|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Norwegian (bokmål) Wikipedia. (July 2012)|
|• Governor||Erling Lae
|• County mayor||Per-Eivind Johansen
|• 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|
|• Rank||10 (4.78% of country)|
|• Density||102/km2 (260/sq mi)|
|• Change (10 years)||8.7 %|
|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)|
|Source: Statistics Norway.|
Vestfold (help·info) 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.
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.
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.
Kings of Vestfold
- Erik Agnarsson
- Halfdan Hvitbeinn (part of Vestfold)
- Eystein Halfdansson
- Halfdan the Mild
- Gudrød the Hunter
- Halfdan the Black, together with his brother, Olaf Gudrødsson
- Ragnvald the Mountain-High, Cousin of Harold Fairhair
- Harald Fairhair
- Bjørn Farmann
- Olaf Haraldsson Geirstadalf, brother of Bjørn
- Harald Gudrødsson Grenske, 976–987
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.
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
Vestfold County has a total of 14 municipalities:
- Projected population - Statistics Norway
- Statistics Norway - Church of Norway.
- Statistics Norway - Members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway, by religion/life stance. County. 2006-2010
- Vestfold County (Vestfold University College0
- Vestvågøy Theme (Geir Are Johansen, archaeologist. Lofotr the Viking Museum)
- Vestfold County (2007 GoNorway)
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