Districts of Norway

The country Norway is historically divided into a number of districts. Many districts have deep historical roots, and only partially coincide with today's administrative units of counties and municipalities. The districts are defined by geographical features, often valleys, mountain ranges, fjords, plains, or coastlines, or combinations of the above. Many such regions were petty kingdoms up to the early Viking age.

Regional identity

Kart over Sør-Noreg
Southern Norway's districts during the middle ages.
Kart over Haalogaland
Northern Norway's districts induring the middle ages.

A high percentage of Norwegians identify themselves more by the district they live in or come from, than the formal administrative unit(s) whose jurisdiction they fall under. A significant reason for this is that the districts, through their strong geographical limits, have historically delineated the region(s) within which one could travel without too much trouble or expenditure of time and money (on foot or skis, by horse/ox-drawn cart or sleigh or dog sled, or by one's own small rowing or sail boat). Thus, dialects and regional commonality in folk culture tended to correspond to those same geographical units, despite any division into administrative districts by authorities.

In modern times the whole country has become more closely connected, based on the following:

  • Communication technologies such as telegraph, newspapers, telephone, radio and TV, in particular Televerket and NRK.
  • The construction of mountain crossings, tunnels through mountains, bridges, undersea tunnels; many of these projects, particularly the larger bridges and the undersea tunnels, were undertaken as late as the 1970s forward.
  • Establishing a coastal express route of combined passenger and cargo ships, like the Hurtigruten, sailing regularly from Bergen to Kirkenes and back again, and stopping by at a host of cities and towns along the western and northern coast.
  • The construction of railroads between distant parts of the country.
  • The opening of dozens of new airports all over the country through the 1960s and 1970s.
  • The release of private cars from government rationing and import restrictions from the 1950s onwards.

A concrete display of the Norwegian habit of identifying themselves by district can be seen in the many regional costumes, called bunad, strictly connected to distinct districts across the country. Commonly, even city dwellers proudly mark their rural origins by wearing such a costume, from their ancestral landscape, at weddings, visits with members of the royal family, Constitution Day (May 17), and other ceremonial occasions.

List of traditional districts

The following list is non-exhaustive and partially overlapping.

The first name is the name in Bokmål, the second Nynorsk.

Nord-Norge / Nord-Noreg (North Norway)

See also Finnmark, Hålogaland and Troms.

Sørlandet (Southern Norway)

Trøndelag

Vestlandet (Western Norway)

Østlandet / Austlandet (Eastern Norway)

See also Viken and Vingulmark.

See also

External links

Balsfjord

Balsfjord (Northern Sami: Báhccavuotna or Kven: Paatsivuono) is a municipality in Troms county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Storsteinnes. Other villages include Mestervik, Mortenhals, and Nordkjosbotn.

The 1,497-square-kilometre (578 sq mi) municipality is the 52nd largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Balsfjord is the 186th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 5,653. The municipality's population density is 3.9 inhabitants per square kilometre (10/sq mi) and its population has increased by 2.2% over the last decade.The municipality surrounds two fjords: Malangen and Balsfjorden, surrounded by comparatively rich farmlands under majestic peaks including the southern end of the Lyngen Alps.

Counties of Norway

Norway is divided into 18 administrative regions, called counties (singular Norwegian: fylke, plural Norwegian: fylker (Bokmål) / fylke (Nynorsk) from Old Norse: fylki from the word "folk"); until 1918, they were known as amter. The counties form the first-level subdivisions of Norway and are further divided into 422 municipalities (kommune, pl. kommuner / kommunar). The island territories of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are outside the county division and ruled directly at the national level. The capital Oslo is considered both a county and a municipality.

In 2017 the government decided to abolish the current counties and to replace them with fewer, larger administrative regions (regioner).

Jarlsberg

Jarlsberg was a former countship that forms a part of today's Vestfold county in Norway.

The former countships of Jarlsberg and Larvik were merged into a county in 1821. Jarlsberg and Larvik's County (Jarlsberg og Larviks amt) were renamed Vestfold in 1919.Created in 1673 as Griffenfeldt Countship (Griffenfeld grevskap), it was after a few years known as Tønsberg Countship (Tønsberg grevskap) until 1684, when the name became Jarlsberg. Dating to 1681, the countship was associated with members of the Dano-Norwegian noble family, Wedel-Jarlsberg.

