Coat of arms of Mosjøen.
Coordinates: 65°50′N 13°12′E / 65.833°N 13.200°E / 65.833; 13.200
Country Norway
County Nordland
Municipality Vefsn
  Total 6.41 km2 (2.47 sq mi)
Population (2013)[1]
  Total 9,665
  Density 1,508/km2 (3,910/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+01:00)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02:00)

Mosjøen (Southern Sami: Mussere)  listen  is a town, a former town municipality, and a former privileged staple place in the Municipality of Vefsn in the southern part of the County of Northland, Norway. Established in 1875, Mosjøen is the oldest town in the Helgeland region, and only Bodø is older within Nordland. The 6.41-square-kilometre (1,580-acre) village has a population (2013) of 9,665, giving it a population density of 1,508 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,910/sq mi).[1]

Together with Mo i Rana and Narvik, Mosjøen is one of the industrial towns in Nordland. The Mosjøen Aluminum Plant, owned by Alcoa, is among the biggest in Europe and traditionally the town's cornerstone enterprise. Additionally, the town has a business sector that includes trade, crafts, banking, transportation, and tourism. The town attracts customers from the whole region.

Mosjøen is a centre of communications in Helgeland. From Mosjøen, it is 71 kilometres (44 miles) to Sandnessjøen in the west, 87 kilometres (54 miles) to Mo i Rana in the north, and 160 kilometres (99 miles) to Brønnøysund in the south. Furthermore, the road distance is 318 km (198 miles) to Bodø and 393 km (244 miles) to Trondheim. The E6 goes through the town. There are daily departures from the Mosjøen Bus Central, from the Mosjøen Railway Station on the Nordland Line, and from Mosjøen Airport south of the town. There are both public and private quays in Mosjøen. The town's harbour is among the largest in Northern Norway.

In the aspect of basic education, Mosjøen has both local and regional functions. The Mosjøen High School receives students from the town and rural municipalities surrounding it. The Vefsn Folk High School is located in Mosjøen. The town has a department of the Open University. Many bigger events for children and youths take place in Mosjøen, among others the Toppen International Summer Music School and the Kippermoen Cup.

Mosjøen is known for the famous Sjøgata with its 19th-century wooden houses and piers. Other sightseeing spots are the Dolstad Church, the Town Park, and the aluminum plant.

Name and coat of arms

The core of and the northern and north-eastern parts of Mosjøen.

Mosjøen was a part of the central farm Mo, from which the town has gotten its name. It has the meaning 'the sea belonging to Mo'. Earlier spellings are Mosøen (19th century) and Moesøen (18th century).

Mosjøen's coat of arms was granted by King Olav V on 25 March 1960. It was composed by sculptor Arthur Gustavsson. Whilst the blazon is Sable, a cock Argent, the cock is traditionally equipped with redthe so-called colour of armamenton beak, wattles, comb, and shanks. The cock represents watchfulness and fighting spirit.


The English sawmills in 1870.

It is known that Mosjøen was populated already in 1600.[2] The earliest inhabitant known by name is Svein strandsitter, who lived there together with his wife and daughters in 1660.[2]

Since the late 1500s and until the 1820s Mosjøen was in the possession of the Mo family. They were wealthy farmers as well as shippers and traders, and in 1794 a family member received royal privilege to establish Mosjøen as a trade centre.

In the 1600s and in the early 1700s, and especially following the 1645 Treaty of Brömsebro, when Jemtland was ceded to Sweden, several people from this province migrated to Trøndelag and Nordland. Many of these came to Vefsn and Mosjøen.

In the 1860s a group of Englishmen, the "salmon lords", established The North of Europe Land & Mining Co., Ltd. This introduced the first industrial period in Mosjøen. The sawmill industry created "Klondike conditions"; people came from everywhere in order to get a job, to trade, and so on, and salaries were relatively high.

A rapidly growing town, Mosjøen received staple rights on 1 January 1875 and was separated from Vefsn as a town municipality on 1 January 1876. These privileges were granted by King Oscar II on 4 April 1874. A staple place, Mosjøen had the privilege to export goods directly to foreign countries.

