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NORWAY
 
   
   
 

Norway Identity Card

 

 
Country name:
~ conventional long form: Kingdom of Norway
~ conventional short form: Norway
~ local long form: Kongeriket Norge
~ local short form: Norge
Area: 324,220 sq km
Coastline: 25,148 km (without island coastlines)
Highest point: Galdhopiggen 2,469 m
Population: 4,593,041
Density: 14/km2
Population growth rate: 0.4%
Official Languages: Bokmal Norwegian and Nynorsk Norwegian
Religions: Predominately Church of Norway
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: Oslo
GDP - per capita: $40,000
Inflation rate: 1%
Currency (code): Norwegian krone (NOK)
Vehicle Country Id-Code: N
ISO CODE Alpha2: NO
ISO CODE Alpha3: NOR
ISO NUMERIC CODE: 578
Calling code: +47
Internet country code: .no
Time Zone: + 1.0 H

 
 
 
 

Norway, a land of panoramic vision with fresh air, is a proud and independent member of the European continent. The country is a conglomeration of history and heritage ever blooming along the banks of salmon rivers. Slightly elongated in shape, Norway is beautifully posted in the northern part of Europe. Apart from its scenic beauties, this country is also revered and loved for its expanded coastlines and countless fjords and archipelagos. The border of Norway is common with that of the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean or the "Norwegian Sea", the Barents Sea, Finland, Sweden, and Russia. The nearby Svalbard archipelago and Jan Mayen Island is a part of the national jurisdiction of Norway. Oslo being the capital city is better recognized as a major port base contributing significantly to the economy of the country. Bergen, Fredrikstad, Kristiansand, Drammen, Stavanger, Trondheim and Tromso are other important cities of this country.
Rising from the ashes of several years of domination and struggle, The Norwegian economy has evolved a lot from time to time. The special endeavour of the Government of Norway and the implementation of newer policies keeping in mind the well being and overall growth of every strata of the society is remarkable, to say the least. Politically, Norway is a constitutional monarchy, but the democracy has much of breathing space. Spread over an area of 386,958 square kilometres, the country is home to nearly 4,524,000 (2002), people. The capital city of Oslo alone accommodates more than 512 000 inhabitants.
If you count on tourism, Norway is a reveller’s delight. It is a beautiful country dotted with ample existence of rugged terrains, mountain ranges, fjords and glaciers. The climate is gracefully moderate compared to its proximity to the northern hemisphere. Roam about amidst the quite fishing villages and rolling farmlands or sneak in to the remnants of the Viking ships and medieval churches. Visitors can also rejuvenate their senses while strolling past the dense greenery and foamy streams of Norway.


The Geiranger fjord

Geography

Norway is attached with an additional identification as the 'Land of the Midnight Sun' due to the Polar nights. The country experiences this natural splendour when the sun is visible on the horizon even after the stroke of midnight. The phenomenon continues for months. But on opposite side, it disappears completely during the winter times and the country is dipped in a prolonged period of darkness. Situated on the western and northern section of Scandinavian Peninsula, Norway are a combination of a narrow land strip and the arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Jan Mayen. The borders of Norway are a mix of aqua and earth. The east of Norway is enclosed by Sweden, Finland and Russia. The North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean is found on the west and the Barents Sea on the north. Along with these, the mighty North Sea washes the south coasts of Norway.
The Norwegian topography is splashed with water bodies, deep fjords and towering glaciers. The country terrain is mostly unspoilt with wild mountainous and high plateau. It has a very long and rugged coastline of 2650 km. and it is believed that if the curves of fjords and inlets are added, the calculation of country area will take a giant leap. The Sognafjorden is Norway's longest fjord. The Glomma is the longest river and the Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier in Northern Europe.
Galdhøpiggen at 2,469 m. is Norway's highest point and Hornindalsvatnet is Norway's and Europe's deepest lake as well.
Norway experiences bright long summers and mild winters. However, the scenario is different in the North which falls within the Arctic Circle where there are heavy snowfalls. The Midnight Sun glimmers on the Norwegian horizon from 20 May to 22 July and provides light for twenty-four hours a day. During the days between 27 November and 15 January, Polar Night cahracterised by the hidden sun occurs in Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. The phenomenon of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) light up the dark winter nights.


