View of Malangen
Malangen within Troms
|Established||1 Jan 1871|
|Disestablished||1 Jan 1964|
|o Total||372 km2 (144 sq mi)|
|*Area at municipal dissolution.|
|o Density||5.5/km2 (14/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-1932|
|Preceded by||Balsfjord and Lenvik in 1871|
|Succeeded by||Balsfjord and Målselv in 1964|
Malangen (Northern Sami: Málatvuotna or Kven: Malankivuono) is a former municipality in Troms county in Norway. The 372-square-kilometre (144 sq mi) municipality existed from 1871 until its dissolution in 1964. The old municipality surrounded the Malangen fjord and today that area is divided between the municipalities of Balsfjord, Lenvik, Tromsø, and Målselv. The administrative centre was the village of Mortenhals where the main church for the municipality, Malangen Church, is located.
The Saga of Haakon Haakonarson mentions that in 1242 the king allowed refugees from Bjarmaland (since they were attacked by the Tatars - «bjarmar rymdi fyrir tattarum») to settle in the area of Malangen.
The municipality of Malangen was established on 1 January 1871 when the northern district of Balsfjord Municipality and a small peninsula in the Malangen fjord that belonged to Lenvik Municipality were separated to form the new municipality of Malangen. The initial population of Malangen was 1,425. On 1 January 1873, an area of northern Malangen (population: 287) was transferred to the neighboring Tromsøysund municipality. In 1891, a small part around the village of Målsnes in Målselv Municipality (population: 30) was transferred to Malangen.
During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, the municipality of Malangen ceased to exist. The peninsula including the Navaren and Målsnes areas (population: 118) were transferred to neighboring Målselv Municipality. The remaining areas of Malangen (population: 1,940) were transferred back into Balsfjord Municipality.
The municipality was named after the local Malangen fjord. The name Malangen is probably derived from the Old Norse word mál which means "bag" and it may refer to the baggy shape of the fjord. The same word mál is probably also the origin of the name of the Målselva, the big river that enters the fjord from the Målselvdalen and Bardu valleys (the neighboring Målselv Municipality has a similar etymology). The second element of the name angr which means "inlet" or "fjord".