Fedje is an island municipality in the county of 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...

, Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. Fedje was separated from Austrheim
Austrheim is a municipality in the county of Hordaland, Norway. Austrheim was separated from Lindås on 1 January 1910. Fedje was separated from Austrheim on 1 January 1947...

 on 1 January 1947.

The main island of Fedje is surrounded by about 125 smaller islands and rocks mostly north of the main island, and the name Fedje applies both to the main island, and to all the islands and rocks as a whole. Fedje is an island, covering a total area of about 7.4 square kilometres. Counting the main island and the smaller islands, the area is about 9.4 square kilometres. It has a population of approximately 600 people. The traditional economic activity is fishing.


The Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 form of the name was Feðjar, closely related to gotic faþa, "fence", "wall", here in the meaning row of islands or archipelago, separating the inshore waters from the ocean.


The coat-of-arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 is from modern times. They were granted in 1990 and they show two silver oar
An oar is an implement used for water-borne propulsion. Oars have a flat blade at one end. Oarsmen grasp the oar at the other end. The difference between oars and paddles are that paddles are held by the paddler, and are not connected with the vessel. Oars generally are connected to the vessel by...

s on a blue background. This symbolizes the rich boating history of this island municipality.


Fedje has an elementary school
Elementary school
An elementary school or primary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as elementary or primary education. Elementary school is the preferred term in some countries, particularly those in North America, where the terms grade school and grammar...

, and a junior high school
Middle school
Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...

, both of which are situated in the center of the island, and in the same building. The school is also used as a movie theater
Movie theater
A movie theater, cinema, movie house, picture theater, film theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing motion pictures ....

 twice a week.


There are traces of human activity on Fedje from as long as 4,000 years ago. In the 18th century, Fedje was an important trading place, with the small island Kræmmerholmen
Kræmmerholmen is an old trading post on the island of Fedje. Fedje is located in the Norwegian county of Hordaland, in the municipality of Fedje. The main building of Kræmmerholmen was moved to this location in about 1652. During the 18th century, Fedje was an important trading place, with the...

 being the location where the trading took place. Kræmmerholmen was reopened in 1991, and was a restaurant/hotel/museum area, but closed in September 2008. Fedje was previously a substantial producer of peat
Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world...

. The peat led to the construction of a railway. The railway was given up together with the peat industry in 1920.

During the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Fedje was occupied by over 300 German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 soldiers. There are still remains of the German cannons and bunkers all over the island, especially in the western part close to the traffic station, which is actually built on the remains of a German radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...


In February 1945 a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 called U-864 was sunk by British naval forces outside western Fedje. The U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

 was, unfortunately for the environment, loaded with 70 tons of mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

. The mercury, which was being shipped to Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, is now resting on the bottom of the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 150 metres below the surface, as a potential environmental disaster like the Minamata disaster in Japan, in the 1960s. In 2009 it was decided to raise the submarine.

On 12 January 2007, M/V Server sunk outside Fedje. The ship leaked oil and caused major environmental damage. But due to intensive efforts to clean the coves and beaches, very few traces can be found today.


The highest point on Fedje is the 42-meter-high hill called Fedjebjørnen
Fedjebjørnen is the highest point on the island of Fedje, Norway. It is only 42 metres above sea level....

. The largest lake is Storevatnet.


The best known smaller island is called Holmengrå. Holmengrå has a 160-metre tall lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

. In the southern part of Fedje which is called Stormark, there is a lighthouse called Hellisøy fyr, maybe the most famous feature of Fedje. Hellisøy fyr was built in 1855, and is 32.3 metres tall, painted red and white. Fedje travel information


The population of the island community is decreasing due to the high percentage of people over 60 years (25% as of 1 January 2003), and because many people decide to move from the island, many because of the lack of work.
Most of the people live on the lagoon-like northern part of the island, in the vicinity of the grocery shop, the church and the ferry. Fedje is inhabited by many fishermen and whalers, but the last fishingboat/whaler was sold from the island January 2009.


The main sporting activity on Fedje is football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

, which can be played on the football grounds in the eastern part of the island. The football ground is also the home ground of the local football team
Football team
A football team is the collective name given to a group of players selected together in the various team sports known as football.Such teams could be selected to play in an against an opposing team, to represent a football club, group, state or nation, an All-star team or even selected as a...

 called Fedje A-lag. The club is currently playing in the Norwegian 6th division.
Swimming is also popular, as there is a beautiful beach located on Fedje, which is to be found in the centre of the island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 on the shoreline of Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

 Husavatnet. The water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 is clean and brackish, as a freshwater spring runs out in the vicinity of the beach.


There is an important traffic-station on Fedje. The station surveils the coastal sea-traffic.
The island is supplied with power, telephone and internet cables from an underwater cordless router to the mainland.
A ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

, crossing 20 times a day, connects Fedje to the mainland. The voyage lasts for about 30 minutes.
Fedje is about a 1 hour 40 minute drive (including a 30-minute ferry voyage) from the city of Bergen.

External links

  • Municipal fact sheet from Statistics Norway
    Statistics Norway
    Statistics Norway is the Norwegian statistics bureau. It was established in 1876.Relying on a staff of about 1,000, Statistics Norway publish about 1,000 new statistical releases every year on its web site. All releases are published both in Norwegian and English...

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