3 Härjedalen


Infobox Landskap
county=Jämtland County
flower=Arctic violet
flower_lat=Pulsatilla vernalis
bird=Golden eagle

Audio|Sv-Härjedalen.ogg|Härjedalen, is a historical province or "landskap" in the centre of Sweden. It borders the country of Norway as well as the provinces of Dalarna, Hälsingland, Medelpad, and Jämtland.

The name "Härjedalen", from Old West Norse "Herjárdalr", literally means the "Valley of the Härje river". A Latinized transliteration is Herdalia, although that name is hardly encountered in the English language today. More prominent are derivations such as "Herjedalen" or "Haerjedalen".

The province originally belonged to Norway, but was ceded to Sweden in the Treaty of Brömsebro, 1645.


The traditional provinces of Sweden serve no administrative or political purposes, but are historical and cultural entities. In the case of Härjedalen there is a municipality, "kommun", Härjedalen Municipality, which is located in the southern part of Jämtland County. The municipality does not exactly correspond to the province, but is larger.


The arms is represented with a dukal coronet. Blazon: "Argent a Sledgehammer Sable with Core Gules between Tongs of the second and two Hammers adorsed in pale of the second handled Gules.". It was granted in 1660. Since 1974 Härjedalen Municipality uses the same coat of arms, but without the coronet.


Four-fifths of the province is situated above 500 metres of altitude, constituting a part of the Scandinavian mountain range. Sweden's highest village Högvålen, at 835 metres, is also within the province.

Härjedalen is strange in that there is no town at all. The only village of even modest size is the market town Sveg, which used to be the administrive center of the province.

The provincial flower is the "Arctic violet". It is prominent on high altitudes in Europe, and is also found in the Alps.

Sånfjället National Park extends through the municipality.


Jämtland and Härjedalen were originally provinces of Norway, but in early 1645 they were both ceded by Denmark-Norway to Sweden by the Treaty of Brömsebro. The province of Härjedalen is named, according to the legend, after a powerful Norseman who had to flee east from the Norwegian court of king Halfdan Svartes after killing one of the king's men (with a horn). Thereafter he was known as "Härjulf Hornbrytaren." For a time he entered the service of the Svea (Swedish today) king Anund, until he eloped with that king's sister, Helga, and together they disappeared into the remote location in the region eventually named after him. Today a statue stands dedicated to them in the village of Lillhärdal. Härjulf and Helga were the foreparents to the Icelander, Barne Härjulfsson, who was the first Norseman to see the "new world" when he was blown off-course whilst on a voyage to Greenland. His boat is the one Leif Eriksson acquired about 15 years later for Leif's famed landing on Vineland. A large portion of Harjedalen residents emigrated to Northwestern Minnesota in America in the late 1800s.

The more prosaic explanation of the name says that the word "her" or "har" just means "mound of stones" and refers to stones in the river Härjån. [Svenskt ortnamnslexikon 2003] .


Härjedalen was historically divided into districts.

*Hede Court District
*Sveg Court District

External links

* [http://www.herjedalen.se/ Härjedalen] - Municipality site (in Swedish, English, German and Dutch)
* [http://www.jamtland.info/ Jämtland Härjedalen] - Tourist site
* [http://www.daus.dk/feriehus/sommer/ Pictures from Härjedalen] - Private site (in Danish)


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