Moskenes kommune

Coat of arms

Nordland within

Moskenes within Nordland
Coordinates: 67°55′31″N 12°57′32″E / 67.92528°N 12.95889°E / 67.92528; 12.95889Coordinates: 67°55′31″N 12°57′32″E / 67.92528°N 12.95889°E / 67.92528; 12.95889
Country Norway
County Nordland
District Lofoten
Administrative centre Reine
  Mayor (2011) Lillian Rasmussen (Local list)
  Total 118.58 km2 (45.78 sq mi)
  Land 110.26 km2 (42.57 sq mi)
  Water 8.32 km2 (3.21 sq mi)
Area rank 374 in Norway
Population (2012)
  Total 1,116
  Rank 391 in Norway
  Density 10.1/km2 (26/sq mi)
  Change (10 years) -12.9 %
Demonym(s) Moskenesfjerding[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1874
Official language form Neutral
Data from Statistics Norway

Moskenes is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. The municipality comprises the southern part of the island of Moskenesøya in the traditional district of Lofoten. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Reine. Other villages include Sørvågen, Hamnøy, and Å.

General information

The municipality was established on 1 July 1916 when the southern part of Flakstad municipality was separated to become Moskenes. Initially, Moskenes had a population of 1,306.

On 1 January 1964, the municipalities of Flakstad and Moskenes were reunited, this time under the name "Moskenes". Prior to the merger, Moskenes had 2,001 residents and the new municipality of Moskenes had 4,068 residents. This new municipality did not last long because on 1 January 1976, Flakstad broke away again to once again form a separate municipality. This left Moskenes with 1,705 residents.[2]


The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Moskenes farm ("Muskenes" – 1567), since the first church was built there. The first element is probably derived from the word mosk/musk which means "sea spray" and the last element is nes which means "headland".[3] (See also Moskenstraumen.)


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 12 September 1986. The arms show a white vortex spiral on a blue background. Vortexes or whirlpools, such as the Moskenstraumen, appear in the channel just south of the island of Moskenes when the tide comes in, making it a hazardous channel.[4]


The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Moskenes. It is part of the Lofoten deanery in the Diocese of Sør-Hålogaland.

Churches in Moskenes
Parish (Sokn)Church NameLocation of the ChurchYear Built
MoskenesMoskenes ChurchMoskenes1819
Reine ChurchReine1890


Moskenes is among the most scenic municipalities in all Norway, and the picturesque fishing villages of Hamnøy, Reine, Sørvågen, Moskenes, Å, and Tind have a dramatic backdrop of jagged peaks rising above the Vestfjorden. The historic Glåpen Lighthouse is located just east of Sørvågen.

Between Lofotodden, the southwestern tip of the Lofoten chain, and the offshore island of Mosken, there is the tidal current of Moskenstraumen. This is better known internationally as the Maelstrom, feared by all sailors. On the isolated northwestern coast of the island, there are also interesting Stone Age cave paintings. The highest mountain is Hermannsdalstinden at 1,029 metres (3,376 ft).


All municipalities in Norway, including Moskenes, 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 Moskenes is made up of 11 representatives that are elected to every four years. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[5]

Moskenes Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party NameName in NorwegianNumber of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet3
 Conservative PartyHøyre2
 Socialist Left PartySosialistisk Venstreparti1
 Local ListsLokale lister5
Total number of members:11


The municipality of Moskenes lies near the southern end of the Lofoten archipelago on the southern part of the island of Moskenesøya. The Vestfjorden lies to the east, the Moskenstraumen strait lies to the south, and the Norwegian Sea lies to the west. The municipality of Flakstad lies to the north (on the northern part of the island) and the island municipality of Værøy lies about 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the south.


Climate data for Reine
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) −0.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 240
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 19.6 17.8 16.6 16.2 12.6 11.5 12.8 13.9 19.0 21.3 20.5 21.8 203.6
Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute[6]

Notable residents


  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). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  3. Rygh, Oluf (1905). Norske gaardnavne: Nordlands amt (in Norwegian) (16 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 345.
  4. Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2008-11-24.
  5. "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.
  6. "eKlima Web Portal". Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
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