— Municipality —
Flora within Sogn og Fjordane
Coordinates: 61°35′15″N 5°16′38″E
County Sogn og Fjordane
Municipality ID NO-1401
Administrative centre Florø
- Mayor (2003) Bente Frøyen Steindal (Ap)
Area (Nr. 161 in Norway)
- Total 692 km2 (267.2 sq mi)
- Land 647 km2 (249.8 sq mi)
- Total 11,331
- Density 18/km2 (46.6/sq mi)
- Change (10 years) 7.7 %
- Rank in Norway 92
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
- Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Official language form Nynorsk
Data from Statistics Norway
Flora is a municipality in the county of Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Sunnfjord. The administrative centre is the village of Florø, which was founded in 1860, has 8,296 inhabitants (2007). The Eikefjord area, which is the second largest place in Flora, has about 1000 inhabitants.
The municipality stretches from inner fjords where the mountains ascend to the glacier Ålfotbreen, to the outermost coast. The town is today both a charming little community, and at the same time a town with busy industries that are developing continuously. Trade and industry in Flora is mainly fishing industry, shipyards, and supply for the oil and gas industry in the North Sea.
The municipality is named after the farm Flora (Old Norse Flóra) since the town of Florø was built on its ground in 1860. The name is probably derived from flóð which means '(strong) stream'. The name of the town Florø is the same name, but it has the Danish word ø (island) added to the end.
The coat-of-arms, originally made for the town of Florø, were granted on 19 February 1960. It's red with three herrings on it. The three herrings are a symbol for the great importance of herring fishing for the local development and economy.
Kinn was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 as a formannskapsdistrikt. The original municipality was identical to the Kinn parish (prestegjeld) with the sub-parishes (sokn) of Svanøy, Kinn, and Bremanger.
On 3 January 1861, Florø (population: 846) was incorporated as a town by royal decree, which removed it from the rural municipality of Kinn. This left Kinn with 6,531 residents.
In 1864, the sub-parish of Bremanger was separated from the Kinn parish and became a parish of its own. Then, on 1 January 1866, Bremanger (population: 1,852) became a separate municipality. After the split, Kinn was left with 4,679 inhabitants.
On 1 January 1923, the municipality of Kinn was divided into three separate municipalities: Kinn (population: 2,508); Bru (population: 1,560); and Eikefjord (population: 929).
On 1 January 1964, the new municipality of Flora was created upon the merger of the following areas:
the town of Florø (population: 2,040)
the parts of the municipality of Bru that were north of the Førdefjorden (population: 1,155)
the municipality of Eikefjord (population: 919)
the Steindal area of the municipality of Vevring (population: 25)
the Husefest and Breivik farms in Bremanger (population: 9)
the municipality of Kinn (population: 3,567)
After the merger, the new municipality of Flora had a total of 7,715 residents. The parish name was not changed and is still Kinn, and it has the sub-parishes of Kinn, Bru, Eikefjord, and Nordal.
The Church of Norway has seven churches within the municipality of Flora. It is part of the Diocese of Bjørgvin and the Rural Deanery (Prosti) of Sunnfjord.
Churches in Flora
(Sokn) Church Name Year Built Location
of the Church
Kinn Parish Bru Askrova bedehuskapell 1957 Espeset
Stavang kyrkje 1957 Stavang
Eikefjord Eikefjord kyrkje 1812 Eikefjord
Kinn Batalden bedehuskapell 1907 Fanøya
Florø kyrkje 1882 Florø
Kinnakyrkje 12th century Kinn
Nordal Nordal kyrkje 1898 Nordalen
All municipalities in Norway, including Flora, 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 elect a mayor.
The municipal council of Flora is made up of 35 representatives that are elected to every four years. For 2007–2011, the party breakdown is as follows:
Flora Kommunestyre 2007 - 2011
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
Labour Party Det Norske Arbeiderpartiet 12
Progress Party Fremskrittspartiet 5
Conservative Party Høyre 6
Christian Democratic Party Kristelig Folkeparti 1
Local Lists Lokale lister 1
Centre Party Senterpartiet 2
Socialist Left Party Sosialistisk Venstreparti 3
Liberal Party Venstre 5
The mayor of a municipality in Norway is a representative of the majority party of the municipal council who is elected to lead the council. Bente Frøyen Steindal of the Labour Party was re-elected mayor for the 2007-2011 term.
Flora is located in the western central part of Sogn og Fjordane county. To the west, it is bordered by the North Sea, to the north it is bordered by Bremanger, to the east by Gloppen, and to the south by Naustdal and Askvoll.
Right out in the sea lies the green, grass-covered island of Kinn. The area around Kinn was the central herring area in Norway for the most part of the 19th century. At the height, there lived approximately 15,000 people on Kinn and the surrounding islands in the herring season. Today there are 15 inhabitants on Kinn.
On the island of Kinn, on the very edge of the ocean lies the Kinna kyrkje (church) from the 12th century. The church, built in Roman style, is the oldest in Sunnfjord. The church has long been associated with the legend of St. Sunniva. The church choir is the oldest part of the church, and the lectern is the only preserved example of its kind in Scandinavia.
Every year during the third weekend in June, the Kinna Pageant is an historical play about love, hate, fidelity and loyalty to the church and humankind. About 150 actors take part and audiences of several thousand tourists visit the island to watch this beautiful play.
Svanøy is the southernmost and greenest island in the district of Flora. The island was the district's most important trade centre last century, and exports and shipping were major activities. A stone cross memorial commemorating King Olav the Holy and a sacrificial site from the viking era can be found here.
The Svanøy Estate is an old seat of nobility from 1685. It includes 62 acres (250,000 m2) of cultivated land and 30 acres (120,000 m2) of woodland. It has an impressive main building and an old garden full of beautiful trees.
The Saga says that the Viking King Eirik Blodøks grew up here, hence the name. Contains a museum with old farming tools. The famous Fjord horses are bred and trained here.
Norway's westernmost art gallery is housed in a restored fishing building. Regular painting and drawing courses are held.
Trollhola, a prehistoric cave, is located on the island of Askrova. The main cavern is the size of a cathedral, has several passages leading from it and it is a fascinating natural phenomenon. The highest point of the island, 233 metres above sea level, provides a sweeping view of the archipelago.
In Ausevika, a 30 minute drive from Florø, lies one of the largest rock carving sites in Norway. There are 3000-year old carvings here. The site boasts over 300 carvings depicting both animal and human figures.
The Coastal Museum in Sogn og Fjordane county was established in 1980. The aim was to concentrate on coastal nature and culture both past and present. Old boat houses and domestic dwellings were moved from various places in the district and re-erected in Florø near the museum. It includes many beautiful boats. The 250-year old Holmedalsjekta (coastal freighter) is Norway's oldest non-Viking ship. A large exhibition on North Sea oil, Snorreankeret, based on the Snorre platform is located in the museum.
The waters around Florø are dangerous and exposed. Three lighthouses were built in the fairways to the town at an early date. Two of them, Stabben and Kvanhovden are now automated and unmanned. The third and largest, Ytterøyane, is still manned. There is a lot of shallow areas in the waters west of Florø, which makes the coast around Florø ideal for diving most of the year. An abundance of shipwrecks are located beneath these waters, which attract divers from all over.
Local sport teams include Florø TIF and Florø SK.