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Brandasund Sound, Bømlo

Brandasund Sound, between Gisøya and Selsøya Islands (Jan Rabben).

On Gisøya Island, on the west side of Brandasund Sound, there is a very privileged trading post and traveller's Inn from the 1600s, with the North Sea as its nearest neighbour. In 1991 a road was built over Bømlo out to these islands, but for thousands of years the sheltered harbour here was a main stopping place along the outer coast. During the great herring period of the 1700s and 1800s, Brandasund was a centre for the herring fisheries on the Sørafeltet fishing grounds. Today, the area belongs to the municipality of Bømlo.

Brandasund probably got its name from one of the first merchants granted permission to trade here, Jakob Brandt.  The first record of a village shop in Brandaberg is from 1667. An older name for the settlement is Gisøsund. There was also a transit station at the traveller's Inn. The person responsible for transporting people from one place of trade to the next lived nearby and made his living doing this.

The fishing trade out here in these productive fishing grounds probably has its roots far back in time, but when it became a trading post with royal privileges, the shopkeeper took over the trade.   In 1723 it was said: "At this place or island a shopkeeper's licence is granted, and is also required for the peasantry to sell their fish here". The tradesman also ran a salt works and barrel-making trade, in addition to a fish landing. There is still an active community here: The main building is from the beginning of the 1800s. A "Moses-loft" (storage house) from the 1700s, worker's lodging, bakery, baker's lodging, boarding house, storage shed, wood shed, forge, store, fish shop, boathouse, and a little farther north: two large boat houses, a grain barn and a salting barn.

  • Gisøya, Bømlo

The oldest trading post is on Gisøya Island (Jan Rabben).

  • «Nillo på Skjeret», Bømlo

"Nillo på Skjeret" - at the newer general store on the other side of the sound - was for many years an institution in the local community (Helge Sunde).

  • Kjærheim, T. (1976) Brandasund ved hundreårsskiftet. I: Sunnhordland Årbok. Stord, Sunnhordland museum, s. 32-34.
  • Skre, I. (1960) Øyastover og fiske i Fitjar. I: Sunnhordland Årbok. Stord, Sunnhordland museum, s. 5-22.