Explore the enchanting beauty of Norway - sea valleys, mountains and the magical Nordic phenomena
Norway is a European country located in the northern part of the continent. Its capital is Oslo, and it is known for being a prosperous and technologically advanced nation with a stable economy and high security. The majority of the population follows Christianity, and the country is considered to have a low population density, with approximately 5 million inhabitants spread over an area of 385,207 square kilometers.
Economy and Natural Resources:
Norway is a rich country with significant reserves of oil and gas. It is ranked as the third-largest exporter of natural gas in the world. The nation heavily relies on renewable energy sources, such as hydropower. Additionally, Norway is a popular tourist destination, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually due to its enchanting and picturesque nature.
The period between the late 8th and 11th centuries is known as the Viking Age. During this time, Norway consisted of several scattered feudal territories, and it was not a unified nation. The Norwegian Vikings explored Europe through their seafaring trade and military expeditions. They were known for their adventurous spirit, strength, and prowess in warfare. The Viking Age is said to have begun significantly in 793 AD when Vikings raided the island of Lindisfarne in England, an event that marked them in European records as "wolves among sheep."
The Viking Age ended in 1066 AD after a failed invasion led by King Harald III, known as Harald Hardrada, who was defeated by King Harold Godwinson of England at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in Ireland.
Characteristics of the Vikings:
The Vikings were characterized by their strength, fair complexion, and blond hair. They wore distinctive horned helmets and were skilled shipbuilders, known for their slim, flexible wooden boats with simple designs.
Despite their reputation as raiders and warriors, the Vikings had strict customs and laws. They spoke Old Norse, and cleanliness was not their strong suit. They also played a game similar to hockey called "Knattleikr." Marriage for Viking women could start as early as the age of 12, and divorce was relatively common among them.
Norway before Independence:
In 1380, Olaf II inherited both the thrones of Norway and Denmark, and after 17 years, he created the Kalmar Union, uniting Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Sweden later withdrew from the union, and Norway remained a secondary participant until it finally withdrew in 1814.
On June 7, 1905, Norway declared complete independence from Sweden following a national referendum, in which the people preferred a constitutional monarchy over a republic. The Norwegian government offered the throne of Norway to Prince Carl of Denmark, who was elected king unanimously by the parliament. King Haakon VII became the first monarch of an entirely independent Norway in 586 years, reigning from 1905 until his death in 1957.
Norway declared itself neutral during both World Wars. However, it faced German invasion on April 9, 1940, and its resistance lasted for a little over two months. The Germans ruled Norway until May 1945 when they were forced to surrender.
Norway is located on the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, and it also includes Jan Mayen and the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic region. It shares borders with Sweden to the east, Finland to the north, and Russia to the far northeast. Denmark is located to the south, and the country is bordered by the North Sea to the southwest.
Norway experiences diverse climates, ranging from polar climates in the north to cold climates and mild summers in the south. The country is known for its natural beauty, including the enchanting Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) visible in Tromso around mid-September until late September due to its proximity to the North Pole.
Norway offers various attractions for tourists. Some of the popular places to visit in Oslo, the capital, include the Viking Ship Museum, the Oslo Opera House, and Akershus Fortress. The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History contains more than 150 outdoor buildings that showcase the nation's history and culture.