Mosjøen, Nordland, Helgeland, Exploring Norway

Mosjøen, Helgeland – Exploring Norway

Mosjøen is a town in the district of Helgeland in Nordland County in Northern Norway. It is along the shores of the Vefsnfjord. The river Skjerva runs through the town before it enters the fjord. Mosjøen is the oldest town in Helgeland and has today a population of around 9.800 inhabitants. It is the home to Alcoa Norway, one of the largest aluminum plants in the country.

The town is also known as Mussere in the local Sámi language Southern Sámi.

A Short History of Mosjøen

The farm of Mo is believed to date back to the Viking Age. At this time, Mosjøen is the waterfront of the former farm and the first settlement here existed already by the year 1600.

The first major development came in the 1860s with what is known as the first industrial period in the town. This is when a group of Englishmen established the company Engelskbruket. This was a timber and sawmill business that attracted a large number of workers to Mosjøen. The development eventually resulted in Mosjøen receiving its town privileges from King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway in 1874. The time of sawmills lasted until about 1899, the hard usage of the surrounding forests had led to depleted resources.

Until 1924 only boats could reach the town. This was the year that the road network reached the town and the railway joined in 1940. The importance of the town was confirmed by the German invaders in 1940. The town became a headquarter for the Nazi German occupiers until 1945.

What is known as the second industrial period began after the Second World War. The largest of the new businesses started up at this time was the aluminum plant. Construction of the plant began in 1956 and it started operations in 1958. It was at the time one of the largest industries in Norway. The aluminum plant is today a part of Alcoa Norway.

Things to Do and See

There are definitely views and sceneries to explore and enjoy when visiting Mosjøen. The mountains rising across the fjord, the old wooden buildings in the center, and the river running through the town. So let us have a look at a few attractions.

Helgeland Museum – Vefsn Museum

In one of the seaside buildings in town is the Vefsn Museum. It is a part of the group of museums that make up the regional Helgeland Museum and has exhibits telling about the local history of the town and its people as well as the war history of the area.


Vefsnfjord is a 51-kilometer-long fjord that connects Mosjøen with the Atlantic Ocean. Undoubtedly, the fjord offers some amazing sights out over the water and towards the surrounding mountains.


Sjøgata is the street that follows the shores of Vefsnfjord. This is where you will find many of the older wooden buildings in Mosjøen. All with the fjord and the mountains in the background. Some of the buildings are used for smaller businesses and a walk along this picturesque street is almost considered a must when visiting.

Helgelandstrappa at Øyfjellet (818 m)

Øyfjellet rises 818 meters above the sea and the town. Up along the side of the mountain is a number of stairs that are being built by Sherpas from Nepal. There are now around 3.000 steps to climb. It should be noted that the number of steps is expected to reach around 4.000 when it is completed.

How to Get to Mosjøen

  • Flights: Mosjøen Airport (MJF) is 6 kilometers away. It offers mostly domestic flights to towns such as Oslo and Trondheim.
  • Car: The town is along the road E6 between Mo i Rana and Namsskogan.
  • Train: The railway connects Mosjøen with Bodø and Trondheim as well as other stations along the Nordland Line.

The driving distance from 5 major Norwegian cities, according to Google Maps:

  • Oslo – 877 kilometers (11 h 31 min)
  • Bergen – 1013 kilometers (14 h 45 min)
  • Trondheim – 389 kilometers (5 h 25 min)
  • Narvik – 509 kilometers (7 h 41 min)
  • Kirkenes – 1294 kilometers (16 h)

Find out more about other destinations in Norway by visiting our page Exploring Norway

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Andrina W Lemos

    I am looking into my grandfather’s roots. I have pictures of he and his family when young in Mosjoen. Is there some place I can contact to find more information about the family? Thank you
    Andrina Wold Lemos
    My grandfather: John Josiah Wold

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.