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Portal:Norway

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Norway Portal
Norge Portal

Flag Arms of Norway.svg
Location of Norway within Europe

Norway /ˈnɔːrw/ (About this sound listen) (Norwegian: About this sound Norge (Bokmål) or About this sound Noreg (Nynorsk)), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Scandinavian unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and the subantarctic Bouvet Island. The Spitsbergen Treaty (also known as the Svalbard Treaty) of February 9, 1920, recognizes the full and absolute sovereignty of Norway over the arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen (now called Svalbard). Peter I Island is dependent territory (Norwegian: biland) of Norway but is not considered part of the Kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land. Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) and a population of about 5 million. It is the second least densely populated country in Europe. The majority of the country shares a border to the east with Sweden; its northernmost region is bordered by Finland to the south and Russia to the east; in its south Norway borders the Skagerrak Strait across from Denmark. The capital city of Norway is Oslo. Norway's extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea, is home to its famous fjords.

Two centuries of Viking raids tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav Tryggvason in 994. A period of civil war ended in the 13th century when Norway expanded its control overseas to parts of Britain, Ireland, Iceland, and Greenland. Norwegian territorial power peaked in 1265, but competition from the Hanseatic League and the spread of the Black Death weakened the country. In 1380, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that lasted more than four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession of their country to Sweden and adopted a new constitution. Sweden then invaded Norway but agreed to let Norway keep its constitution in return for accepting the union under a Swedish king. Rising nationalism throughout the 19th century led to a 1905 referendum granting Norway independence. Although Norway remained neutral in World War I, it suffered heavy losses to its shipping. Norway proclaimed its neutrality at the outset of World War II, but was nonetheless occupied for five years by the Third Reich. In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a founding member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes. In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU. Key domestic issues include immigration and integration of ethnic minorities, maintaining the country's extensive social safety net with an aging population, and preserving economic competitiveness.

Norway is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with King Harald V as its head of state and Erna Solberg as its prime minister. It is a unitary state with administrative subdivisions on two levels known as counties (fylke) and municipalities (kommuner). The Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act. Although having rejected European Union membership in two referenda, Norway maintains close ties with the union and its member countries, as well as with the United States. Norway remains one of the biggest financial contributors to the United Nations, and participates with UN forces in international missions, notably in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sudan and Libya. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the Council of Europe, and the Nordic Council; a member of the European Economic Area, the WTO, and the OECD; and is also a part of Schengen Area.

Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water, and hydropower. The country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world. On a per-capita basis, it is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East, and the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product. The country maintains a Nordic social benefit model with universal health care, subsidized higher education, and a comprehensive social security system. From 2001 to 2006, and then again from 2009 through 2011, Norway has had the highest human development index ranking in the world. In 2011, Norway also ranked the highest on the Democracy Index.

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Section of the Krag-Petersson
The Krag-Petersson rifle was the first repeating rifle adopted by the armed forces of Norway, and one of the first repeating arms used anywhere in the world. Developed by Ole Herman Johannes Krag, the action of the Krag-Petersson was uniquely actuated by the oversized hammer. Another distinguishing feature was that the cartridge rising from the magazine was not seated automatically, but had to be pushed into the breech of the rifle. Testing by the Norwegian military revealed that the Krag-Petersson was a robust, accurate and quick firing weapon, and the Royal Norwegian Navy adopted the rifle in 1876. The rifle was also extensively tested by other nations, but not adopted. After being phased out around 1900, the remaining rifles were sold off to civilians, and often extensively rebuilt. Today it is so difficult to find one in original condition that the Krag-Petersson has been described as "the rifle everybody has heard about, but hardly anybody has ever seen". It was the first rifle designed by Ole H. J. Krag to be adopted by an armed force.

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Vinland map
Credit: Author unknown; scan by Yale University

The Vinland map is purportedly a 15th century mappa mundi, redrawn from a 13th century original. Drawn with black ink on animal skin, the map is the first known depiction of the North American coastline. The map has been controversial since it was first revealed in 1965, and both the most recent chemical analysis and the most recent scholarly monograph on the subject have suggested that it is a forgery.

