Etne is a municipality in Hordaland county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Sunnhordland, although it is also sometimes considered to be part of the district of Haugaland. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Etnesjøen. Other villages in the municipality include Skånevik and Fjæra. The two largest villages in the municipality are Etnesjøen with 1,159 residents and Skånevik with 594 residents (all figures from 1 January 2015).[3][4]

Etne kommune
View of the lake Løkjelsvatnet in Etne

Coat of arms

Hordaland within
Etne within Hordaland
Coordinates: 59°39′50″N 05°56′00″E
Administrative centreEtnesjøen
  Mayor (2015)Siri Klokkerstuen (Ap)
  Total735.27 km2 (283.89 sq mi)
  Land691.16 km2 (266.86 sq mi)
  Water44.12 km2 (17.03 sq mi)
Area rank150 in Norway
  Rank228 in Norway
  Density6.0/km2 (16/sq mi)
  Change (10 years)
Etnesbu [1]
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1211
Official language formNynorsk [2]

The 735-square-kilometre (284 sq mi) municipality is the 150th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Etne is the 228th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 4,135. The municipality's population density is 6 inhabitants per square kilometre (16/sq mi) and its population has increased by 7.2% over the last decade.[5]

Etne is situated south of the city of Bergen and it borders the municipalities of Kvinnherad, Odda, Sauda, Suldal, and Vindafjord, the three latter in the county of Rogaland.

A Norwegian motion picture called United was shot in Etne with local people as actors.

General information

Etne was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). Originally, Etne encompassed the area around the Etnefjorden and the surrounding valleys. During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1965, the neighboring municipality of Skånevik was dissolved and merged into its neighboring municipalities. All of Skånevik located south of the Åkrafjorden and east of the village of Åkra on the north side of the fjord (population: 1,493) was merged into Etne.[6]


The municipality is named after the Etnefjorden (Old Norse: Eðni). The fjord is probably named after an old river name Etna (now called the "Etneelvi").[7]


The coat-of-arms was granted on 16 December 1983. The arms are blue on the left and silver/white on the right with a dovetailed line vertically down the middle. They represent the strong unity between the two former municipalities of Skånevik and Etne that were joined together to form one municipality in 1965.[8]


The Church of Norway has two parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Etne. It is part of the Sunnhordland deanery in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.

Churches in Etne
Parish (Sokn)Church NameLocation of the ChurchYear Built
EtneGjerde ChurchEtnesjøen1676
Grindheim ChurchEtnesjøen1728
Stødle ChurchEtnesjøen1160
SkånevikSkånevik ChurchSkånevik1900
Fjæra ChapelFjæra1913


Etne is situated south of the city of Bergen and it borders the municipalities of Kvinnherad and Odda in Hordaland county and the municipalities of Sauda, Suldal, and Vindafjord in Rogaland county.

Etne has a varied landscape, extending from the Etnefjorden, Skånevikfjorden, and Åkrafjorden at sea level, through the villages up to the high mountains. In the far north, there is a barren and heavily eroded mountain glacier, Folgefonna, where the municipality's highest point rises 1,638 metres (5,374 ft) above sea level. Folgefonna National Park is partially located in Etne. In addition to that national park, Etne has three nature reserves: Brattholmen, Skåno, and Langebudalen. Lakes in the area include Løkjelsvatnet. The famous waterfall Langfossen is located in northern Etne.[9]


Historical population
Source: Statistics Norway.

Recent archeological findings indicate that the area was already inhabited around 500 BC.[10]


All municipalities in Norway, including Etne, 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.

Municipal council

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Etne is made up of 21 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[11]

Etne Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name (in Norwegian)Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)5
 Progress Party (Framstegspartiet)4
 Conservative Party (Høgre)3
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)2
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)6
 Liberal Party (Venstre)1
Total number of members:21


The European route E134 highway runs the length of the municipality connecting it to the city of Haugesund in the southwest and to Oslo in the east. The highway runs through Etnesjøen and then northeastwards along the Åkrafjorden before crossing into the neighboring municipality of Odda. There are many tunnels along the route, some quite long, including the Åkrafjord Tunnel, Fjæra Tunnel, Markhus Tunnel, and Rullestad Tunnel.

The Eintveitbrua is a bridge in rural Etne that is not connected to the road network. It is considered to be a bridge to nowhere.

Notable residents


  1. "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
  2. "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian).
  3. Statistisk sentralbyrå (1 January 2013). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality".
  4. Store norske leksikon. "Etne" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  5. Statistisk sentralbyrå (2017). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  6. Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  7. Rygh, Oluf (1910). Norske gaardnavne: Søndre Bergenhus amt (in Norwegian) (11 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 64.
  8. "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  9. "Point on the glacier". Hordaland fylke. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  10. "Dette funnet er sensasjonelt" (in Norwegian). NRK.
  11. "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.
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