Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Lødingen
Lødingen municipality has approximately 2.200 inhabitants a covers a area of 524,2 km2. The administrative center is Lødingen. Lødingen is located on the island of Hinnøy, innermost in Vestfjord, at the junction of five regions and five fjords. The municipality’s strategic location has been important both historically and in modern times for settlement patterns and trade. Some 6000 year-old runes bear witness to early settlement, but it was the rich fisheries of the 1800s and the subsequent trade in their wake that laid the foundation for Lødingen´s growth.
About 150 years ago, Kjeøya in Vestbygd was the community centre, as well as the municipality’s centre of gravity. But in 1875, the telegraph station was moved from here to Lødingen. Later, the government maritime pilots administration was established here. Lødingen then became the undisputable centre of the municipality. After the Second World War, the Army also became an important employer, with the establishment of Nes Fort just outside the village. However, modern technology and rationalisation have combined to reduce the importance of these two institutions, and both the telecom administration and the Army have abandoned their facilities here. Today other service-related businesses dominate the municipality’s economy.
Agriculture and fishing also provide important workplaces. The largest farms are found in Vestbygda, where farm production, domestic animals and milk production are the mainstays. During the winters, abundant catches of spawning cod are landed all the way into Kanstadfjord. Common fjord fishing is also relatively important. The fishing industry, fish farming and a seaweed meal factory provide work for many. During the past decade, however, herring fishing in the adjacent fjords has become increasingly significant. Herring fishing has seen a great influx of fishing vessels from the whole country, as well as Russian buyers and an increase of many new jobs in the fish-processing sector.
Lødingen granite at Anfinnseltt has become a favoured raw material of craftsmen creating works for the Artscape Nordland project. Granite has resulted in the creation of significant industrial activity in the local community.
Lødingen and especially Vestbygda, often called Lofoten’s backyard. Salmon fishing in rivers and watercourses, deep sea fishing, skerry cruises, killer whale safaris, scuba diving, river paddling, ocean paddling, windsurfing, paragliding, a farm museum and exciting hiking terrain.
Rapid boat transport brings tourists to Lofoten and Vesterålen, to destinations such as the Lofoten Museum in Kabelvåg, the Raftsund Strait/Trollfjord and the Coastal Express Museum at Stokmarknes. Shorter trips to the rune fields and the museums in Lødingen go without saying. And there is always time to stop and fish if one is so inclined.
Hjertholmen is the small boat guest marina in the centre of the municipal capital, organized for boating tourism and caravan-/tent camping, while at the same time it is the municipality’s choice as millennium site, with ample local history from the end of the 1800s.
The killer whale safari in the autumn, departing from the town centre and from Offersøy. Speed shuttles take the tourists out onto Vestfjord or Tysfjord, depending on where the schools of killer whales are currently hunting herring. One of the tour operators also provides the necessary equipment for tourists who wish to snorkel alongside the huge sea mammals.
Nygårdsfjellet is the hill behind the community centre; from here there is a wide panorama out across all of Vestfjord, in towards Tjeldsundet, Ofotfjord and Tysfjord. Bankfjæra is the bathing beach in the very centre of Lødingen.
Regardless of the time of year you visit - with the mystical Midnight sun, a spectacular thunderstorm or the magical Northern Lights. The polar night occurs when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. This occurs only inside the polar circles.
Vesterålen and Lødingen comprise six municipalities distributed over four larger islands: Andøya, Langøya, Hadseløya, Hinnøya, plus the northern portion of Austvågøya. The combined surface area is 3.100 km2. The distance between the northernmost point at Andenes and the southernmost at Melbu, on the threshold of the Lofoten archipelago, is 150 km. Approximately 33.500 people live in the Vesterålen island group, located about 200 km north of the Arctic Circle at 68 degrees NL.
The landscape is varied, from wild alpine terrain with jagged peaks to broad, cultivated shoreline flatlands with almost continuous building density. In these areas, one finds fjords and straits, skerries, rivers and lakes, moors, valleys and a hint of wilderness plateaus.
STONE AGE SETTLEMENTS
The runic inscriptions in Kanstadfjord: 6.000-years old, among the oldest in the country. The inscriptions are etched into the rock and are the only runes of their type discovered this far north. Especially fine is the depiction of a reindeer. In several places in Lødingen, there are traces of Stone Age settlements. In the rocky terrain of Lillelia just outside the town, there is a group of screes that are said to have been dwelling places during the Stone Age era. Near the runic inscriptions, more dwelling sites have been found. An informational sign reports on the finds. Iron Age settlements were abundant in Lødingen.
At Hustad Farm, there is a cultural heritage trail through an area where traces of settlements from the Early Iron Age up until the Viking Age have been uncovered. Over 30 finds have been registered – grave mounds, longhouses, boat shelters and jekt vessel moorings. The nature trail at Feneset outside of town also passes by cultural vestiges from the Iron Age, including a large grave mound – 16 m in diameter and two meters high.
THE PILOT MUSEUM
The Pilots Museum of Lødingen and the Norwegian Telecom Museum are located in the old telegraph station Gammelstasjonen dating from 1895. The Exhibits The Pilot along the Course and The Telegraph’s Mecca recount Lødingen’s recent history from about 1860 and onwards. This is Lødingen’s contribution to the regional Fotefar mot nord historical project.
Lødingen Church is a cruciform wooden church dating from 1897, thought to be the fourth in a row raised on the same site. Lødingen was once the main church for a large parish that stretched from the Swedish border in the east and far into the Lofoten islands. The church has an altarpiece and a pulpit from 1756, a chasuble from 1759 and chandeliers from 1651 and 1754.
Vestbygd Church in Vågehamn was completed in 1885.
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Vesterålen has rich and varied bird life. The nutrient-rich ocean areas surrounding the islands normally provide abundant food for aquatic bird fauna. All of the usual bird species at the northern latitudes are represented. Among the rarer species is the black-tailed godwit, which nests on the island of Andøy in Norway. The northern fulmar and northern gannet are two rare species found only on seaward shores. The puffin, razor-billed auk, guillemot, European shag, heron and swan are interesting fauna on the seashore. The white-tailed eagle has enjoyed a strong comeback during recent years. The most well-known bird rocks lie off the coast at Nykvåg, Hovden in Bø and in Bleik on Andøya.
Fish have always been the very basis for life in Vesterålen, particularly owing to the proximity of the rich fishing fields off the coast. Fish species that are common along the entire coast are also found in great numbers in the Vesterålen area. Cod, haddock, saithe, redfish, wolffish, salmon, herring, tusk, ling, flounder, halibut, squid and crabs are the most important edible species. The most significant economic resource, however, is the spawning cod fishery during the winter, an activity that attracts large numbers of local and visiting fishermen – both before and after the annual Lofoten fishery during January-April. During the autumn, large influxes of herring dominate fishing activity.