Fyresdal is a municipality in the county of Telemark, Norway.

Fyresdal (until 1879 named Moland) was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt).

The main ways of living are agriculture, forestry, trade and tourism. Fyresdal was the birthplace of Minister-president in Norway during the World War II German occupation, Vidkun Quisling. Fyresdal is known for its many findings from the Viking Age, its mighty Viking graves, heaps of slag and the former pilgrim church that once stood proudly north of the village centre. People travelled to this church from all over Norway and even from Europe. It was said that the stream running behind the church had healing powers. A few miles south of the site where the Pilgrim Church (Heggland Kyrkje), once stood, at Molandsmoen, a stone with Runic inscriptions can be found. This is a reminder from the Viking Age when horse battles were held there. Originally, one believes, there were four of them. At Klokkarhamaren, a little mountain/peninsula in the municipal centre, one finds a cave called Munkhola. It is believed that a certain number of monks in Medieval times resided, held masses and sought refuge here.

The name

The Norse form of the name was Fyrisdalr. The first element is the genitive case of the name of the lake *Fyrir (now Fyresvatn). The last element is dalr m 'valley, dale'. The name of the lake is derived from the word fura f 'pine tree'.

Until 1879 the municipality was called Moland.


The coat-of-arms is from modern times (1992). It shows two broadaxes. (To represent the forestry work in the municipality.)


The municipality of Fyresdal consists of several little villages north of the municipal centre, in the main valley area of Fyresdal, and on the western and south-eastern shores of Fyresvatn (Lake Fyresdal), one of Norway's deepest lakes. The municipal centre of Fyresdal is Moland. Here one finds the municipal assembly, the school, the community house, kindergartens, the home for the elderly, one of Fyresdal's two churches (Moland Kyrkje, which according to Telemark Folklore the Troll of Røykjenes moved across the lake because the bells was disturbing its nap) and the Vicarage (Fyresdal Prestegard, where Vidkun Quisling was born) and most of the commercial enterprises in the village. Moland is the most heavily populated aea of Fyresdal. Within Moland one also finds the old village centre, Folkestadbyen, in Folkestadbyen you find a building named Fyresdal Vertshus this Swiss styled dwelling build in 1890 has housed and served both food and drinks to locals and travellers for over 100 years and the park Øyskogen, which contains Viking graves and a lot of traditional Telemark houses (e.g. lofts and stabburs). Øyskogen also hosts Fyresdal Bygdemuseum, the village museum. Folkestadbyen was named the prettiest town/village centre in Telemark in 2003.

Within the village centre of Moland one also finds the airport Vest-Telemark airport, Fyresdal and hotel. This is a joint operation under the name Airparc Fyresdal.

Following the main road north from Moland, the RV 355 that runs straight through the municipality from north to south, one comes to the little villages that are Hegglandsgrend, Veum and Hauggrend. Hegglandsgrend is the home of the above-mentioned site of the old Pilgrim Church (Heggland Gamle Kyrkjegard), whereas Veum is the home of Fyresdal's second existing Lutheran Church, aptly named Veum Kyrkje. At Foldsæ in Hauggrend, one finds one of the Rudolf Steiner Schools at Upper Secondary level. This is a so-called "friskole" ("Free school") based on the thoughts and ideas of Rudolf Steiner. In Hauggrend one also finds the highest mountain in Fyresdal, Roan. This peak is about 1200 meters above sea level.

North of Moland, to the west from the main valley we find the little settlements of Kleivgrend, Åslandsgrend and Fjellgardane. Fjellgardane is a wilderness area with small traditional organic farms such as "Ystesund Gard" from 1730. Turning left of the RV 355 in Hegglandsgrend one comes to Kleivgrend and Åslandsgrend. Between Kleivgrend and the neighbouring municipality Valle i Setesdal on the western side of the mountains, one finds an old track that priest and bishops used to get between the counties of Agder and Telemark. This track is named Bispevegen ("Bishop's Road") and every year a march called "Bispevegmarsjen" ("The Bishop's Road March") starts in Kleivgrend. In Fjellgardane, Germans ran mines in the 1500s at Moisesberg.

On the western shores of Fyresvatn (Lake Fyresdal), to the southwest of Moland, one finds the villages of Fardal, Breivik and Birtedalen. Here one finds an old and interesting stone called Røykjenessteinen. In 2005 one also found some arrowheads in this area that one believes may be 4000-4500 years old. Birtedalen is a popular place for people who set up mountain cabins.

South of Moland, at the southern end of RV 355 across the scenic and mighty mountain of Våmur where one can catch a heartstopping look at Fyresdal's great lake from up above, one comes to the little village of Kilegrend. In the old days there was no road connecting Kilegrend with the municipal centre. Thus one had to travel to and fro by boat. For years on end the steamboats Teisner (named after a vicar) and Fyresdølen travelled between Moland and Kilegrend. The latter eventually capsized and sank. The wreck is still visible in Kilegrend.

Fyresdal is the westernmost municipality in Telemark. It borders the municipalities of Tokke, Kviteseid and Nissedal in Telemark. It also shares borders with the municipalities of Åmli, Bygland and Valle in the county of Aust-Agder

Fyresdal has bus communication towards the city centres of Skien and Porsgrunn in Telemark, Arendal in Aust-Agder, Bergen in Hordaland, Haugesund in Rogaland and the capital Oslo. A bus is also travelling between Fyresdal and Dalen, the municipal centre of Tokke, every school day of the year.

Other places of interest in Fyresdal

  • Geitstadgrend
  • Spockeligrend
  • Momrak
  • Stykkjevika
  • Klokkarhamaren
  • Sitje
  • Geitnetten
  • Skrevatn
  • Øysteinsfjell
  • Høgenut

Famous people from Fyresdal

Vidkun Quisling - politician, traitor Ivar P. Tveiten - politician Sugar Plum Fairies - band Kjell Audun Aalandsli - troubadour Petter Veum - fiddler

See also

Sugar Plum Fairies - Vest Telemark - Vinje - Seljord

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