The most important town in the Helgeland region, Mosjøen became the headquarters of the German Nazi occupiers during 1940 and 1945.

In 1945, after the Second World War, Mosjøen entered its second industrial period. Among the several industrial establishments was the Mosjøen Aluminum Plant.

Mosjøen was again merged with Vefsn on 1 January 1962. Since 1998 the town has modern town status.

Business and industry

A part of the Mosjøen Aluminum Plant.
19th century wooden house in Sjøgata.

Mosjøen is one of the industrial towns in Nordland. Especially important is the Mosjøen Aluminum Plant, owned by Alcoa.

Mosjøen's business sector contains both traditional and modern companies as well as a wide spectre of branches, including trade, crafts, banking, transportation, and tourism. The town is a commercial centre in the region, attracting customers from smaller neighbouring towns and from rural municipalities.


The European route E6 goes through Mosjøen. From Mosjøen, it is 71 km (44 mi) to Sandnessjøen in the west, 87 km (54 mi) to Mo i Rana in the north, and 160 km (99 mi) to Brønnøysund in the south. Furthermore, the road distance is 318 km (198 mi) to Bodø and 393 km (244 mi) to Trondheim.

Otherwise, the town is accessible by airplane, train, and ship. The town is served by the Mosjøen Airport, Kjærstad, five minutes by car south of the town. Mosjøen Station on the Nordland Line has daily departures for Trondheim in the south and the county capital Bodø in the north. Mosjøen Harbour is the biggest port in Northern Norway. The aluminum plant has its own port.


The following are popular sightseeing spots:


Topographic situation.


Mosjøen is situated in the lower part of the Vefsn Valley, where the rivers Vefsna and Skjerva flow into the Vefsnfjord. The town's centre lies on flat land between these two rivers. In addition, the town is surrounded by mountains, green hills, and forests. The Øyfjellet mountain (814 metres) just west of the town is a well-known landmark.


Mosjøen is located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south of the Arctic circle, and the town has a wet and mild subarctic climate (Köppen: Dfc) bordering on subpolar oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfc). The town has relatively warm summers and mild winters compared to other places on similar latitudes, largely due to its proximity to the ocean. Mosjøen also receives a large amount of precipitation, particularly between the late summer and the early winter. Its climate is similar to that of Juneau, Alaska, only with slightly colder temperatures in the winter and early spring.

Climate data for Mosjøen
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −5
Daily mean °C (°F) −5.7
Average low °C (°F) −9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 186
Source: [3][4]

List of friendship towns

Town Country Initiation Explanation Ref.
Lycksele in the Municipality of Lycksele  Sweden 1965[5] Mosjøen and Lycksele have old trade connections. Besides Lycksele was the first place in Lapland to receive town privileges, like Mosjøen was the first in Helgeland. [6]
Town Municipality of Gornji Milanovac  Serbia 28 September 1975 During the Second World War at least 425 Serbians were killed in the Osen Prison Camp in Vefsn. [6]
Town Municipality of Volkhov  Russia 16 June 1992 Russia's first aluminum plant, the Kirov Plant of 1932, is located in the town. [6]


  1. 1 2 3 Statistisk sentralbyrå (1 January 2013). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality.".
  2. 1 2 Jæger, Claes-Henrik: Mosjøen i Norges Bebyggelse : Fylkesbindet for Sør-Trøndelag, Nord-Trøndelag og Nordland fylker, s. 725–732. Norsk Yrkesforlag, 1954.
  3. "Mosjøen average conditions - base period 10 last years". Storm Weather Center. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  4. "Normaler for Vefsn kommune (1961-1990)". Meterologisk institutt. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  5. Municipality of Lycksele: Our Twin Municipalities
  6. 1 2 3 Municipality of Vefsn: Vennskapskommuner
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Coordinates: 65°50′N 13°12′E / 65.833°N 13.200°E / 65.833; 13.200

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