View of the town at night (looking towards the fjord)
Location in Rogaland county
|Coordinates: 59°39′02″N 06°21′14″E / 59.65056°N 6.35389°ECoordinates: 59°39′02″N 06°21′14″E / 59.65056°N 6.35389°E|
|• Total||3.73 km2 (1.44 sq mi)|
|Elevation||8 m (26 ft)|
|• Density||1,140/km2 (3,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+01:00)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+02:00)|
|Post Code||4200 Sauda|
Sauda is a town in Sauda municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. The village, which is also the administrative centre of the municipality, is located in a river valley at the northern end of the Saudafjorden. The small suburb of Saudasjøen lies about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) west of the town centre. A large part of the industrial harbour area of Sauda is built on reclaimed land that was once underwater in the fjord.
Sauda received "town status" in 1998. The 3.73-square-kilometre (920-acre) town (which includes the small suburb of Saudasjøen) has a population (2013) of 4,253. This gives the town a population density of 1,140 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,000/sq mi) and makes it the largest settlement in the municipality as well as the only "urban" area.
The town has two churches: Sauda Church in the town centre and Saudasjøen Chapel in the western suburb of Saudasjøen. There is also a high school in the town as well as the Ryfylkesmuseet (Ryfylke museum).
Sauda was originally (as with many Norwegian towns/cities) an old farming village. The village survived on agriculture and the timber industry throughout the Middle Ages. Due to its proximity to many nearby waterfalls, several mills were built for pulp and paper. Over time, Sauda grew up as industrialization began, especially at the start of the 1900s. Zinc mining in the late-1800s at the nearby Allmannajuvet mine caused Sauda's harbor to grow as the mining ships began arriving.
In 1915, the American company Union Carbide Corporation built the Sauda Smelteverk, a smelting factory near the centre of Sauda. This factory led directly or indirectly to a huge development in the area. Sauda suddenly became the place people both from Rogaland county and the rest of the country moved to in order to gain employment. It was a tripling in population into a few years, with a population peak around the year 1960. Recent industry and several power development project kept alive the city and made more development. The village received "town status" in 1998.