List of possessions of Norway

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Norwegian kingdom and some of its current overseas territories

This is a list of territorial possessions of Norway.

Current overseas territories[edit]

Integral areas of Norway which are unincorporated as counties:

Svalbard with Bear Island are subject to the provisions of the Svalbard Treaty. Svalbard and Jan Mayen are grouped together for some categorization purposes.

Current dependencies of Norway are all in the southern polar region:


Location of Norway and its overseas territories

Former dependencies and homelands[edit]

Norwegian kingdom at its greatest extent about 1265
Norwegian Empire with its homeland, dependencies and possessions
Norwegian kingdom and its former homeland before 1645

The so-called Greater Norway includes these entities:

Dependencies ceded to Scotland (1st phase)[edit]

  • Hebrides, colonized from 700s to 1100s, part of an earldom, crown dependencies from 1100s to 1266, ceded by the Treaty of Perth.
  • Man, colonized from 850s to 1152, part of an earldom, crown dependency from 1152 to 1266, ceded by the Treaty of Perth.
  • Orkney, colonized from 800s to 875, earldom from 875 to 1100s, crown dependency from 1100s to 1469, pledged by Christian I.
  • Shetland, colonized from 700s to 900s, earldom from 900s to 1195, crown dependency from 1195 to 1469, pledged by Christian I .


Briefly-ruled Welsh homeland[edit]

National homelands ceded to Sweden (2nd phase)[edit]

  • Bohuslän, integrated from 800s to 1523, again from 1532 to 1658, ceded by the Treaty of Roskilde.
  • Idre & Särna, integrated from ??? to 1645, ceded by the Second Treaty of Brömsebro, border not formally delineated until 1751.
  • Jämtland, integrated from 1100s to 1645, ceded the Second Treaty of Brömsebro.
  • Härjedalen, integrated from 1200s to 1563, again from 1570 to 1645, ceded by the Second Treaty of Brömsebro.

Early entity[edit]

  • Värmland, from as early as 820 (pre-unification) to about 1000, before being integrated into Sweden.

Briefly-ruled Danish homelands[edit]

Briefly-ruled Swedish homelands[edit]

Dependencies ceded to Denmark (3rd phase)[edit]

  • Faroe Islands, settled and colonized pre-1035 and crown dependencies from 1035 to 1814, ceded by the Treaty of Kiel.
  • Greenland, colonized pre-1261 and crown dependency from 1261 to 1814, ceded by the Treaty of Kiel.
  • Iceland, settled and colonized pre-1262 and crown dependencies from 1262 to 1814, ceded by the Treaty of Kiel.

Ceding era explained[edit]

The actual time of cession of the islands is somewhat disputed. Denmark claims it took place with the Union of Denmark and Norway in 1536, as the possessions of the Norwegian crown were claimed by the Danish king. Nevertheless, they were still referred to as "dependencies of Norway" in later official documents. Also the Treaty of Kiel states: "...and provinces, constituting the kingdom of Norway, [..], together with their dependencies (Greenland, the Faroe Isles, and Iceland, excepted); [...] shall belong in full and sovereign property to the King of Sweden,...", clearly indicating that they were until 1814 regarded as a part of Norway.

Eastern Greenland Case[edit]

Briefly-ruled Danish kingdom[edit]

Former Norse kingdoms outside Scandinavia[edit]

Kingdom entities[edit]

Norwegian legacy kingdoms subsequently integrated into Norway and Ireland:

Joint kingdom entities with the Danes[edit]

Dano-Norwegian legacy kingdoms subsequently integrated into England and France:

Former contested possessions and claims[edit]


Throne claims[edit]

Unsuccessful throne successions[edit]

The throne successior Margaret, Maid of Norway (Hardrada dynasty) reigned as the Queen of Scots from mainland Norway between 1286 and 1290, and was supposed to be crowned in Scotland 1290, but died on the journey in Orkney before the coronation.


In Antarctica[edit]

The spread of Norwegian whaling industry to Antarctica in the early 20th century motivated Norway, right after its independence from Sweden in 1905, to pursue territorial expansion not only in the Arctic claiming Jan Mayen and Sverdrup Islands, but also in Antarctica. Norway claimed Bouvet Island and looked further south, formally inquiring with Foreign Office about the international status of the area between 45° and 65° south latitude and 35° and 80° west longitude. Following a second such diplomatic démarche by the Norwegian Government dated 4 March 1907, Britain replied that the areas were British based on discoveries made in the first half of the 19th century, and issued the 1908 Letters Patent incorporating the British Falkland Islands Dependencies with a permanent local administration in Grytviken established in 1909.[1][2]

In Arctic and Northern America[edit]

In Finland and Russia[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Odd Gunnar Skagestad. Norsk Polar Politikk: Hovedtrekk og Utvikslingslinier, 1905–1974. Oslo: Dreyers Forlag, 1975
  2. ^ Thorleif Tobias Thorleifsson. Bi-polar international diplomacy: The Sverdrup Islands question, 1902–1930. Master of Arts Thesis, Simon Fraser University, 2004.