Landskap

Landskap is common Scandinavian word which means landscape or province and can refer to:

Districts of Norway, the historical provinces of Norway

Provinces of Sweden, the historical provinces of Sweden and Finland

Historical provinces of Finland, the subset of historical provinces in current day Finland

Regions of Finland, the regions of Finland from 1997 till 2009

Åland, an autonomous and unilingually Swedish province of Finland

Liv Signe Navarsete

Liv Signe Hundere Navarsete (born 23 October 1958 in Sogndal) was the Norwegian Minister of Local Government and Regional Development from 2009 to 2013 and has been leader of the Center Party since 2008. She first took office in 2005, serving in Stoltenberg's Second Cabinet. On 11 February she announced that she would retire as the leader of the party in April 2014. She was succeeded by Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.

She was also political advisor to the Minister of Health and Social Affairs (social affairs) from 1999 to 2000. Navarsete was appointed as leader of the Center Party in September 2008, having until then been the deputy leader.

Market towns of Buskerud county

The Market towns of Buskerud county (Norwegian: Kjøpstedene i Buskerud fylke) was an electoral district for parliamentary elections in Norway. It comprised the market towns (Norwegian: kjøpsteder) of Drammen, Hønefoss and Kongsberg in Buskerud county.

The district was established ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1921 following the change from single member constituencies to plural member constituencies in 1919.

Following changes in the national policy on market towns in 1952, these electoral districts were abolished ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1953. Instead, each county became one electoral district, and for election purposes the towns were integrated into their respective counties.

Market towns of Hedmark and Oppland counties

The Market towns of Hedmark and Oppland counties (Norwegian: Kjøpstedene i Hedmark og Oppland fylker) was an electoral district for parliamentary elections in Norway. It comprised the market towns (Norwegian: kjøpsteder) of Hamar and Kongsvinger in Hedmark county and Lillehammer and Gjøvik in Oppland county.

The district was established ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1921 following the change from single member constituencies to plural member constituencies in 1919.

Following changes in the national policy on market towns in 1952, these electoral districts were abolished ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1953. Instead, each county became one electoral district, and for election purposes the towns were integrated into their respective counties.

The cities except for Kongsvinger are known as the Mjøsa Cities, and share much history. Also as an electoral district, the cities had been tied together. Before single-member constituencies were introduced in 1905, there were two constituencies: Kristiania, Hønefoss og Kongsvinger with three members in the 1903 election and Hamar, Lillehammer og Gjøvik with one member. After 1905 the cities were grouped together as Lillehammer, Hamar, Gjøvik og Kongsvinger; in other words identical to the electoral district established after 1919. The first four elections in Lillehammer, Hamar, Gjøvik og Kongsvinger were won by Axel Thallaug. In 1913 Thallaug proposed splitting the electoral district in two, giving one member to Hamar og Kongsvinger and one to Lillehammer og Gjøvik. The proposal was supported by decision in the executive committees of Lillehammer and Kongsvinger city councils. In 1914 it reached the Standing Committee on Constitutional Affairs, where the representatives voted 5 for and 2 against (they also voted to divide Larvik og Sandefjord). It did not come to fruition.

Market towns of Møre og Romsdal county

The Market towns of Møre og Romsdal county (Norwegian: Kjøpstedene i Møre og Romsdal fylke) was an electoral district for parliamentary elections in Norway. It comprised the market towns (Norwegian: kjøpsteder) of Kristiansund, Molde and Ålesund in Møre og Romsdal county.

The district was established ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1921 following the change from single member constituencies to plural member constituencies in 1919.

Following changes in the national policy on market towns in 1952, these electoral districts were abolished ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1953. Instead, each county became one electoral district, and for election purposes the towns were integrated into their respective counties.

Market towns of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark

The Market towns of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark (Norwegian: Kjøpstedene i Nordland, Troms og Finnmark) was an electoral district for parliamentary elections in Norway. It comprised the market towns (Norwegian: kjøpsteder) of Bodø and Narvik in Nordland county, Tromsø in Troms county and Hammerfest, Vadsø and Vardø in Finnmark county.

The district was established ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1921 following the change from single member constituencies to plural member constituencies in 1919.

Following changes in the national policy on market towns in 1952, these electoral districts were abolished ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1953. Instead, each county became one electoral district, and for election purposes the towns were integrated into their respective counties.

Market towns of Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag counties

The Market towns of Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag counties (Norwegian: Kjøpstedene i Sør-Trøndelag og Nord-Trøndelag fylker) was an electoral district for parliamentary elections in Norway. It comprised the market towns (Norwegian: kjøpsteder) of Trondheim in Sør-Trøndelag county and Levanger in Nord-Trøndelag county.

The district was established ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1921 following the change from single member constituencies to plural member constituencies in 1919.

