For other uses, see Sel (disambiguation).
Sel kommune

Town of Otta

Coat of arms

Oppland within

Sel within Oppland
Coordinates: 61°49′1″N 9°34′24″E / 61.81694°N 9.57333°E / 61.81694; 9.57333Coordinates: 61°49′1″N 9°34′24″E / 61.81694°N 9.57333°E / 61.81694; 9.57333
Country Norway
County Oppland
District Gudbrandsdal
Administrative centre Otta
  Mayor (2003) Dag Erik Pryhn (Ap)
  Total 905 km2 (349 sq mi)
  Land 888 km2 (343 sq mi)
Area rank 124 in Norway
Population (2004)
  Total 6,088
  Rank 164 in Norway
  Density 7/km2 (20/sq mi)
  Change (10 years) -4.4 %
Demonym(s) Selvær[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-0517
Official language form Neutral
Data from Statistics Norway

Sel is a municipality in Oppland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Gudbrandsdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Otta.

The new municipality of Sel was created on 1 January 1908 when it was separated from Vågå municipality. The former municipality of Heidal was merged into Sel municipality on 1 January 1965.

General information


The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Sel farm (Old Norse: Sil), since the first church was built there. The name is identical with the word sil which means "slowly running and quiet part of a river" (here meaning the Gudbrandsdalslågen).[2]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 18 May 1985. The arms show a gold-colored girl playing a trumpet on a blue background. The image is based on the local Prillar-Guri legend. In 1612, a Scottish army marched through the area on its way to Sweden. They were stopped by the local farmers at the Battle of Kringen. The legend tells that the farmers were warned for the Scots by a local girl with a trumpet.[3][4]


Sel is bordered on the north by Dovre and Vågå municipalities, and on the south by Nord-Fron municipality. To the northeast it is bordered by Folldal municipality in Hedmark county. Large parts of the very first national park in Norway, Rondane National Park is situated in the municipality of Sel and has its main entrances from the mountain villages of Høvringen and Mysuseter.

Although it has a small population, Sel is one of the more scenic and historically significant areas of the Gudbrandsdal. A large concentration of Norway’s heritage-listed farms is located in Heidal in Sel municipality (Heidal became part of Sel municipality in 1965).

Kvitskriuprestene - White Priests - soil pyramids near Sinclairstøtten, Sel municipality.

Otta, named after the Otta River, is the population center. Otta lies at the point where the Otta River joins the Gudbrandsdalslågen from the west. The Otta River leads up to the historically important Vågå and Lom regions and the passes to the west over Jotunheimen.[5]



  1. "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. Rygh, Oluf (1900). Norske gaardnavne: Kristians amt (in Norwegian) (4 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 88.
  3. Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  4. "History about Sel municipality coat of arms - kommunevåpen". Sel kommune. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  5. Taylor-Wilkie, Doreen, ed. (1996). Insight Guides Norway (2 ed.). Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 978-0-395-81912-8.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Stagg, Frank Noel (1956). East Norway and its Frontier. George Allen & Unwin, Ltd.
  7. 1 2 Welle-Strand, Erling (1996). Adventure Roads in Norway. Nortrabooks. ISBN 978-82-90103-71-7.
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