Svolvær is a small town in Nordland County, with just over 4000 inhabitants, but it’s the
administrative centre of the Vågan municipality. Visitors can find here a well organized transport
service, with airport, sea harbour and ferry.
In 1919 Svolvær became an own city with its own municipality, separated from Vågan, but in 1964
the town was merged again with Vågan.
An ancient name for the capital of Lofoten
We don’t know how old is Svolvær. In a document of 1567 the city was named as Suoluer. The “u”
was “v” and the last part of the name, uer, was the ancient norwegian for vær, that means fishing
In an epitaph of Christoffer Olsen from 1569, the place was mentioned as Suluer. In 1610 the name
became Solfuer and after some years, in 1614, Solverd. Svolwæhr was the name the place took in
What to visit in Svolvær
There are some monuments you can see in Svolvær, such as statues and busts.
• Fiskerkona: the name means fisherman’s wife. The bronze statue, made in 1999 by Per
Ung, says goodbye to fishermen on a harbour.
• Fiskerhøvdingen: or fisherman’s head. Made by Jens Steffensen, the statues is in
Havlyparken, near Krigsminnemuseum, a commemorative museum to the dead in Lofoten.
• Gunnar Berg: the bust of the painter Gunnar Berg (1863-1893) is in Svinøya.
• Jack Berntzen: a norwegian philologist and singer (1940-2010). The bust is in
In the centre of the city you can find Svolværkirka (Svolvær Church), built in 1934 and designed
by the architects Harald Sund and August Nielsen. The church is a small and long building with a
Svolvær municipality inaugurated the church on april 25, 1934.
Visitors can get a taste of history of Svolvær visiting some ancient buildings in the city.
The most ancient building in Svolvær is Børsen Spiseri in Svinøya, near Svinøybrua (Svinøya
bridge). The house was built in 1740.
In the same complex there is Krambua, an old shop. Krambu is a norwegian word that means small
There are other old buildings, like fishermen’s cabins and storehouses, from 1800 in the city.
Nature in Svolvær
If you like nature and adventure, you have to visit the best known place in Svolvær: the mountain
Svolværgeita, that means goat of Svolvær, because the mountain has two horns.
Another wonderful place is called Linken and it’s a small peak on the mountain Kjeldbergtind: a
god choice for trekkers.
In Raftsundet you’ll find Trollfjorden, one of the most popular fjord in Norway, a special place that
gives you entertainment both in the summer, with boat tours, and in the winter, with rafting tours