View of Alesund

History

Stave Church

Norway owes its existence long back in the pages of world history. The earliest signs of human settlement in Norway can be traced back to 9000 BC - 8000 BC, better known as the Old Stone Age. The remnants of this era can be seen in forms of rock carvings left behind by the hunters and fishermen. After this, the New Stone Age graduated to early agriculture and livestock followed by the Bronze and Iron Age. But Norwegian history took a significant turn with the arrivals of the Vikings. The Viking Age is believed to have started in 793 with a raid on the monastery on Lindisfarne in Northumberland. Between 800-1050, the elaborate process of expansion by the Vikings continued uninterruptedly. Their territory included Iceland, Greenland, the Shetlands, the Hebrides, the Orkney Isles, Northern Scotland, the North of England, the Isle of Man, Ireland and France.
Denmark ruled over Norway and parts of Iceland from the end of the fourteenth century until 1814. Protestantism was introduced in 1537. During the Napoleonic Wars, it fought with the French and Napoleon. But with Napoleon’s defeat, the Congress of Vienna translated the forced union of Norway and Sweden. But Norway continued its struggle for independence and gained freedom in 1905. Along with it the country also maintained a neutral stand during the First World War. But in the Second World War German troops occupied Norway from April 1940 to May 1945. It was followed by an attack from the Russians but it was intended only to drive away the Germans. Norway subsequently became one of the founder members of the United Nations. But in 1972 and 1994 the Norwegian people took part in referenda and both times the country rejected membership in the European Union.


Typical Norwegian houses in Bergen

Economy

Nowegian economy saw brighter days when in 1960, oil and gas were discovered off the Norwegian coast providing an enormous boost to the financial sector. Today, Norway is one of the world's most important oil producing countries and arguably enjoys highest standard of living. The Government has taken a combination of socialist and free-market capitalist stand to ensure a uniform development model. Talks are also on to make back-up economic plans once the gas resources are exhausted. But the country refuses any help from the European Union. Other natural resources of Norway include natural gas, copper, iron ore, lead, nickel, zinc, coal, timber and hydropower. Norsk Hydro is Norway's largest publicly owned industrial company. Norway does not produce all its own food and relies on imports. It's agricultural products include barley, oats, wheat, potatoes and dairy products. The service sector plays a major part in the Norwegian economy and absorbs maximum labour force. Norway has spectacular scenery to attract the tourist and plenty of opportunities for ice sports. So, tourism is an important earner of foreign currency and it is the aim of the Norwegian Tourist Board to establish Norway as a popular tourist destination in the coming years.


View of Oslo

Politics

Norway boasts of a unique political feature. The country in the age of 21st century leans on democracy under the shadow of monarchy. In spite of having a constitution and parliament where the general public takes active part in election, the king is still considered to be the head of state. According to the constitution of 1814, the king is the executer of all important executive powers. But in reality it rests in the hands of the Council of State and the king ends up with more or less a ceremonial post. The Prime Minister and his council, together form the Council of State with the bolstering support of the parliament. The appointment of the Council by the King has now been reduced to a mere formality.
The Norwegian parliament named Stortinget is based in the capital city of Oslo. It comprises of total 169 members who are elected for 4-year terms according to a system of proportional representation. The unicameral parliament has two sections, the Odelsting and the Lagting. They are the separate executor of any agenda, bill or petition. Any proposal is first raised by the Odelsting and judged and decided by the Lagting.
The functioning of the judiciary and the appointment of the judges remains at the discretion of the King. From the Supreme court to smaller council courts, the system tends to be well organised and fair by all means.

 



 

 

 
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