Skjåk is a municipality in
Oppland county, Norway. It is part of the
traditional region of Gudbrandsdalen. The administrative centre of the
municipality is the village of Bismo. The municipality of
created when it was separated from Lom to become a municipality of its
own in 1866.
The local newspaper is named Fjuken.
1 General information
5 Notable residents
7 External links
The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Skjåk
farm (Old Norse: Skeiðakr), since the first church was built here.
The first element is skeið which means "a running track for horse
racing" and the last element is akr which means "field" or "acre".
Prior to 1889, the name was written "Skiaker", then from 1889-1910 it
was spelled "Skiaaker", from 1911-1920 it was "Skjaak", and since 1921
it has been written in its present form, "Skjåk".
The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 31 March
1989. It shows four silver-colored acanthus leaves on a blue
background. This was picked to symbolize growth and strength. These
symbols are found in many historic artifacts from around the area.
Number of minorities (1st and 2nd generation) in
Skjåk by country of
origin in 2017
Skjåk has historical roots back to the
Viking Age and has a rich
cultural heritage. An ancient route of travel between east and west
Skjåk up through the Raudal valley and down through the
Sunndal valley to
Stryn on an arm of the Nordfjord. For example, in
1197, according to King Sverre's saga, Bishop Nikolaus is reported to
have sent a group of baglers from Oppdal over the mountains to Stryn
on Nordfjord, via Raudal.
Map of Skjåk
View of the "sunny side" of Skjåk
Skjåk is the westernmost municipality in the valley of Ottadalen. It
is bordered to the north by the municipality of Norddal, Rauma, and
Lesja, in the east and southeast by Lom, in the south by Luster and in
the west by
Stryn and Stranda. The municipality lies along the Otta
river between the mountainous areas of Breheim and Reinheim.
the modern population center and the location of the majority of
industry and shopping as well as the municipal administration.
The community is at the meeting point between
Gudbrandsdalen and the
mountains between the eastern parts of
Norway and the west coast. The
municipality lies on a historically significant traffic artery between
Stryn and Nordfjord, Geiranger, and
Sunnmøre and the more easterly
Ottadal municipalities of Lom and Vågå.
Of the total area, 19 square kilometres (7.3 sq mi) is used
for agriculture; 129 square kilometres (50 sq mi) for
forestry; 75 square kilometres (29 sq mi) is covered by
water (including the
Breiddalsvatnet lake); and the rest is mountains
and other non-arable land. Virtually the entire 23 kilometres
(14 mi) long valley floor is continuously, but sparsely, built
Skjåk serves as a point of entry to the mountain areas just west;
hunting and fishing are also popular tourist activities.
Nestled in a deep valley, the populated regions of
Skjåk are rain
shadowed and as a result are actually one of the most arid places in
Europe with annual precipitation of about 250 millimetres (10 in)
per year, but it avoids a steppe climate (Köppen Bsk) by being too
cold(mean annual temperature of 2.75 °C) and having
precipitation too spread out(ca 55% in summer). This gives
rare dry-summer subarctic climate (Köppen Dsc), thanks to low overall
precipitation levels in summer. In addition, one side of the
valley, solsida ("the sunny side"), has a southern exposure, whereas
baksida (the "back side") gets very little sun.
Agriculture has been
enabled by elaborate irrigation systems for hundreds of years, so the
area is green and productive rather than desert-like.
Climate data for Skjåk,
Oppland (1961-1990) 372m asl, Norway
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Hans Christian Bergheim, snowboarder
Jan Magnus Bruheim, author
Magnhild Bruheim, author
Jakop Olsen Felodden (Fel-Jakup), composer and violinist
Matt Schalkham, Flagger/SysOps
Aslaug Høydal, author
Skjåk (Skjåk-Ola) (1744-1804), wood carver
Tore Ørjasæter, author
Seamus Ehrhard, Herpetologist
^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian).
Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
^ Rygh, Oluf (1900). Norske gaardnavne: Kristians amt (in Norwegian)
(4 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners
bogtrikkeri. pp. 30 & 33.
^ "Kommunevåpenet" (in Norwegian).
Skjåk kommune. Retrieved
^ "Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents, by immigration
category, country background and percentages of the population".
ssb.no. Archived from the original on 15 July 2017. Retrieved 29 June
^ a b "Meteorologisk institutt". Archived from the original on
^ "Koppen climate calculator". Archived from the original on
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Skjåk.
Skjåk in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Municipal fact sheet from Statistics Norway
Oppland travel guide from Wikivoyage
Gudbrandsdalen travel guide from Wikivoyage
Municipalities of Oppland