Ringsaker

Ringsaker

is a municipality in the county of Hedmark, Norway.

Ringsaker was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). Furnes and Nes were merged with Ringsaker January 1, 1964.

Geography

Ringsaker is on the east side of the lake Mjøsa, bordering Hamar to the south, Lillehammer to the north, and Løten and Åmot to the east. To the west, across lake Mjøsa lies Gjøvik in Oppland county.

Ringsaker lies in the Hedemarken landscape, consisting of the rolling agricultural terrain, hilly green mountains, and pine forests.

Urban centers in Ringsaker include Brumunddal and Moelv.

Economy

Ringsaker's main industries are agriculture, forestry, and diversified manufacturing. The area of Sjusjøen has a relatively large cottage colony that is especially attractive for cross-country skiing vacations. Main population centers are Brumunddal and Moelv.

History

Harald Harfager at Ringsaker in 882

Ringsaker is first mentioned in Harald Harfager's Saga, in the Heimskringla by Snorri Sturlson. The saga reports that Harald Harfager (872 – 930) was but ten years old when he succeeded his father (Halfdan the Black). After Halfdan the Black's death, many chiefs coveted the dominions he had left. Among these King Gandalf was the first; then Hogne and Frode, sons of king Eystein of Hedemark; and also king Hogne Karuson of Ringerike. Hake, the son of Gandalf, led an expedition of 300 men against Vestfold. King Harald’s army, led by Guthorm, met and fought a great battle, and king Harald was victorious, killing king Hake. Then king Harald turned back, but king Gandalf had come to Vestfold so they defeated him also. Now when the sons of king Eystein in Hedemark heard the news, they proposed to meet at Ringsaker in Hedemark with the remaining kings, Hogne Karuson and Herse Gudbrand. King Harald and Guthorm found out where the Upland kings were meeting, and coming undetected at night, fired the houses in which Hogne Karuson and Herse Gudbrand slept. King Eystein's two sons and their men fought, but both Hogne and Frode fell. After the fall of these kings, king Harald had subdued Hedemark, Ringerike, Gudbrandsdal, Hadeland, Thoten, Raumarike, and the whole northern part of Vingulmark. In addition, king Gandalf was slain, and King Harald took the whole of his kingdom as far south as the river Raum Glomma.

Saint Olaf at Ringsaker in 1018

Ringsaker is again mentioned in saga. In 1018 Olaf (later Saint Olaf) sent people to advise the Uplands that he was coming, as it was custom for the king to live as guest there every third year. In the autumn he left Sarpsborg, and went first to Vingulmark. He inquired about their Christianity, teaching some and punishing others. He went through that district, and on to Raumarike. Christianity was weaker there and he punished all who had not obeyed his word. The king of Raumarike proceeded to Ringsaker, to consult king Hrorek of Hedemark. They sent messages to king Gudrod of Gudbrandsdal, and to the king of Hadaland, inviting them to meet at Hedemark. The kings agreed to resist Olaf. They summoned the leaders from their kingdoms; and when they had assembled the kings directed them to gather warriors. Most approved of the measure, but the kings were betrayed to Olav by Ketil Kavl of Ringanes (i.e., Ringnes in the southernmost district in Hedemark, Stange), who proceeded rapidly down lake Mjøsa to Eid, where Olaf was then located. King Olaf accompanied by 400 men arrived at Ringsaker before the next day dawned. Ketil knew where the kings slept, and Olaf had all these houses surrounded. The kings were taken prisoners. King Hrorek’s eyes were put out. King Gudrod's tongue was cut out. King Ring and two others were banished from Norway. King Olaf took possession of the land these kings had possessed, and after this Olaf alone bore the title of king in Norway.

Sigurd of Røyr at Ringsaker in 1163

Sigurd of Røyr, who was Haakon II’s champion, lived at Røyr (Rør) in Ringsaker. He fell at Re in 1163.

The name

The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old farm Ringsaker (Norse Ringisakr), since the first church was built here. The first element is the genitive case of *ringir m or *ringi n. The last element is akr m 'field, acre'. The meaning of the first element is unknown. A proposal is that *Ringir (*Hringir) may have been another name for the Norse god Ullr ('the lord of the ring'), but this is very uncertain.

(The background for this theory is the Norse poem Atlakviða. Here is mentioned a ceremony where people are swearing an oath by "hringi Ullar" 'Ullr's ring'.)

Coat-of-arms

The coat-of-arms is from modern times (1985). It shows an elk.

Famous residents

References

  • East Norway and its Frontier by Frank Noel Stagg, George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1956.
  • Heimskringla or “The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway” by Snorri Sturluson.

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