Ullensvang herad
View of Utne in Ullensvang
View of Utne in Ullensvang
Coat of arms of Ullensvang herad
Coat of arms
Official logo of Ullensvang herad
Hordaland within
Ullensvang within Hordaland
Ullensvang within Hordaland
Coordinates: 60°18′42″N 06°48′53″E / 60.31167°N 6.81472°E / 60.31167; 6.81472Coordinates: 60°18′42″N 06°48′53″E / 60.31167°N 6.81472°E / 60.31167; 6.81472
Administrative centreKinsarvik
 • Mayor (2003)Solfrid Borge (Sp)
 • Total1,398.53 km2 (539.98 sq mi)
 • Land1,284.87 km2 (496.09 sq mi)
 • Water113.66 km2 (43.88 sq mi)
Area rank61 in Norway
 • Total3,377
 • Rank249 in Norway
 • Density2.6/km2 (7/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1231
Official language formNynorsk

Ullensvang is a municipality in Hordaland county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Hardanger. The administrative centre is the village of Kinsarvik. Other villages in the municipality include Lofthus, Utne, Vikebygd, and Alsåker.

The main inhabited part of Ullensvang municipality lies just to the west of Hardangervidda National Park, which covers most of the Hardangervidda plateau, Europe's largest mountain plateau. Most inhabitants live in the narrow coastal mountainsides and valleys along the Hardangerfjorden and Sørfjorden. The largest urban areas in Ullensvang are Kinsarvik and Lofthus. The Norwegian National Road 13 is one of the main roads through the municipality, and it crosses the Hardangerfjorden via the Hardanger Bridge in the far northern part of the municipality.

The 1,399-square-kilometre (540 sq mi) municipality is the 61st largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Ullensvang is the 249th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 3,377. The municipality's population density is 2.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (6.7/sq mi) and its population has decreased by 1.1% over the last decade.[2] The number of inhabitants has shown a decrease of almost 700 people since 1980. This development can be seen in light of the general depopulation of rural Norway.

In 2016, the chief of police for Vestlandet formally suggested a reconfiguration of police districts and stations. He proposed that the police station for Ullensvang og Eidfjord be closed.[3]

General information[edit]

Mountain farm in Ullensvang


The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Ullensvang farm (Old Norse: Ullinsvangr), since Ullensvang Church was built there. The first element is the genitive case of the name of the Norse god Ullin (sideform of Ullr). The last element is vangr which means "field" or "meadow".[4]


The coat-of-arms was granted on 8 November 1979. The arms are red with a horizontal gold stripe across the middle, with three gold fleur-de-lis designs (two above the stripe, one below). The municipal arms are derived from the arms of nobleman from the area, Sigurd Brynjulvsson Galte, and they can be seen on his gravestone dating back to 1302 at the local church. As it is the oldest gravestone in the church, the arms were well known in the village, hence the choice for the arms of this knight as municipal arms.[5]


The Church of Norway has three parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Ullensvang. It is part of the Hardanger og Voss deanery in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.

Churches in Ullensvang
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Kinsarvik Kinsarvik Church Kinsarvik 1150
Ullensvang Ullensvang Church Lofthus 1250
Utne Utne Church Utne 1895


View of the Sørfjorden from Lofthus, looking towards the Folgefonna glacier (c. 1885)
Historical population
Source: Statistics Norway.
Note: there were major border changes to the municipality in 1964 and 1977 causing large changes in the population.

On 1 January 1838, the large parish of Kinsarvik was established as a municipality (see formannskapsdistrikt). The large parish was made up of the main parish and the annex of Ullensvang. On 1 January 1869, Ullensvang became the main parish and Kinsarvik became an annex to Ullensvang. At this time the municipality changed its name to Ullensvang. On 1 January 1882, a small area of Ullensvang (population: 22) was transferred to the neighboring municipality of Vikør. On 1 July 1913, the municipality of Ullensvang was divided into three parts: the northwestern part became Kinsarvik, the southern part became Odda, and the rest remained as Ullensvang, albeit much smaller. This left Ullensvang with 1,941 residents.

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, the following areas were merged into one large municipality: all of Ullensvang, all of Eidfjord, and most of Kinsarvik (except for the Lussand-Kvanndal area which went to Granvin). The new municipality was named Ullensvang. On 1 January 1965, the Åsgrenda area of Kvam municipality (population: 61) was transferred to Ullensvang. This new, large municipality of Ullensvang that was created in 1964 was not long-lived. On 1 January 1977, the area that once was Eidfjord became its own municipality once again. This left Ullensvang with 3,937 residents.[6]

On 1 January 2020, the three neighboring municipalities of Jondal, Odda, and Ullensvang are going to be merged. The new municipality will be called Ullensvang and its administrative centre will be the town of Odda.[7]


The municipality of Ullensvang is located on the shores of the Hardangerfjorden and the Sørfjorden and it stretches all the way up to the Folgefonna glacier inside Folgefonna National Park on the Folgefonna peninsula in the western part of the municipality. It continues up to the vast Hardangervidda plateau in the east, including part of the Hardangervidda National Park. The lakes Kvensjøen and Veivatnet as well as the mountain Hårteigen are all located in Ullensvang on the plateau.[8]


View of the Opedal area and all the surrounding orchards

All municipalities in Norway, including Ullensvang, 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.

Municipal council[edit]

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Ullensvang is made up of 21 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[9]

Ullensvang Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)3
 Conservative Party (Høgre)3
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)1
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)9
 Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)3
 Liberal Party (Venstre)2
Total number of members:21


View of the Lofthus area with fruit orchards

Ullensvang is Norway's biggest supplier of fruit, especially sweet cherries and apples. Every summer a cherry festival is held at Lofthus, where the Norwegian championship of cherry stone spitting is held. The record is 14.24 metres (46.7 ft) by S. Kleivkaas. Each May, a musical festival is held at Ullensvang Hotel (built in 1846), when musicians from all of Norway come to the village. The famous composer Edvard Grieg spent many summers at Lofthus, and the festival is held in his honor. During the summer, the population is doubled due to tourism. Attractions in addition to the previous mentioned, are the medieval Ullensvang Church at Lofthus (built around 1250) and Kinsarvik Church (built around 1150), several waterfalls such as the Skrikjofossen, the flowering season in May, and museums at Aga, Utne, and Skredhaugen.


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2017). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  3. ^ Fjelltveit, Ingvild; Raunholm, Per Vidar (2016-12-20). "Foreslår å legge ned 17 lensmannskontor i Vest politidistrikt". NRK Hordaland (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  4. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1919). Norske gaardnavne: Nordre Bergenhus amt (in Norwegian) (12 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 449.
  5. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  6. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  7. ^ "Ullensvang kommune - den nye kommune i Hardanger" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  8. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Ullensvang" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  9. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.

External links[edit]