Coordinates: 60°15′N 6°00′E / 60.25, 6

Hordaland fylke
—  County  —

Coat of arms
Hordaland within Norway
Country Norway
County Hordaland
Region Vestlandet
County ID NO-12
Official language form Nynorsk
Demonym Hordalending [1]
Administrative centre Bergen
 • Governor Svein Alsaker
  Kristelig Folkeparti
  (since 1998)
 • County Mayor Torill Selsvold Nyborg
  Kristelig Folkeparti
  (since 2003)
Area(#9 in Norway, 4.78% of Norway's land area)
 • Total 15,460 km2 (5,970 sq mi)
 • Land 14,551 km2 (5,618 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total 465,817
 • Density 31.8/km2 (82/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 7.9 %
 • Rank in Norway 3 (9.72% of nation)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Income (per capita) 148,300 NOK
GDP (per capita) 263,056 NOK (2001)
National Rank: 2 (7.55% of nation)
Data from Statistics Norway

About this sound Hordaland  is a county in Norway, bordering Sogn og Fjordane, Buskerud, Telemark, and Rogaland. Hordaland is the third largest county after Akershus and Oslo by population. The county administration is located in Bergen. Before 1972, the city of Bergen was its own separate county apart from Hordaland.

About the county[]

The name Hordaland[]

Hordaland (Old Norse: Hörðaland or Old Frisian: Hörnaland) is the old name of the region which was revived in modern times. The first element is the plural genitive case of hörðar, the name of an old Germanic tribe (see Charudes). The last element is land which means "land" or "region".

Until 1919 the name of the county was Søndre Bergenhus amt which meant "(the) southern (part of) Bergenhus amt". (The old Bergenhus amt was created in 1662 and was divided in 1763.)


The coat-of-arms were officially granted on 1 December 1961. They were designed by Magnus Hardeland, but the general design had been originally used in the Sunnhordland region during the 14th century. In the early 20th century, leaders of the county began using the old arms as a symbol for the county once again. The arms are on a red background and consist of two golden axes that are crossed with a golden crown above them.[2]


Hordaland county has been around for more than one thousand years. Since the 7th century, the area was made up of many petty kingdoms under the Gulating and was known as Hordafylke since around the year 900. In the early 1500s, Norway was divided into four len. The Bergenhus len was headquartered in Bergen and encompassed much of western and northern Norway.[3]

In 1662, the len were replaced by amts. Bergenhus amt consisted of Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane, Sunnmøre, Troms, and Nordland. In 1763, the amt was divided into northern and southern parts: Nordre Bergenhus amt and Søndre Bergenhus amt. Søndre Bergenhus amt was re-named Hordaland fylke in 1919.[3]

The city of Bergen was classified as a city-county (byamt) from 1831-1972. During that time in 1915, the municipality of Årstad was annexed into Bergen. In 1972, the neighboring municipalities of Arna, Fana, Laksevåg, and Åsane were annexed into the city of Bergen. Also at that same time, the city of Bergen lost its county status, and became a part of Hordaland county.[3]


A county (fylke) is the chief local administrative area in Norway. The whole country is divided into 19 counties. A county is also an election area, with popular votes taking place every 4 years. In Hordaland, 57 members are elected to form a county council (Fylkesting). Heading the Fylkesting is the county mayor (fylkesordførar). Since 2003, the Hordaland county municipality has been led by Torill Selsvold Nyborg, the county mayor.

The county also has a County Governor (fylkesmann) who is the representative of the King and Government of Norway. Svein Alsaker has been the County Governor of Hordaland since 1998.

The municipalities in Hordaland are divided among four district courts: Nordhordland, Sunnhordland, Bergen, and Hardanger district courts (tingrett). Hordaland is also part of the Gulating lagmannsrett district based in Bergen.[3]

  • Nordhordland tingrett: Askøy, Austevoll, Austrheim, Fedje, Fjell, Fusa, Lindås, Masfjorden, Meland, Modalen, Os, Osterøy, Radøy, Samnanger, Sund, Vaksdal, Voss, and Øygarden (also includes Gulen in Sogn og Fjordane county)
  • Sunnhordland tingrett: Bømlo, Etne, Fitjar, Kvinnherad, Stord, Sveio, and Tysnes
  • Bergen tingrett: the city of Bergen
  • Hardanger tingrett: Eidfjord, Granvin, Jondal, Kvam, Odda, Ullensvang, and Ulvik

Most of the municipalities in Hordaland are part of the Hordaland police district. (Gulen and Solund in Sogn og Fjordane county are also part of the Hordaland police district.) Bømlo, Etne, Fitjar, Stord, and Sveio are a part of the "Haugaland and Sunnhordland" police district, along with eight other municipalities in Rogaland county.[3]


Hordaland is semi-circular in shape. It is located on the western coast of Norway, split from southwest to northeast by the long, deep Hardangerfjorden, one of Norway's main fjords and a great tourist attraction. About half of the National park of Hardangervidda is in this county. The county also includes many well-known waterfalls of Norway, such as Vøringsfossen and Stykkjedalsfossen. It also includes the Folgefonna and Hardangerjøkulen glaciers.

More than 60% of the inhabitants live in Bergen and the surrounding area. Other urban or semi-urban centres include Leirvik, Voss, and Odda.


In 1837, the counties were divided into local administrative units each with their own governments. The number and borders of these municipalities have changed over time, and at present there are 33 municipalities in Hordaland.

Municipalities of Hordaland
Key Hordaland Municipalities.png
  1. Askøy
  2. Austevoll
  3. Austrheim
  4. Bergen
  5. Bømlo
  6. Eidfjord
  7. Etne
  8. Fedje
  9. Fitjar
  10. Fjell
  11. Fusa
  12. Granvin
  13. Jondal
  14. Kvam
  15. Kvinnherad
  16. Lindås
  17. Masfjorden
  1. Meland
  2. Modalen
  3. Odda
  4. Os
  5. Osterøy
  6. Øygarden
  7. Radøy
  8. Samnanger
  9. Stord
  10. Sund
  11. Sveio
  12. Tysnes
  13. Ullensvang
  14. Ulvik
  15. Vaksdal
  16. Voss


Location of Hordaland Districts:

  • Hardanger is green
  • Voss is purple
  • Sunnhordland is blue
  • Midhordland is red
  • Nordhordland is yellow

Hordaland is conventionally divided into traditional districts. The inland districts are Hardanger and Voss and the coastal districts are Sunnhordland, Midhordland, and Nordhordland [sic]. Strilelandet is the name of a more informal region commonly held to encompass Midhordland and Nordhordland. Stril is a name the inhabitants of Bergen apply to the people living in the traditionally agricultural areas surrounding the city.

Famous people from Hordaland[]

  • Ole Bull, composer and violinist from Bergen
  • Herman Friele, mayor and coffee king
  • Edvard Grieg, composer from Bergen
  • Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen, doctor from Bergen, the one to discover the leprosy bacteria, Mycobacterium leprae
  • Ludvig Holberg, playwright and author from Bergen
  • Roald "Kniksen" Jensen, soccer player from Bergen
  • Sissel Kyrkjebø, singer
  • Leif Andreas Larsen, naval officer from Bergen
  • Christian Michelsen, politician from Bergen, Norway's first Prime Minister
  • Kari Traa, skier from Voss
  • Varg Vikernes, black metal musician

Sister regions[]

Hordaland county has the following official sister regions:[3]

External links[]


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hordaland. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.