Lake Mjøsa in Ringsaker
Ringsaker within Innlandet
|o Mayor (2007)||Anita Ihle Steen (Ap)|
|o Total||1,281 km2 (495 sq mi)|
|o Land||1,123 km2 (434 sq mi)|
|Area rank||72 in Norway|
|o Rank||23 in Norway|
|o Density||28/km2 (70/sq mi)|
|o Change (10 years)||1.2%|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-3411|
|Official language form||Bokmål |
The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Ringsaker farm (Old Norse: Ringisakr), since the first church was built there. The first element is the genitive case of ringir or ringi, of unknown meaning. One proposal is that Ringir or Hringir ("Lord of the Ring") may have been an epithet or alias for the Norse god Ullr, based on a ceremony mentioned in the poem Atlakviða where an oath is sworn by hringi Ullar ("the ring of Ullr").
The last element is akr, meaning "acre" or any "field" generally.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 1 February 1985. The arms show a silver elk on a red background. The elk in the arms is taken from pre-historic cave paintings found at the Stein farm in Ringsaker, indicating the early inhabitation of the area. They were designed by Arne Løvstad.
Ringsaker is located on the east side of the lake Mjøsa, the largest lake in Norway, It borders Lillehammer to the northwest; Øyer, Stor-Elvdal, and Åmot to the north; Hamar to the east; Stange and Østre Toten to the south; and Gjøvik to the west.
Ringsaker is situated in an agricultural and lumbering region. Ringsaker lies in the traditional district of Hedmarken which consists largely of a rolling agricultural terrain, hilly green mountains, and pine forests.
Ringsaker's main industries are agriculture, forestry, and diversified manufacturing. The area of Sjusjøen has a relatively large cottage colony that is especially attractive for out door sports including cross-country skiing vacations.
Ringsaker is first mentioned in King Harald Hårfagre's Saga, in the Heimskringla by Snorri Sturluson. The saga reports that Harald Hårfagre (872-930) was but ten years old when he succeeded his father (Halfdan the Black). After Halfdan the Black's death, many chiefs coveted the dominions he had left. Among these King Gandalf was the first; then Högne and Fróði, sons of King Eystein of Hedemark; and also King Hogne Karuson of Ringerike.
Hake, the son of Gandalf, led an expedition of 300 men against Vestfold. King Harald's army, led by Guthorm, met and fought a great battle, and King Harald was victorious, killing king Hake. Then King Harald turned back, but King Gandalf had come to Vestfold so they defeated him also. Now when the sons of King Eystein in Hedemark heard the news, they proposed to meet at Ringsaker in Hedemark with the remaining kings, Hogne Karuson and Herse Gudbrand. King Harald and Guthorm found out where the Oppland kings were meeting, and coming undetected at night, fired the houses in which Hogne Karuson and Herse Gudbrand slept. King Eystein's two sons and their men fought, but both Hogne and Frode died.
After the fall of these kings, King Harald had subdued Hedemark, Ringerike, Gudbrandsdal, Hadeland, Thoten, Romerike, and the whole northern part of Vingulmark. In addition, King Gandalf was slain, and King Harald took the whole of his kingdom as far south as the river Raum (Glomma).
Ringsaker is again mentioned in a saga about 1018 when Olaf (later Saint Olaf) sent people to advise the Opplands that he was coming, as it was custom for the king to live as guest there every third year. In the autumn, he left Sarpsborg and went first to Vingulmark. He inquired about their Christianity, teaching some and punishing others. He went through that district, and on to Romerike. Christianity was weaker there and he punished all who had not obeyed his word. The king of Romerike proceeded to Ringsaker, to consult King Hrorek of Hedemark. They sent messages to King Gudrod of Gudbrandsdal, and to the King of Hadaland, inviting them to meet at Hedemark. The kings agreed to resist Olaf. They summoned the leaders from their kingdoms; and when they had assembled the kings directed them to gather warriors. Most approved of the measure, but the kings were betrayed to Olav by Ketil Kavl of Ringanes (the southernmost district in Hedemark, Stange), who proceeded rapidly down lake Mjøsa to Eid, where Olaf was then located.
King Olaf accompanied by 400 men arrived at Ringsaker before the next day dawned. Ketil knew where the kings slept, and Olaf had all these houses surrounded. The kings were taken prisoners. King Hrorek's eyes were put out. King Gudrod's tongue was cut out. King Ring and two others were banished from Norway. King Olaf took possession of the land these kings had possessed, and after this Olaf alone bore the title of king in Norway.
Ringsaker church (Ringsaker Kirke) is a Medieval era stone basilica built in the 1150s. It was first mentioned in historical documents in 1170. The choir enlarged in gothic 1200s, In the late 13th century the church transept was enlarged. The edifice is made of limestone and has 400 seats. The tower spire was added in 1694. Two large candlesticks on the altar are from 1540. The crucifix above the chancel arch is carved in 1683. The pulpit and baptismal font are carved and date to 1704. A number of murals were uncovered in various places in the church during the restoration of the church from 1960 to 1964.