Lillehammer (Urban East Norwegian: [ˇlɪlːəhɑmər]) is a town and municipality in Oppland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Gudbrandsdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Lillehammer. As of 2018, the population of the town of Lillehammer was 28,034. The city centre is a late nineteenth-century concentration of wooden houses, which enjoys a picturesque location overlooking the northern part of lake Mjøsa and the river Lågen, surrounded by mountains. Lillehammer hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics and 2016 Winter Youth Olympics. Before Oslo's withdrawal from consideration, it was included as part of a bid to host events in the 2022 Winter Olympics if Oslo were to win the rights to hold the Games.
Lillehammer within Oppland
|Coordinates: 61°7′N 10°28′E|
|• Mayor (2019)||Ingunn Trosholmen (politician)|
|• Total||477 km2 (184 sq mi)|
|• Land||450 km2 (170 sq mi)|
|Area rank||211 in Norway|
|• Rank||33 in Norway|
|• Density||56/km2 (150/sq mi)|
|• Change (10 years)||5.0%|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-0501|
|Official language form||Bokmål|
Lillehammer Municipality is further subdivided into the following populated places (i.e.: neighborhoods, quarters, villages, localities, settlements, communities, hamlets, etc.):
The municipality (originally the parish) was named after the old Hamar (Norse Hamarr) farm, since the first church was built there. The name is identical with the word hamarr (rocky hill). To distinguish it from the nearby town and bishopric, both called Hamar, it began to be called "little Hamar": Lilþlæ Hamar and Litlihamarr, and finally Lillehammer. It is also mentioned in the Old Norse sagas as Litlikaupangr ("Little Trading Place").
The coat-of-arms was granted in 1898 and shows a birkebeiner, carrying a spear and a shield, who is skiing down a mountainside. It symbolizes the historical importance of when the Birkebeiners carried the to-be-King Haakon from Lillehammer to Rena on skis.
The area has been settled since the Norwegian Iron Age; it is also mentioned as a site for council in 1390. Lillehammer had a lively market by the 1800s and obtained rights as a merchant city on 7 August 1827, at which point there were 50 registered residents within its boundaries.
The town of Lillehammer was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838.
The rural municipality of Fåberg was merged into the municipality of Lillehammer on 1 January 1964.
Lillehammer is known as a typical venue for winter sporting events; it was host city of the 1994 Winter Olympics, and the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics, and was part of a joint bid with applicant host city Oslo to host events part of the 2022 Winter Olympics until Oslo withdrew its bid on 1 October 2014.
Lillehammer is home to the largest literature festival in the Nordic countries, and in 2017 was designated as a UNESCO City of Literature.
A number of schools are located in Lillehammer including the Hammartun Primary and Lower Secondary School, Søre Ål Primary School and Kringsjå Primary and Lower Secondary School. Lillehammer Public High School consists of two branches, North and South, both situated near the city center. The private High school Norwegian College of Elite Sports, NTG, also has a branch in Lillehammer. The Lillehammer campus of Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences is situated just north of the town itself.
Lillehammer is also the home of the Nansen Academy - the Norwegian Humanistic Academy. The Nansen Academy is an educational institution for adult students with varied political, religious, and cultural backgrounds. The Academy was founded on the core principles of humanism and aims at strengthening the knowledge of these principles.
The 14th World Scout Jamboree was held from 29 July to 7 August 1975 and was hosted by Norway at Lillehammer.
Lillehammer is situated in the lower part of Gudbrandsdal, at the northern head of lake Mjøsa, and is located to the south of the municipality of Øyer, to the southeast of Gausdal, northeast of Nordre Land, and to the north of Gjøvik, all in Oppland county. To the southeast, it is bordered by Ringsaker municipality in Hedmark county. To the northwest is the mountain Spåtind.
Lillehammer has a humid continental climate (Dfb), with the Scandinavian mountain chain to the west and north limiting oceanic influences; however, for the latitude, the climate is still relatively mild. The record high of 34 °C was recorded in June 1970. The record low of -31 °C was recorded in December 1978 and January 1979, and the same low was recorded in January 1987. There has been no overnight air frost in August since 1978 (the record low for that month being -0.6° C (30.9° F), a sufficient temperature for air frost), and the coldest recorded temperature after 2000 is -26.2 °C in January 2010. The current weather station Lillehammer-Sætherengen became operational in 1982; extremes are also from two earlier weather stations in Lillehammer.
|Climate data for Lillehammer (240 m; average temperatures 2004 - 2015; extremes 1957 - 2018)|
|Record high °C (°F)||10.4
|Average high °C (°F)||−3.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−5.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.6
|Record low °C (°F)||−31.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||39
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||28||68||126||168||212||242||237||195||136||83||44||18||1,557|
The basis for the city's commerce is its position as the northernmost point of the lake Mjøsa and as the gateway for the Gudbrandsdal region, through which the historical highway to Trondheim passes. The Mesna river has provided the basis for several small industries through the years, but Lillehammer is now all but industry-less.
