Luster, Norway

This article is about the municipality in Sogn, Norway. For the village in Luster municipality, see Luster (village).
Luster kommune

Coat of arms

Sogn og Fjordane within

Luster within Sogn og Fjordane
Coordinates: 61°29′38″N 07°19′46″E / 61.49389°N 7.32944°E / 61.49389; 7.32944Coordinates: 61°29′38″N 07°19′46″E / 61.49389°N 7.32944°E / 61.49389; 7.32944
Country Norway
County Sogn og Fjordane
District Sogn
Administrative centre Gaupne
  Mayor (2011) Ivar Kvalen (Sp)
  Total 2,706.43 km2 (1,044.96 sq mi)
  Land 2,600.91 km2 (1,004.22 sq mi)
  Water 105.52 km2 (40.74 sq mi)
Area rank 15 in Norway
Population (2014)
  Total 5,089
  Rank 197 in Norway
  Density 2.0/km2 (5/sq mi)
  Change (10 years) 3.3 %
Demonym(s) Lustring[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1426
Official language form Nynorsk
Data from Statistics Norway

Luster is a municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It is located at the end of the Sognefjorden in the traditional district of Sogn. The administrative centre is the village of Gaupne. Other villages in Luster include Fortun, Hafslo, Indre Hafslo, Jostedal, Luster, Nes, Ornes, Skjolden, Solvorn, and Veitastrond.

Luster centers on the inner branch of the Sognefjord, which is called the Lustrafjorden. At 2,706-square-kilometre (1,045 sq mi), Luster is one of the largest municipalities by area in all of southern Norway. Its landscape includes fjords, steep mountains, water-abundant waterfalls, blue glaciers, and valleys. Both Jostedalsbreen National Park and Breheimen National Park are partially located in this municipality. The Sognefjellsvegen road goes over a mountain pass in eastern Luster.

General information

Map of Luster
View of the Fortun area

Lyster was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The original municipality was identical to the Lyster parish (prestegjeld) with the sub-parishes (sokn) of Fortun, Dale, Nes, and Gaupne. On 1 January 1963, the neighboring municipalities of Hafslo and Jostedal were merged with Luster, forming a much larger municipality. After the merger, Luster had 5,854 residents.[2]

Since the consolidation of the three municipalities of Hafslo, Jostedal and Luster in 1963, the area has been characterized by scattered rural settlements and large distances between these settlements. Luster is the largest municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county.[3]


The name (Old Norse Lústr) originally belonged to the fjord (now Lustrafjorden). The name is derived from the word ljóss which means "light" or "bright" - referring to the bright color of the water from the glaciers. Prior to 1918, the name was written Lyster.[4]

Coat of arms

The coat of arms are relatively new; they were granted on 20 April 1990. They show a silver-colored rounded tilia twig on a blue background. Although they are newly designed, they are inspired by an old woodcarving found in the Urnes Stave Church which is located in Luster.[5]


The Church of Norway has eight parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Luster. It is part of the Indre Sogn deanery in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.[3][6]

Churches in Luster
Parish (Sokn)Church NameLocation of the ChurchYear Built
DaleDale ChurchLuster1250
Fet og JorangerFet ChurchFet1894
Joranger ChurchJoranger1660
FortunFortun ChurchFortun1879
GaupneGaupne ChurchGaupne1908
Old Gaupne Church1647
HafsloHafslo ChurchHafslo1878
Veitastrond ChapelVeitastrond1928
JostedalJostedal ChurchJostedal1660
NesNes ChurchNes1909
SolvornSolvorn ChurchSolvorn1883
Urnes Stave ChurchOrnes1130


Norway sheep and Luster landscape

All municipalities in Norway, including Luster, 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 Luster is made up of 25 representatives that are elected to every four years. For 2011–2015, the party breakdown is as follows:[7]

Luster Kommunestyre 2011–2015
Party NameName in NorwegianNumber of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet8
 Progress PartyFramstegspartiet3
 Conservative PartyHøgre3
 Christian Democratic PartyKristelig Folkeparti2
 Centre PartySenterpartiet7
 Liberal PartyVenstre2
Total number of members:25


The mayor (ordførar) of a municipality in Norway is usually a representative of the majority party of the municipal council who is elected to lead the council. Ivar Kvalen of the Centre Party was elected mayor for the 2011-2015 term.


Note people entering the ice cave in the glacier Nigardsbreenthis gives some perspective on the size of the glacier as the cave shows in the other picture.
The glacier Nigardsbreen and the lake Nigardsbrevatnet in Luster municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county in Norway.


Luster, one of the largest municipalities in southern Norway, is located in the glacial mountains where the Sognefjorden begins its path to the North Sea. The fjord is fed by many large glaciers such as the Harbardsbreen, Holåbreen, Jostedalsbreen, Nigardsbreen, Spørteggbreen, and others.[8]

It is bordered by four municipalities in Sogn og Fjordane county: Stryn to the north, Jølster to the west, Sogndal to the southwest, and Årdal to the southeast. It is also bordered by three municipalities in Oppland county: Skjåk to the northeast and by Lom and Vang to the east.


