Petter Steen jr. (H)
| Haraldshaugen, Church of Avaldsnes, Aksdalsvatnet|
Haugesund (HGSD) is a town and municipality in the county of Rogaland, Norway. The town is the main population centre of the Haugaland and northern Rogaland area.
Haugesund was separated from Torvastad as a town and municipality of its own in 1855. The rural municipality of Skare was merged with Haugesund on January 1, 1958. Haugesund is a small municipality, only 73 km². The population is 36,538, giving the municipality a population density of 537 people per km².
The town is situated on a strategically important sound through which ships could pass without traversing heavy seas. In the early years the coastal waters off Haugesund were a huge source of herring, and the town grew accordingly. Despite being barely a village back then, King Harald Fairhair lived at Avaldsnes, very close to the modern town of Haugesund. In the last decades, the town, like its neighbours, has been turning towards the petroleum industry, the herring being long gone.
Haugesund is the main cultural centre for its region, and is home to several festivals, the largest being the Norwegian International Film Festival and Sildajazz, an international jazz festival with approximately 70 bands and close to 200 concerts.
As of 2009, Haugesunds urban agglomeration has a population of approximately 100,000, of which 34,000 live in Haugesund and 40,000 live on Karmoy. The Haugesund Region, a statistical metropolitan area, consisting of the municipalities Karmoy, Haugesund, Tysvaer, Sveio and Bokn, has a population of approx. 100,000 as of 2009.
Haugesund was founded in 1855 when it was divided from Torvastad, a former neighbouring municipality, consequently celebrating its 150-year anniversary in 2004. At the time of division, Haugesund had a population of 1,066. The town is named after the strait Haugesundet. The first element is the genitive case of Hauge from the Old Norse word haugr meaning hill or mound. The last element is sund meaning strait or sound.
In the early years, the coastal waters of Haugesund were a huge source of herring, and the town grew accordingly. Despite being a fairly young town, the areas around Haugesund were lands of power during the Viking Age. Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway, had his home at Avaldsnes, very close to the city. Fairhair was buried at Haraldshaugen, a burial mound adjacent to Karmsund. This site is the namesake of the town and municipality of Haugesund. The national monument at Haraldshaugen was raised in 1872, to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the Battle of Hafrsfjord in 872. The Battle of Hafrsfjord has traditionally been regarded as when western Norway was unified under a single monarch for the first time.
The protective sounds of Smedasund and Karmsund gave the town potential to grow in both fishing and shipping. Even to this day, Karmsund is one of Norways busiest waterways. The town is still growing geographically even though the population has increased only moderately the last decade. Today the herring is long gone, and the town is turning more and more towards the petroleum industry, like its neighbour Stavanger.
The coat-of-arms is from 1929, and shows three seagulls. It replaced the old coat-of-arms which showed a herring barrel, an anchor, and three seagulls. The current coat-of-arms was drawn by Hallvard Traetteberg.
Haugesund has a coastline with the North Sea, however, the island of Karmoy and the archipelago Rovaer shelter most of the city from the rough waters of the ocean. The sound of Karmsund, located between Karmoy and Haugesund used to be very strategically important, since ships could pass without having to sail through heavy sea. Haugesunds city centre has a distinctive street layout, similar to those found in Kristiansand and Oslo. Haugesund has a typical maritime climate with mild winters, cool but pleasant springs, and mild summers lasting until the end of September. Monthly 24-hr average range from 1.1 °C in February to 14 °C in August. Mean annual precipitation is 1520 mm, with September – December as the wettest period.
The population (as of July 2014) is 36,316, and with an area of only 73 km², this gives a population density of 497 people per km². As of 2007, Haugesunds agglomeration has a population of 44,183, of which 34,140 live in Haugesund and 10,043 live in Karmoy. The Haugesund Region, a statistical metropolitan area, consisting of the municipalities Karmoy, Haugesund, Tysvaer, Sveio and Bokn, has a population of approximately 100.000 as of 2009.
The municipality includes several islands. Risoy and Hasseloy are densely built, and connected to the mainland by bridges. Rovaer which lies further out and consists of a number of islands, is also populated and connected to the mainland by ferry. Vibrandsoy and its neighboring islands are now mainly a recreational area.
Haugesund has a strong historical bond to the sea and especially the herring. Every August, The Norwegian Trad-jazz festival, the Sildajazz is held. Both local and international musicians are presented at the Sildajazz.
In the summer of 2004, the annual rock festival, ""RockFest"" started. It attracted local, national and international pop and rock bands, such as Elton John, Madcon, DumDum Boys and Kaizers Orchestra. The festival started as a part of the celebration of Haugesunds 150 year anniversary. In 2009, the last Rockfest was held, and got replaced by an new concept in 2010; Haugesund Live. Haugesund Live is a series of individual concerts, and has featured bands such as The Baseballs, Kim Larsen and Motley Crue.
The soccer team from Haugesund, FK Haugesund is playing in the Norways highest league, Tippeligaen.
The Norwegian International Film Festival has since 1973 been held in Haugesund, premiering and showing international and Norwegian films. The Amanda Award, Norways variation of the Oscars, has been held in Haugesund since 1985 in concurrence with the film festival.
Haugesunds Avis is a daily newspaper published in Haugesund, but with branches in Bomlo, Kopervik, Odda, Sauda and Stord. Founded in 1895, it is today owned by the investment group Mecom Group, and is as such part of the media group Edda Media. In 2006, Haugesunds Avis had a circulation of 33 448. As of 2007, the executive editor is Tonny Nundal. The newspaper owns the local radio channel Radio 102.