Country Briefs:Lying in the western region of the Scandinavian Peninsula, bordering Sweden, Finland and Russia, Norway is a Nordic country that is popular for quite a few reasons. When looked from the perspective of natural beauty, Norway has it in abundance.
Norway, the ?Land of midnight sun? is an unevenly beautiful country of mountains, western fjords, vast farmlands, enchanted forests and sunny beaches and glaciers. Norway is famous for its breathtaking natural wonders and its peculiar character that cannot be cited anywhere in Europe.
To woo the hearts of all travelers Norway has a rich possession of historical monuments and sites such as Viking ships and medieval stave churches and cultural and traditional events like Constitution Day, Midsummer Eve etc. So though Norway is not a huge country, its area being 324,220 square kilometers, due to its timeless attractions, it is swarming with visitors all round the year.
Norway is ranked 114th in the world on the basis of its population. The population of this country is around 4,593,041 out of which nearly 533,050 people are inhabited in its largest and capital city Oslo.
On pondering over the past of Norway it is revealed that in the 9th century or the early Viking Age, Norway was divided in several petty kingdoms that were united into a feudal state by Halfdan the Black's son Harald Fairhair in 872 with the battle of Hafrsfjord.
Christianity came into prominence in Norway under the rule of Olaf I and Olaf II. Olaf I was driven put of Norway by King Canute of England but Olaf II's son Magnus I acquired the throne.
After the death of Magnus successor Harold III during the invasion of England, Norway confronted a period of decline and civil war due to conflicting claims to power.
However the Norwegian royal line came to an end in 1387 partly because of the Black Plague in 1349 and partly because of the reason that during that time Queen Margrethe gained control over the thrones of Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
From 1397 to 1520 Norway and Denmark followed a series of personal unions, the Kalmar Union. This Union united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden under a single monarch. But after 1450 Norway remained only in union with Denmark till 1814.
But this was the period when Norway experienced decline due to many reasons such as administrative power, romanticism etc. On the top of it in 17th century due to wars between Denmark- Norway and Sweden Norway lost its three provinces to Sweden.
After England attacked Denmark-Norway, the latter entered into an alliance with Napoleon as a result of which it had to participate in the Napoleonic Wars in 1814. During this time while Norway was ceded to England, Norway proclaimed its freedom.
Norway also adopted a constitution based on American and French models and elected Christian Fredrik, the Danish crown prince as the King. However yet Norway had to enter in a personal union with Sweden. But this time Norway kept all its independent institutions and liberal constitution except the Foreign Service.
The union of Norway with Sweden ended in 1905 with a surge in dissatisfaction amongst Norwegians. Danish Prince Carl (known as King Haakon) was elected the king then.
In 1940, during the Second World War Norway was invaded by Germany under the Operation Weserubung. After long continuous years of struggle and armed protests Norway succeeded in ousting Germans in 1945.
Due to the immense problems faced during the Second World War, Norway turned to acquire a collective security. Norway also signed the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949 and was a founding member of United Nations.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2. They are based on numbers used officially in Norway. Bergen was 13 before it merged with Hordaland. Statistical lists are often ordered by these numbers.
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
- Conv: Conventional abbreviations commonly used in Norway. Occasional variations will be found, such as Øs for Østfold and Ve for Vestfold.
- NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics codes from Eurostat.
- Population: 2001-11-03 census.
- Capitals: Some references disagree about these capitals. Some atlases even show different capitals on different pages.