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 is a county in Norwaymarker, bordering Sogn og Fjordanemarker, Buskerudmarker, Telemarkmarker and Rogalandmarker. Hordaland is the third largest county after Akershusmarker and Oslomarker by population. The county administration is located in Bergenmarker. 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.


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 Bergenmarker and encompassed much of western and northern Norway.

In 1662, the len were replaced by amt. Bergenhus amt consisted of Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordanemarker, Sunnmøremarker, Troms and Nordlandmarker. 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.

The city of Bergenmarker was classified as a city-county (byamt) from 1831-1972. During that time in 1915, the municipality of Årstadmarker was annexed into Bergen. In 1972, the neighboring municipalities of Arnamarker, Fanamarker, Laksevågmarker and Åsanemarker 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.


A county (fylke) is the chief local administrative area in Norwaymarker. 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 (tingrett): Nordhordland, Sunnhordland, Bergen and Hardanger. Hordaland is also part of the Gulating Court of Appeal district based in Bergen.

Most of the municipalities in Hordaland are part of the Hordaland police district. Gulenmarker and Solundmarker in Sogn og Fjordanemarker county are also part of the Hordaland police district. Bømlomarker, Etnemarker, Fitjarmarker, Stordmarker and Sveiomarker are a part of the "Haugaland and Sunnhordland" police district, along with eight other municipalities in Rogalandmarker county.


Finse is the highest point of the Norwegian Railway System, located at 1222m. above sea level.
Hordaland is semi-circular in shape. It is located on the western coast of Norway, split from southwest to northeast by the long, deep Hardangerfjordenmarker, one of Norwaymarker's main fjords and a great tourist attraction. About half of the National park of Hardangerviddamarker is in this county. The county also includes many well-known waterfalls of Norway, such as Vøringsfossenmarker and Stykkjedalsfossen. It also includes the Folgefonnamarker and Hardangerjøkulenmarker glaciers.

More than 60% of the inhabitants live in Bergenmarker and the surrounding area. Other urban or semi-urban centres include Leirvikmarker, Vossmarker and Oddamarker.


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
  1. Askøymarker
  2. Austevollmarker
  3. Austrheimmarker
  4. Bergenmarker
  5. Bømlomarker
  6. Eidfjordmarker
  7. Etnemarker
  8. Fedjemarker
  9. Fitjarmarker
  10. Fjellmarker
  11. Fusamarker
  12. Granvinmarker
  13. Jondalmarker
  14. Kvammarker
  15. Kvinnheradmarker
  16. Lindåsmarker
  17. Masfjordenmarker
  1. Melandmarker
  2. Modalenmarker
  3. Oddamarker
  4. Osmarker
  5. Osterøymarker
  6. Øygardenmarker
  7. Radøymarker
  8. Samnangermarker
  9. Stordmarker
  10. Sundmarker
  11. Sveiomarker
  12. Tysnesmarker
  13. Ullensvangmarker
  14. Ulvikmarker
  15. Vaksdalmarker
  16. Vossmarker


Map of Hordaland Districts and Municipalities
Hordaland is conventionally divided into traditional districts. The inland districts are Hardangermarker and Vossmarker 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 Bergenmarker apply to the people living in the traditionally agricultural areas surrounding the city.

Sister regions

Hordaland county has the following official sister regions:

External links


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