Portal:Norway

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Norway Portal
Norge Portal

Map of the mainland of Norway

Norway Listeni/ˈnɔrw/ (Norwegian: About this sound Norge (Bokmål) or About this sound Noreg (Nynorsk)), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Scandinavian unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and the subantarctic Bouvet Island. The Spitsbergen Treaty (also known as the Svalbard Treaty) of February 9, 1920, recognizes the full and absolute sovereignty of Norway over the arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen (now called Svalbard). Peter I Island is dependent territory (Norwegian: biland) of Norway but is not considered part of the Kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land. Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) and a population of about 5 million. It is the second least densely populated country in Europe. The majority of the country shares a border to the east with Sweden; its northernmost region is bordered by Finland to the south and Russia to the east; in its south Norway borders the Skagerrak Strait across from Denmark. The capital city of Norway is Oslo. Norway's extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea, is home to its famous fjords.

Two centuries of Viking raids tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav Tryggvason in 994. A period of civil war ended in the 13th century when Norway expanded its control overseas to parts of Britain, Ireland, Iceland, and Greenland. Norwegian territorial power peaked in 1265, but competition from the Hanseatic League and the spread of the Black Death weakened the country. In 1380, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that lasted more than four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession of their country to Sweden and adopted a new constitution. Sweden then invaded Norway but agreed to let Norway keep its constitution in return for accepting the union under a Swedish king. Rising nationalism throughout the 19th century led to a 1905 referendum granting Norway independence. Although Norway remained neutral in World War I, it suffered heavy losses to its shipping. Norway proclaimed its neutrality at the outset of World War II, but was nonetheless occupied for five years by the Third Reich. In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a founding member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes. In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU. Key domestic issues include immigration and integration of ethnic minorities, maintaining the country's extensive social safety net with an aging population, and preserving economic competitiveness.

Norway is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with King Harald V as its head of state and Erna Solberg as its prime minister. It is a unitary state with administrative subdivisions on two levels known as counties (fylke) and municipalities (kommuner). The Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act. Although having rejected European Union membership in two referenda, Norway maintains close ties with the union and its member countries, as well as with the United States. Norway remains one of the biggest financial contributors to the United Nations, and participates with UN forces in international missions, notably in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sudan and Libya. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the Council of Europe, and the Nordic Council; a member of the European Economic Area, the WTO, and the OECD; and is also a part of Schengen Area.

Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water, and hydropower. The country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world. On a per-capita basis, it is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East, and the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product. The country maintains a Nordic social benefit model with universal health care, subsidized higher education, and a comprehensive social security system. From 2001 to 2006, and then again from 2009 through 2011, Norway has had the highest human development index ranking in the world. In 2011, Norway also ranked the highest on the Democracy Index.

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The Battle of Svolder, by Otto Sinding
The naval Battle of Svolder (Svold, Swold) was fought in September 999 or 1000 somewhere in the western Baltic between King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway and an alliance of his enemies. The backdrop of the battle is the unification of Norway into a single state, long-standing Danish efforts to gain control of the country, and the spread of Christianity in Scandinavia. King Olaf was sailing home after an expedition to Wendland (Pomerania), when he was ambushed by an alliance of Svein Forkbeard, King of Denmark, Olaf Eiríksson, King of Sweden, and Eirik Hákonarson, Jarl of Lade. Olaf had only 11 warships in the battle against a fleet of at least 70. His ships were cleared one by one, last of all the Long Serpent, which Jarl Eirik captured as Olaf threw himself into the sea. After the battle, Norway was ruled by the Jarls of Lade as a fief of Denmark and Sweden. The most detailed sources on the battle, the kings' sagas, were written approximately two centuries after it took place. Historically unreliable, they offer an extended literary account describing the battle and the events leading up to it in vivid detail. The sagas ascribe the causes of the battle to Olaf Tryggvason's ill-fated marriage proposal to Sigrid the Haughty and his problematic marriage to Thyri, sister of Svein Forkbeard. As the battle starts Olaf is shown dismissing the Danish and Swedish fleets with ethnic insults and bravado while admitting that Eirik Hákonarson and his men are dangerous because "they are Norwegians like us". The best known episode in the battle is the breaking of Einarr Þambarskelfir's bow, which heralds Olaf's defeat. In later centuries, the saga descriptions of the battle, especially that in Snorri Sturluson's Heimskringla, have inspired a number of ballads and other works of literature.

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Motorway bridge in Drammen, Norway
Credit: Hans A. Rosbach

Drammen Bridge (Drammensbrua) is a motorway box girder bridge that crosses Drammenselva river in the town of Drammen in Norway. It is the longest bridge in Norway, 1,892 metres long. The bridge has 41 spans; the longest span is 60 metres.

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Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV (April 12, 1577 – February 28, 1648) was the king of Denmark and Norway from 1588 until his death. He is sometimes referred to as Christian Firtal in Denmark and Christian Kvart or Quart in Norway. The son of Frederick II, king of Denmark and Norway, and Sofie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, he was born at Frederiksborg castle in 1577, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his father (April 4, 1588), attaining his majority on August 17, 1596. On November 30, 1597 he married Anne Catherine of Brandenburg, a daughter of Joachim Friedrich, margrave of Brandenburg and duke of Prussia. The queen died fourteen years later, after bearing Christian six children. Four years after her death the king privately wedded a handsome young gentlewoman, Kirsten Munk, by whom he had twelve children — a connection which was to be disastrous to Denmark. It is believed that he, counting both legitimate and illegitimate, had at least 26 children, quite possibly more. He descended, through his mother's side, from king Hans of Denmark, thus uniting the senior branch' descent to the crown. He is frequently remembered as one of the most remarkable Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects, and ruling for just under sixty years.

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Oslo City Hall.

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The "Lille Lungegaardsvann" in the city of Bergen, Norway
Credit: Sindre Skrede

Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway, a municipality, and a former county, in the county of Hordaland. The city is located on the south-western coast of Norway, in the county of Hordaland, with its centre situated between a group of mountains known collectively as de syv fjell ("the seven mountains"), although the number of mountains is a matter of definition.

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Röyksopp in concert
You see, it’s part of the process you go through: the longer the hair and the beard, the more Beaujolais you drink. It’s stage three of the seven stages of song writing.
Svein Berge, member of music group Röyksopp

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Counties: AkershusAust-AgderBuskerudFinnmarkHedmarkHordalandMøre og RomsdalNordlandNord-TrøndelagOpplandOsloØstfoldRogalandSogn og FjordaneSør-TrøndelagTelemarkTromsVest-AgderVestfold

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History: Ancient Norwegian property lawsNordic Stone AgeNordic Bronze AgeKomsaFosna-Hensbacka cultureFunnelbeaker cultureHamburg cultureNøstvet and Lihult culturesMaglemosian cultureViking AgeHarald I of NorwayOlav IV of NorwayHaakon I of NorwayOlaf I of NorwayOlaf II of NorwayBattle of StiklestadCanute the GreatMagnus I of NorwayHarald III of NorwayBattle of Stamford BridgeMagnus III of NorwaySigurd I of NorwayMagnus V of NorwaySverre of NorwayHaakon IV of NorwayMagnus VI of NorwayEric II of NorwayKalmar UnionDenmark–NorwayUnion between Sweden and NorwayDissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905Haakon VII of NorwayOlav V of NorwayHarald V of NorwayOccupation of Norway by Nazi GermanyNorwegian CampaignNorwegian resistance movementLegal purge in Norway after World War IIForeign relations of NorwayMilitary of NorwayNorway and the European Union

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