaular, Jølster, and Naustdal were merged.


The municipality was named after the traditional district of Sunnfjord, in which it is located. The first element is sunn which means "southern". The last element is fjord which means "fjord", thus it is the southern fjord region (as opposed to the nearby Nordfjord region (the northern fjord region).[5]

Coat of armsEdit

The coat of arms was granted in 2019 for use starting on 1 January 2020 when the municipality was established. The arms have a dark green field (background) and the charge is four small vertical stripes meeting in the centre with one large vertical stripe. The charge has a tincture of argent which means it is commonly colored white, but if it is made out of metal, then silver is used. The arms symbolize four rivers joining a larger body of water. The rivers symbolize the four main rivers of Sunnfjord: Nausta, Gaula, Anga, and Jølstra all flowing in to a large fjord. It was also meant to symbolize the many waterfalls and rivers in the municipality as well as strength and unity.[6][7]


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

Churches in Sunnfjord
Parish (sokn) Church name Location of the church Year built
Førde Førde Church Førde 1885
Gaular Bygstad Church Bygstad 1845
Sande Church Sande 1864
Hestad Chapel Hestad 1805
Viksdalen Church Vik 1848
Helgheim Helgheim Church Helgheim 1877
Holsen og
Haukedalen Church Haukedalen 1885
Holsen Church Holsen 1861
Naustdal Naustdal Church Naustdal 1891
Vevring Church Indrevevring 1846
Ålhus Vassenden Church Vassenden 2002
Ålhus Church Ålhus 1795
Beach at Sanden in Naustdal, Sogn og Fjordane


All municipalities in Norway are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, welfare and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads and utilities. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of directly elected representatives. The mayor is indirectly elected by a vote of the municipal council.[8] The municipality falls under the Sogn og Fjordane District Court and the Gulating Court of Appeal.

Municipal councilEdit

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Sunnfjord is made up of 45 representatives that are elected to four year terms. The party breakdown of the council is as follows:

Sunnfjord kommunestyre 2020–2023 [9]  
Party Name (in Nynorsk) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeidarpartiet)11
 Progress Party (Framstegspartiet)1
 Green Party (Miljøpartiet Dei Grøne)2
 Conservative Party (Høgre)10
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)2
 Red Party (Raudt)1
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)12
 Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)4
 Liberal Party (Venstre)2
Total number of members:45


The mayors of Sunnfjord:

Notable peopleEdit

Arild Stubhaug, 2009
Himanshu Gulati, 2012

Public serviceEdit

The artsEdit

Eldrid Lunden, 2000
Marianne Clementine Håheim, 2016
  • Anders Askevold (1834 in Askvoll – 1900), a painter of landscapes and animals
  • Johannes Haarklou (1847 in Haukedalen – 1925), a composer, organist, conductor and music critic
  • Hauk Aabel (1869 in Førde – 1961), a comedian and actor in Norwegian and Swedish silent films [10]
  • Hjalmar Christensen (1869 in Sunnfjord – 1925), a writer and prominent literary critic
  • Helene Bergsholm (born 1992 in Førde), an actress
  • Ludvig Eikaas (1920 in Jølster – 2010), a Norwegian painter, graphic artist and sculptor
  • Gunnar S. Gundersen (1921 in Førde – 1983), a modernist painter known as Gunnar S
  • Eldrid Lunden (born 1940 in Naustdal), a poet and Norway's first professor in creative writing
  • Arve Furset (born 1964 in Askvoll), a composer, jazz musician and music producer
  • Ole Jonny Eikefjord (born 1970 in Førde), a chef, cookbook author and restaurateur
  • Kristian Eivind Espedal (born 1975 in Sunnfjord), a black metal vocalist, musician and painter whose stage name is Gaahl
  • Gunnar Garfors (born 1975), a traveller, author, media professional and public speaker; grew up in Naustdal
  • Olaug Nilssen (born 1977 in Førde), a novelist, playwright, children's writer and magazine editor
  • Marianne Clementine Håheim (born 1987 in Jølster), a Norwegian author
  • Thea Hjelmeland (born 1987 in Førde), a Norwegian musician, singer and songwriter
  • Iselin Solheim (born 1990 in Naustdal), a Norwegian singer and songwriter




  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
  2. ^ "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian).
  3. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå. "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian).
  4. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå. "09280: Area of land and fresh water (km²) (M)" (in Norwegian).
  5. ^ Askheim, Svein, ed. (1 November 2018). "Sunnfjord". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Symbol og identitet" (in Norwegian). Prosjekt Sunnfjord. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  8. ^ Hansen, Tore; Vabo, Signy Irene, eds. (20 September 2022). "kommunestyre". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 14 October 2022.
  9. ^ "Tall for Norge: Kommunestyrevalg 2019 - Nordland". Valg Direktoratet. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  10. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 28 August 2020