is a municipality
in the county
of Oppland, Norway
The parish of Øier was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). It is one of very few municipalities in Norway with unchanged borders since that date.
In Oppland, Øyer is bordered by Ringebu
municipality to the north, Ringsaker
to the southeast and Lillehammer
to the south. To the east, located in Hedmark
county, lies Stor-Elvdal
municipality. The municipality is divided in two parishes: Øyer in the south, and Tretten
in the north.
Øyer has traditionally been a farming and lumbering municipality.
Recreation is increasingly important economically. Since it opened in 1989, Øyer's Hafjell
Alpine Ski Center has grown to include over 14 lifts and 28 runs as wells as extensive cross country skiing runs. It is an easy 15 kilometers from Lillehammer, making it very accessible. Tobogganing, luge and bobsled racing (on the 1994 Olympic course) are also found in the area.
The Black Death
reached Norway in the winter of 1349/50. Øyer was one of the parishes most severely impacted; estimates based on tax payments suggest that between 2/3 and 3/4 of all residents died. Many of the farms there became deserted (øygarder
), which remained vacant until the late 1600-hundreds. The parish of Tretten
was annexed to Øyer after the Black Death, because the decimated population of Tretten no longer could maintain their own priest.
form of the name was Øyja
), from *Øyi
). Two lakes in Norway had the name Øyi(r)
in Norse times (see Øymark
), and these names are derived from the word øy
f 'flat and fertil land along a waterside'. It is good reasons to seek the same name of a lake here: The river of Lågen
widens out in the sentral part of the municipality - and it creates two riverlakes (Jemnefjorden
was probably the old name of one (or both) of these 'fjords'.
Until 1918 the name was written "Øier".
The coat-of-arms is from modern times (1983). It shows a helder - a traditional tool made of wood for fastening a rope around a load.
(See also the coat-of-arms for Masfjorden.)
For those with ancestors from Øyer in Oppland the church books for baptisms and deaths between 1671and 1857 are available in Norwegian at the Oppland archive’s web page.