Vestfold

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Vestfold fylke
County
Nøtterøy jordbrukslandskap 2.JPG
Coat of arms of Vestfold fylke
Coat of arms
Vestfold within Norway
Vestfold within Norway
Country Norway
County Vestfold
Region Østlandet
County ID NO-07
Administrative centre Tønsberg
Government
 • Governor Erling Lae
  ...
  (2010–present)
 • County mayor Per-Eivind Johansen
  Høyre
  (2007–present)
Area
 • Total 2,225 km2 (859 sq mi)
 • Land 2,201 km2 (850 sq mi)
Area rank #18 in Norway, 0.71% of Norway's land area
Population (2014)
 • Total 240.398
 • Rank 10 (4.78% of country)
 • Density 102/km2 (260/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 8.7 %
Demonym Vestfolding
Time zone CET (UTC+01)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02)
Official language form Bokmål
Income (per capita) 148,300 NOK
GDP (per capita) 219,970 NOK (2001)
GDP national rank 10 (3.11% of country)
Website www.vfk.no
Data from Statistics Norway
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1951 154,670 —    
1961 174,382 +12.7%
1971 175,402 +0.6%
1981 186,691 +6.4%
1991 198,354 +6.2%
2001 215,030 +8.4%
2011 233,705 +8.7%
2021? 262,777 +12.4%
2031? 287,496 +9.4%
Source: Statistics Norway.[1]
Religion in Vestfold[2][3]
religion percent
Christianity
  
84.85%
Islam
  
1.41%
Buddhism
  
0.26%
Other
  
13.48%

Vestfold [ˈvɛstˈfɔl]  ( listen) is a county in Norway, bordering Buskerud and Telemark. The county administration is in Tønsberg, and the largest city is Sandefjord. With the exception of Oslo county, Vestfold is the smallest county in Norway by area.

Vestfold is located west of the Oslofjord, as the name indicates. It includes many smaller, but well-known towns in Norway, such as Larvik, Sandefjord, Tønsberg and Horten. The river Numedalslågen runs through the district. Many islands are located at the coast. Vestfold is mostly dominated by lowland and is among the best agricultural areas of Norway. Winters last about three months, while pleasant summer temperatures last from May to September, with a July average high of 17°C (63°F) (Tønsberg climate).

Vestfold is traditionally known for shipping and sailing. Sandefjord was formerly a headquarters for the Norwegian whaling fleet, and Horten used to be an important naval port. The coastal towns of Vestfold now engage in fishing and shipbuilding. Some lumbering is carried on in the interior. The district also includes some of the best farmland in Norway. Vestfold is the only county in which all municipalities have declared Bokmål to be their sole official written form of the Norwegian language.[4]

History[edit]

Kaupang, a town from the Viking Age is believed to be the first town in Norway, although Tønsberg is the oldest town in Norway still existing. Kaupang is mentioned under the name of Skiringssal (Kaupangen i Skiringssal) in Ohthere from Hålogaland's tales which date from the 9th century.[5]

By the 10th century the local kings had established themselves as the first dynasty to begin the unification of Norway. The king or his ombudsman resided in the old Royal Court at Sæheimr, today the Jarlsberg Estate (Jarlsberg Hovedgård) in Tønsberg. The farm Haugar became the seat for Haugathing, the Thing for Vestfold and one of Norway's most important place for the proclamation of kings.

The family of Harald Fairhair, who was most likely the first king of the whole Norway, is said to have come from this area. At that time Vestfold, including Lier and Eiker, was a petty kingdom.

Kings of Vestfold[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Vestfold is the old name of the region - revived in modern times. Fold was the old name of the Oslofjord, and the meaning of the name Vestfold is 'the region west of the Fold' (see also Østfold). Before 1919 the county was called Jarlsberg og Larvik Amt. The amt was created in 1821, consisting of the two old counties of Jarlsberg and Larvik.[6]

Transportation[edit]

The Vestfold Line is a railway line that runs from Drammen, through a number of towns in Vestfold and ending in the town of Skien in Telemark. European route E18 runs through the county roughly parallel to the railway.

There are two international ferry connections, both operated by Color Line. Larvik is connected to the Danish town Hirtshals, the other route is between Sandefjord and Strømstad in Sweden. In addition there is a domestic route connecting Horten and Moss

Oslo-Torp Airport serves both domestic and international destinations. It is regional hub for Norwegian carrier Widerøe, low cost carriers Ryanair and WizzAir also operate from the airport.

Municipalities[edit]

Vestfold Municipalities

Vestfold County has a total of 14 municipalities:

  1. Andebu
  2. Hof
  3. Holmestrand
  4. Horten
  5. Lardal
  6. Larvik
  7. Nøtterøy
  8. Re
  9. Sande
  10. Sandefjord
  11. Stokke
  12. Svelvik
  13. Tjøme
  14. Tønsberg

Wildlife refuge[edit]

Saltstein is part of a protected habitat for birds.[7] From 2014 surfing will be permitted off Saltstein.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]