The Hurrungane, Breheimen, and Jotunheimen mountains cover parts of the municipality. Store Skagastølstind (or Storen) is the third highest mountain peak in Norway at 2,405 metres (7,890 ft) high, and it is located on the southern border of Luster and Årdal. It is part of the Hurrungane mountain range which contains some of the most alpine peaks in Norway.

Mountains of Luster over 2,000 metres (6,600 ft)[9]
Mountain Height Mountain Height
Store Skagastølstind 2,405 m (7,890 ft) Store Dyrhaugstind 2,147 m (7,044 ft)
Store Styggedalstinden 2,387 m (7,831 ft) Mjølkedalstind 2,137 m (7,011 ft)
Jervvasstind 2,351 m (7,713 ft) Store Ringstind 2,124 m (6,969 ft)
Sentraltind 2,351 m (7,713 ft) Tverrådalskyrkja 2,088 m (6,850 ft)
Vetle Skagastølstind 2,340 m (7,680 ft) Lodalskåpa 2,083 m (6,834 ft)
Midtre Skagastølstind 2,284 m (7,493 ft) Store Soleiebotntind 2,083 m (6,834 ft)
Store Austanbotntind 2,203 m (7,228 ft) Søre Dyrhaugstind 2,072 m (6,798 ft)
Store Raudalseggi 2,168 m (7,113 ft) Fannaråken 2,068 m (6,785 ft)
Store Raudalstind 2,157 m (7,077 ft) Stetind i Jotunheimen 2,020 m (6,630 ft)
Uranostind 2,157 m (7,077 ft) Brenibba 2,018 m (6,621 ft)

Lakes and Rivers

There are notable lakes such as Veitastrondsvatnet, Austdalsvatnet, Styggevatnet, Tunsbergdalvatnet, Prestesteinsvatnet, and Hafslovatnet. There are also many big waterfalls such as the Feigumfoss waterfall at 218 metres (715 ft) tall. The river Jostedøla runs through the Jostedal valley and empties into the fjord at Gaupne.

Storelvi with Austerdalen (right) and Langedalen (left)


The Jostedalsbreen glacier (including the arm called Nigardsbreen) is the biggest glacier in continental Europe, the highest point on it is Høgste Breakulen. It is located west of Jostedal, north of Gaupne, in Jostedalsbreen National Park, much of which is located in the municipality of Luster.[9] Other glaciers include the Austerdalsbreen, Harbardsbreen and Spørteggbreen.


The inhabitants of Luster make their living by farming, growing berries and fruit, tourism, and hydroelectricity. Jøstedal and Fortun have large hydroelectric power stations. Summer tourism is quite busy. Tourist activities include mountain climbing, skiing, fishing, hiking, and hunting.[9] The Sognefjellsvegen tourist road passes through Luster.

River fishing

Fishing permits (for salmon fishing) are sold for use on specific rivers, including Årøy-elva.[10]


Feigumfoss waterfall

With a vertical drop of 218 metres (715 ft), the Feigumfoss Waterfall is one of the highest in Scandinavia.[9]

Historic churches

Urnes Stave Church

Urnes Stave Church was built around 1150 and is Norway's oldest Stave church. The Church lies majestically on the top of Urnes. The Stave church is one of four Norwegian Churches on UNESCO`s list of the most precious cultural monuments in the world.

The Stave churches are constructions of high quality, richly decorated with carvings. In virtually all of them the door frames are decorated from top to bottom with carvings. This tradition of rich ornamentation appears to go back to the animal carvings of the Viking age. The dragons are lovingly executed and transformed into long-limbed creatures of fantasy, here and there entwined with tendrils of vine, with winding stems and serrated leaves. The elaborate designs are executed with supreme artistic skill. The stave church doorways are, therefore, among the most distinctive works of art to be found in Norway. However, it is difficult to connect them with the Christian gospel.[9]

Old Gaupne Church

The Old Gaupne Church is a magnificent church that was built in 1647 on a hill directly opposite Gaupne centre.[9]

Dale Church

Dale Church is a stone church that was built in gothic style in the year 1250.[9]

Breheim center

The Breheim Center contains a comprehensive exhibition. A journey through 20,000 years - from the Ice age to the present day, an audio/visual show takes visitors inside the glacier. Glacier boat M/S "Jostedalsrypa" crosses the Nigard Glacier Lake. There are internationally approved guides, glacier and climbing courses, and ski-trips.[9]

Notable inhabitants

Twin cities/towns


  1. "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
  3. 1 2 Natvik, Oddvar (9 February 2005). "Some historical data on the 26 Kommunes". Retrieved 23 June 2008.
  4. Rygh, Oluf (1919). Norske gaardnavne: Nordre Bergenhus amt (in Norwegian) (12 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 8.
  5. "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  6. "Alle kirker og kirkegårder i Norge" (in Norwegian). 2008.
  7. "Members of the local councils, by party/electoral lists and municipality" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  8. Wobig, Andreas (2008). "Luster, Sogn og Fjordane".
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Luster Kommune". 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  10. "Laksefiske for alle". Aftenposten. 2014-07-19. p. 11.
  11. "Local History of Luster". 2008.
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