In the news

Wikinews Norway portal
  • August 30: Lightning strikes dead more than 300 wild reindeer in Norway
  • March 10: Wheelchair curling enters third day at 2014 Winter Paralympics
  • March 10: Ukraine's Lyudmyla Pavlenko wins gold in 2014 Winter Paralympics
  • March 8: Norway beats Czech Republic in sledge hockey overtime win in first match at Winter Paralympics

In this month

Thorbjørn Jagland

Selected biography

Gunnhild learns that Erik is dead. Illustration by Krohg.
Gunnhildr konungamóðir (mother of kings) or Gunnhildr Özurardóttir (c. 900  –  c. 980) was the wife of Erik Bloodaxe (king of Norway 930–34, "king" of Orkney c. 937–54, and king of Jórvík 948–49 and 952–54). Gunnhild is a prominent figure in many Norse sagas, including Fagrskinna, Egil's Saga, Njal's Saga, and Heimskringla. Many of the details of her life are disputed, including her parentage. Gunnhild lived during a time of great change in Norway. Her father-in-law Harald Fairhair had recently united much of Norway under his rule. Shortly after his death, Gunnhild and her husband were overthrown and exiled. She spent much of the rest of her life in exile in Orkney, Jorvik and Denmark. A number of her many children with Erik became co-rulers of Norway in the late tenth century. What details of her life are known come largely from Icelandic sources; because the Icelanders were generally hostile to her and her husband, scholars regard some of the more negative episodes reported in them as suspect.

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Jens Arup Seip.

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Nordkjosen Balsfjord in Troms fylke, Norway
Credit: Birger Holm

Balsfjord is a municipality in the county of Troms, Norway. The municipality consists of two fjords, Malangen and Balsfjorden, surrounded by comparatively rich farmlands under majestic peaks including the southern end of the Lyngen Alps.

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Röyksopp in concert
You see, it’s part of the process you go through: the longer the hair and the beard, the more Beaujolais you drink. It’s stage three of the seven stages of song writing.
Svein Berge, member of music group Röyksopp
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Norway
Norway in winter

Counties: AkershusAust-AgderBuskerudFinnmarkHedmarkHordalandMøre og RomsdalNordlandNord-TrøndelagOpplandOsloØstfoldRogalandSogn og FjordaneSør-TrøndelagTelemarkTromsVest-AgderVestfold

Culture: BunadConstitution DayCuisineFarm cultureJulLiteratureMusic

History: Ancient Norwegian property lawsNordic Stone AgeNordic Bronze AgeKomsaFosna-Hensbacka cultureFunnelbeaker cultureHamburg cultureNøstvet and Lihult culturesMaglemosian cultureViking AgeHarald I of NorwayOlav IV of NorwayHaakon I of NorwayOlaf I of NorwayOlaf II of NorwayBattle of StiklestadCanute the GreatMagnus I of NorwayHarald III of NorwayBattle of Stamford BridgeMagnus III of NorwaySigurd I of NorwayMagnus V of NorwaySverre of NorwayHaakon IV of NorwayMagnus VI of NorwayEric II of NorwayKalmar UnionDenmark–NorwayUnion between Sweden and NorwayDissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905Haakon VII of NorwayOlav V of NorwayHarald V of NorwayOccupation of Norway by Nazi GermanyNorwegian CampaignNorwegian resistance movementLegal purge in Norway after World War IIForeign relations of NorwayMilitary of NorwayNorway and the European Union

Language: ÅÆØBokmålDet Norske Akademi for Sprog og LitteraturDifferences between Norwegian Bokmål and Standard DanishHøgnorskNordic CouncilNordic Language ConventionNoregs MållagNorsk OrdbokNorth Germanic languagesNorwegian alphabetNorwegian dialectsNorwegian Language CouncilNorwegian language conflictNorwegian phonologyNynorskOld NorseRiksmålsforbundetRussenorsk

Politics: ConstitutionCounties (Fylker)ElectionsEuropean Union relationsForeign relationsGovernmentMonarchyMunicipalities (Kommuner)Political partiesPrime MinisterRomantic nationalismSámi ParliamentStorting

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