European route E6 passes through Lillehammer.
In addition to the Olympic site, Lillehammer offers a number of other tourist attractions:
- Maihaugen, centrally located in Lillehammer, is the largest open-air museum in Norway, with 185 buildings, mostly from Lillehammer and the valley of Gudbrandsdalen.
- Garmo Stave Church (built around 1150)
- The Norwegian Olympic Museum is the only museum in Northern Europe that shows the whole Olympic history from the ancient times and up to today, including all Summer- and Wintergames. The museum also houses the Norwegian Sports Hall of Fame and a special section about the Lillehammer `94 Olympic Wintergames. The Museum is located in the indoor museum at Maihaugen.
- Lillehammer Art Museum
- Hafjell (Ski resort 15 km (9 mi) from Lillehammer, host of slalom and super-G in the Olympic games 1994)
- Kvitfjell (Ski resort 55 km (34 mi) from Lillehammer, host of downhill in the Olympic games 1994)
- The PS Skibladner is the world's oldest paddle steamer in scheduled service, launched in 1856. Summer sailings around lake Mjøsa: Lillehammer, Moelv, Gjøvik, Hamar, and Eidsvoll.
- The ski jump at Lysgårdsbakkene.
- Sjusjøen is a skiing destination with forest and mountain terrain only 20 kilometres (12 miles) away (east) from the centre of Lillehammer in the municipality of Ringsaker.
- The Sambandets Utdanning og Kompetansesenter is an army unit located in the camp Jørstadmoen 3–4 km (2–2 miles) northwest of Lillehammer.
- The rock carvings at Drotten, Fåberg, west of Gudbrandsdalslågen about 1.5 km (0.9 mi) above Brunlaug bridge.
- The sculpture Mothership with Standing Matter by Antony Gormley in a pavilion by Snøhetta architects close to Lillehammer Station.
The official tourist information for the Lillehammer-region provides more information about activities and attractions in the region
- Atle Antonsen, a Norwegian comic and actor, was born in Lillehammer.
- Sigrid Undset lived in Lillehammer at her home "Bjerkebæk" from 1919 through 1940. She brought her children with her for a short rest, planning on returning to Oslo but chose to remain in Lillehammer. She wrote her most famous works there: the three-volume Kristin Lavransdatter, the six-volume Sverkholt tales, and the four-volume Olav Audunssønn. In 1940, because she had expressed strong anti-Nazi sentiments since the early 1930s, she fled Lillehammer before the invading German army reached the town. She returned to Lillehammer after the war and died there in 1949. She is buried at the cemetery in Mesnali, a nearby village.
- Ingrid Olava, a Norwegian singer and musician was born and grew up in Lillehammer.
- Margit Haslund (1885–1963), mayor of Lillehammer
In popular culture
- The Norwegian-American Netflix Original series Lilyhammer takes place in Lillehammer. The show stars Steven Van Zandt, who plays Frank "the Fixer" Tagliano, a New York mobster who moves to Lillehammer through the U.S. Witness Protection Program after being inspired by the 1994 Winter Olympics to relocate to Norway.
- Toki Wartooth, the fictional guitarist from the Adult Swim TV show Metalocalypse, was born and raised here.
Twin towns – Sister cities
The following cities are twinned with Lillehammer:
- Autrans, Isère, France - Sarajevo, Sarajevo Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Hayward, Wisconsin, United States - Hørsholm, Region Hovedstaden, Denmark - Leksand, Dalarna County, Sweden - Oberhof, Thuringia, Germany - Oulainen, Oulu Province, Finland - Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture, Japan - Sölden, Tyrol, Austria
Lillehammer has also friendly connections with
- "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
- "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian). Lovdata.no.
- Lillehammer awarded 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games
- Rygh, Oluf (1900). Norske gaardnavne: Kristians amt (in Norwegian) (4 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 219.
- "Lillehammers historie" (in Norwegian). Lillehammer kommune. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
- "Historiske Linjer" (in Norwegian). National Archives of Norway. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
- "Eklima / met.no, sun hours from Kise 40 km south of Lillehammer". Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- "Infoclimat.fr". Infoclimat.fr.observations-meteo. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- "Lillehammers vennskapsbyer" (Microsoft Word) (in Norwegian). Lillehammer kommune. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
- "Radviliskis". Radviliskis. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
|Look up lillehammer in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lillehammer.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Lillehammer.|
- Municipal fact sheet from Statistics Norway
Oppland travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Lillehammer Tourist Office
- Gudbrandsdalen Region
- Hafjell ski resort 20 km (12 mi) north from Lillehammer
- Kvitfjell ski resort 55 km (34 mi) north from Lillehammer
- Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
- Lillehammer Icehockey Club (in Norwegian)
- Olympic Park in Lillehammer
- Pictures from the Olympic games in 1994¨
- Norwegian Olympic Museum