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Title: Ofotfjord  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Timeline of the Norwegian Campaign, German destroyer Z9 Wolfgang Zenker, List of shipwrecks in May 1940, 1940, Evenes
Collection: Ballangen, Evenes, Fjords of Nordland, Narvik, Tjeldsund
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Ofotfjorden / Narvik Fjord
View of the fjord
Diagram of the fjord and
locations from the Battle of Narvik
Location Nordland, Nordland
Basin countries Norway
Max. length 78 kilometres (48 mi)
Max. depth 553 metres (1,814 ft)
Settlements Narvik

Ofotfjord (Norwegian: Ofotfjorden[1]) or Narvik Fjord is a fjord in Nordland county, Norway. It is an inlet of the Norwegian Sea, located about 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. The 78-kilometre (48 mi) long Ofotfjorden is Norway's 12th longest fjord and it is also the 18th deepest, with a maximum depth of 553 metres (1,814 ft). In the English language and in many historical documents, this fjord is often called the "Narvik Fjord", since the town of Narvik is located on the inner shores of the fjord.[2]

The fjord is surrounded by mountains, some reaching 1,500 metres (4,900 ft), and even 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) in Skjomen, where the Frostisen glacier can be seen. The only larger lowland area is on parts of the northern shore, around Harstad/Narvik Airport, Evenes, although there are smaller areas near the fjord and in narrow valleys (for instance, the Narvik peninsula, where the harbour and city centre of Narvik is located).

The fjord is surrounded by mountains and forested hills

The mountains are covered by forest below elevations of 500 metres (1,600 ft), birch being the most common tree, but pine and aspen are also common. The bedrock around the fjord consist of both hard minerals like gneiss and granite as well as softer minerals rich in lime; there is a dolomite quarry in Ballangen (photo).


  • Name 1
  • Geography 2
  • Fauna 3
  • History 4
    • Naval battleground 4.1
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The surrounding Ofoten district is named after the Ofotfjord (Old Norse: Ófóti). The meaning of the first element is unknown and the last element is derived from the Old Norse word fótr which means "foot". The oldest form of the name could have been Úffóti. In this case, the first element is úfr which means "Eurasian eagle-owl". The three inner branches of the Ofotfjord might have been compared with the three claws of an owl.[3]


The Ofotfjord is the longest fjord in Nordland county and the fourth longest in Northern Norway. The municipalities of Tjeldsund and Evenes are located on the northern shore, Narvik is located on the eastern, innermost part of the fjord, and on the southern shore is Ballangen municipality. Lødingen (and beyond that Lofoten) and the large Vestfjord is located west-south-west of the Ofotfjord.

Several smaller fjord branches extend from the main fjord. From north-west, going clockwise, these are: Ramsund (which is actually a narrow sound connecting with the larger Tjeldsundet), Bogen (a fairly wide bay), Herjangen (the widest of these branches), Rombaken (which is crossed by the E6 highway using the Rombak Bridge), Beisfjord (crossed by the E6 highway using the Beisfjord Bridge), Skjomen (the longest of these fjord branches, crossed by the E6 highway using the Skjomen Bridge) and finally Ballangen. At the mouth of Ofotfjord, on the southern side, is another fjord, the narrow Efjorden, which extends southeast (crossed by the E6 highway using the Efjord Bridges).

Herjangsfjord in the foreground and Ofotfjord in the background, pictured from the north side.


View from Djupvika towards Bogen. 2 May 2009

The Ofotfjord has a rich marine life, with huge quantities of herring staying in the fjord in the winter. These fish attract a lot of whales (orca). Divers have occasionally observed lobsters in the fjord, the northernmost sightings of lobsters in the world. Cod, as well as coalfish, are the most common fish species throughout the year. Mackerel is common from July to mid-September. Sea eagles and otters have made a strong comeback and are now very common in and around the fjord. Sea gulls are common all year, and many migratory birds arrive in summer, such as oystercatchers and grey herons.


Naval battleground

In the Straumsnes and Rombak railway station.


  1. ^ the suffix -en means "the"
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links

  • Newspaper article: Dead Orca stranded, skeleton to be preserved
  • Pictures of Tirpitz and Admiral Hipper in Bogen bay
  • Wrecks of Narvik - wreck diving in the Narvik area
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