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NorwayThe origin of the name "Norway" is not entirely known, but most people believe the name means "Way North" or "Northern Way." In the Old Norse language this is directly translated as "nor veg," which seems to indicate the name's origin, although no one knows with absolute certainty. The country's name is "Kongeriket Norge" in Bokmal Norwegian and "Kongeriket Noreg" in Nynorsk Norwegian.

Kongeriket Norge / Kongeriket Noreg

Introduction:

Norway was created by the earth, the glaciers, and the animals; today the people have not strayed too far from their historic roots, which forever ties them to the land. Even today it is the landscape and pure beauty of the country that pulls people to this northern location.



Despite the incredible natural beauty, the mountains, glaciers, and fjords also created havoc for the early settlers as farmlands were sparse, transportation was difficult, and the long cold winters meant farming was essentially impossible for most of the year. The people survived on the few plants and animals that somehow managed to make the region home just as the people did.

Norway's flag follows the same shape and rough design as that of Denmark, after which it is likely modeled. The colors are also representative of Denmark as well as of Norway's past. The red and white reflect their past union with Denmark and the blue represents Norway's past union with Sweden.

Name: Kingdom of Norway
Independence: June 7, 1905
Capital: Oslo
Currency: Norwegian Krone
Population: 4,722,701 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Norwegian & Sami
Language: Bokmal Norwegian &
    Nynorsk Norwegian
Religion: Church of Norway (Lutheran)

The people that thrived in this environment developed a very strong sense of adventure as they had to be tough to survive the weather and conditions. They also created an impressive communication network via the fjords, rivers, and oceans, which was much easier than trying to traverse the mountains. This sense of adventure, knowledge of the seas, and ability to withstand great difficulties led to the Viking Age in the late 700s.

The Vikings rose to fame due to their knowledge of the seas, their ability to trade, and their willingness to expand their boundaries, but their far superior boat technology also led to pillaging, which seemed to be a much easier way to earn a living. Despite the pillaging, the Vikings also displayed an incredible sense of right versus wrong and social justice, remnants of which can still be seen today. They were one of the first people in the world to have a Parliament and representation for the people as they allowed many rights to the people and they encouraged economic growth.

As the Viking Age slowly died, Christianity and foreign rulers arrived to Norway. Both made a lasting impact on the people. Christianity is still the most populous religion in Norway and this foreign dominance helped create a more distinct Norwegian culture while making the people more worldly as Bergen became a center of trade in northern Europe.

Despite the struggles of living under foreign rulers, Norway was allowed to essentially develop in its own way. With independence in 1905 the people continued on this path as the country became quite unique from a cultural perspective, yet became more reliant on the world around them to move forward. The Norwegians have led the world in numerous realms from environmental protection and legal rights for minorities to their development of winter sports.

Today Norway remains about the people and their lands. Their major sites are fjords, glaciers, and mountains, not architectural achievements, museums, or theme parks... although Norway offers all of those as well.

Welcome to the land of the midnight sun!

Learn More About Norway:

The Land:
Geography WeatherWildlife

The Past:
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The Food:
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The Culture:
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Top Sights & Destinations:

Map of Norway

Information for Norway was last updated: October, 2013 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks