name = Berlevåg
idnumber = 2024
county = Finnmark
capital = Berlevåg
governor = Erik Brøske (SV)
governor_as_of = 2005
arearank = 92
area = 1120
arealand = 1082
areapercent = 0.35
population_as_of = 2004
populationrank = 395
population = 1,158
populationpercent = 0.03
populationdensity = 1
populationincrease = -10.4
demonym = Berlevåging
language = Bokmål
lat_deg = 70 | lat_min = 44 | lat_sec = 9 | lon_deg = 28 | lon_min = 59 | lon_sec = 40
utm_zone = 35W | utm_northing = 7849163 | utm_easting = 0573435 | geo_cat = adm2nd
munwebpage = www.berlevag.kommune.no
Berlevåg was separated from Tana as a municipality of its own July 1, 1913.
The municipality is situated on the northern end of the peninsula of
Varangerhalvøya, facing the open Barents Sea. There are two settlements in Berlevåg. In addition to Berlevåg there is Kongsfjordwith approximately 45 inhabitants.
The meaning of the first element is derived from the Norwegian word "perle" '
pearl'), the last element is "våg" m 'bay'.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times (1988). It shows five
Facing rough conditions, assembled breakwaters have been destroyed several times due to bad weather. Tetrapods that intertwine have made for a flexible breakwater that can resist the
Barents Sea. The port was secured with breakwaters in 1973. Since then, the Coastal Ferry has been able to dock in Berlevåg. Earlier a smaller vessel had to unload cargo and passengers from it in the open sea.
World War II
Berlevåg was, along with the rest of
Finnmark, occupied during the second world war. Berlevåg's airport was originally put into use at this time, when German occupant forces constructed it by the help of hundreds of Russian prisoners of war. During the period 1943-44 there were nearly daily bombing raids from Russia on Berlevåg and the German airfield.
Near November 1944, the village was completely burned down and the inhabitants evacuated by force as part of the
scorched earthstrategy of the Germans. In the aftermath, the Norwegian government wanted to relocate the inhabitants to nearby Kongsfjord because of a better harbour, but they refused, and the village was rebuilt. As there are absolutely no trees in Berlevåg, many of the houses in Berlevåg were built by the help of the wooden planks in the "tarmac" of the previous German airfield.
Cool and Crazy
Berlevåg was brought some fame in Norway when the Norwegian film director Knut Erik Jensen made a
documentary filmabout "Berlevåg Mannsangsforening", Berlevåg's men's choir. The movie "Heftig og begeistret" ("Cool and Crazy") was a big hit in Norway, first shown at Tromsø International Film Festival. The choir later went on a tour of the USA and were featured at Ground Zeroin NYC. The choir's oldest and most famous member, Einar Strand, died at the age of 98 in 2004.
Berlevåg's coastal location serves to moderate temperatures during wintertime, receiving heat from the
Gulf stream. Temperatures during wintertime rarely pass below -15°C, while temperatures during summer are not regularly warmer than 30°C.
The sea and the islands along this part of Finnmarks coastline are home for thousands of sea birds. As well as the large sea bird colonies with thousands of nesting birds, there are also areas of unspoilt nature consisting of mountains, moor lands and marshes. This enables birdwatching in a natural environment.
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