Dønna municipality

Municipality of Dønna

Dønna is an island municipality in Helgeland in Nordland. It is surrounded by the municipalities of Træna and Nesna to the north, Leirfjord to the east, Alstahaug to the south, and Herøy to the south-west. The three largest islands belonging to the municipality are Dønna, Løkta and Vandve.

Dønna municipality was established on 1 January 1962 and its coat of arms reflects the municipality's name, a breaking wave. Until then, the district consisted of two municipalities; Dønnes and Nordvik. The administrative centre is Solfjellsjøen and Bjørn has frequent coastal express and ferry services to Sandnessjøen or Søvik. In 1999, a bridge was built to connect the municipality with Herøy.

The municipality features an archipelago consisting of numerous islets, holms and skerries. The archipelago is noted for its abundance of fish as the sea is relatively shallow here. The main island of Dønna consists of mountain formation called Dønnamannen (858 m). On the north side of Dønna is the Altervatn Nature Reserve. Dønnesfjellet, also called the "Northwest Cape" (127 m), offers a spectacular view. In clear weather you can see from Rødøy in the north to Vega in the south, as well as the characteristic mountainscape of the Helgeland coast.

Nordvik is probably North Norway's oldest trading post, dating back to the 1600s. The trading post had an innkeeper's licence and was also involved in trading with Bergen. It had farms, boat houses and quaysides. It also had a school as well as confirmation classes. Nordvik Church was built in 1871. In its heyday in the 1880s, Nordvik consisted of 16 buildings. The main building (from the early 1700s) is 35 feet long and built in several stages. It is now restored and used as a museum.

Val'hågjen is one of the largest burial mounds in North Norway, with a diameter of 35 metres and standing 5 metres high. The burial site is thought to be from the Roman era or the age of migration. It has been archeologically excavated several times, but findings from the digs have not been made available. On top of the mound is the largest stone phallus in Northern Europe. Cut out of marble it is 89 cm tall and 50 cm in diameter and probably stems from the age of migration. Norse saga literature and Norwegian medieval laws show that it was customary to make sacrifices at such burial mounds in pagan times. The white stone on "Val'hågjen" is a phallic symbol of power, which is also associated with fertility rites and the worship of Nerthus / Njord, the god of fertility, wealth and sea travel.

The Gleinsneset burial site and culture trail is a heritage and leisure area surrounding burial site with finds from the Iron Age. The burial site is located on Gleinsneset, a promontory extending into the sea. The site consists of 21 graves, which have been archeologically excavated and left open to show how they were constructed.

Dønnes Manor was once North Norway's largest country estate, consisting of about 200 farms from Salten to Namdalen. The various owners of Dønnes had access to and contact with Europe. From there came new thoughts and ideas, including in areas of science and agriculture. New methods of animal husbandry, agriculture and forestry were tested. The first tractor came to Norway in 1908. Dønne Farm has been in continuous operation, and parts of the main building are now used as guesthouse accommodation in old, venerable rooms.

Dønnes Church is one of the three medieval churches in Helgeland (Alstahaug, Herøysundet, Dønna). Built in stone it has a distinctive architecture. The church was built in the 1100s as a private place of worship for the manor. A mausoleum for members of the owner’s family was added in the late 1600s. It is the largest and best preserved mausoleum in Norway, with 22 tombs belonging to theTønder and Coldevin families.
 

Fakta

Areal (km2): 187
Antall innbyggere: 1420
Kommunesenter: Solfjellsjøen
Viktige næringer: Mye av næringslivet fokuserer på fiske, fiskeoppdrett og fiskeforedling. Det finnes også en del landbruk, turisme samt en del offentlig tjenesteyting.

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