Following changes in the national policy on market towns in 1952, these electoral districts were abolished ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1953. Instead, each county became one electoral district, and for election purposes the towns were integrated into their respective counties.

Market towns of Telemark and Aust-Agder counties

The Market towns of Telemark and Aust-Agder counties (Norwegian: Kjøpstedene i Telemark og Aust-Agder fylker) was an electoral district for parliamentary elections in Norway. It comprised the market towns (Norwegian: kjøpsteder) of Brevik, Kragerø, Notodden, Porsgrunn and Skien in Telemark county and Arendal, Grimstad and Risør in Aust-Agder county.

The district was established ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1921 following the change from single member constituencies to plural member constituencies in 1919.

Following changes in the national policy on market towns in 1952, these electoral districts were abolished ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1953. Instead, each county became one electoral district, and for election purposes the towns were integrated into their respective counties.

Market towns of Vest-Agder and Rogaland counties

The Market towns of Vest-Agder and Rogaland counties (Norwegian: Kjøpstedene i Vest-Agder og Rogaland fylker) was an electoral district for parliamentary elections in Norway. It comprised the market towns (Norwegian: kjøpsteder) of Flekkefjord, Kristiansand and Mandal in Vest-Agder county and Haugesund and Stavanger in Rogaland county.

The district was established ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1921 following the change from single member constituencies to plural member constituencies in 1919.

Following changes in the national policy on market towns in 1952, these electoral districts were abolished ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1953. Instead, each county became one electoral district, and for election purposes the towns were integrated into their respective counties.

Market towns of Vestfold county

The Market towns of Vestfold county (Norwegian: Kjøpstedene i Vestfold fylke) was an electoral district for parliamentary elections in Norway. It comprised the market towns (Norwegian: kjøpsteder) of Holmestrand, Horten, Tønsberg, Sandefjord and Larvik in Vestfold county.

The district was established ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1921 following the change from single member constituencies to plural member constituencies in 1919.

Following changes in the national policy on market towns in 1952, these electoral districts were abolished ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1953. Instead, each county became one electoral district, and for election purposes the towns were integrated into their respective counties.

Market towns of Østfold and Akershus counties

The Market towns of Østfold and Akershus counties (Norwegian: Kjøpstedene i Østfold og Akershus fylker) was an electoral district for parliamentary elections in Norway. It comprised the market towns (Norwegian: kjøpsteder) of Fredrikstad, Halden (until 1928 named Fredrikshald), Moss and Sarpsborg in Østfold county and Drøbak in Akershus county.

The district was established ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1921 following the change from single member constituencies to plural member constituencies in 1919.

Following changes in the national policy on market towns in 1952, these electoral districts were abolished ahead of the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1953. Instead, each county became one electoral district, and for election purposes the towns were integrated into their respective counties.

Outline of Norway

The following outline provides an overview of, and topical guide to, the Kingdom of Norway.

Norway is a sovereign constitutional monarchy, located principally in the western part of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. The country has land borders with Sweden, Finland, and Russia, while the United Kingdom and the Faroe Islands lie to its west across the North Sea and Denmark to its south across the Skagerrak strait. The country's long and glaciated Atlantic coastline is deeply indented by fjords, rising precipitously to high plateaux.

Norway also includes the Arctic island territories of Svalbard and Jan Mayen. Norwegian sovereignty over Svalbard is based upon the Spitsbergen Treaty, but that treaty does not apply to Jan Mayen. Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic Ocean and Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land in Antarctica are external dependencies, but those three entities do not form part of the kingdom.

Since World War II, Norway has experienced rapid economic growth, and is now amongst the wealthiest countries in the world. Norway is the world's third largest oil exporter after Russia and Saudi Arabia and the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of GDP. It has also rich resources of gas fields, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Norway was the second largest exporter of seafood (in value, after China) in 2006. Other main industries include food processing, shipbuilding, metals, chemicals, mining and pulp and paper products. Norway has a Scandinavian welfare system and the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation.

Norway was ranked highest of all countries in human development from 2001 to 2006, and came second in 2007 (to fellow Nordic country Iceland). It also rated the most peaceful country in the world in a 2007 survey by Global Peace Index. It is a founding member of NATO.

Time in Norway

In Norway the standard time is the Central European Time (UTC+01:00). Norway observes Summer Time (sommertid, daylight saving time). The transition dates are the same as for other European countries.

Svalbard and Jan Mayen observe the same time as the mainland.

Norway stretches more to the west and east than it might look like on a map. The westernmost point in Norway proper is on 4°30′E longitude, meaning 42 minutes difference between mean solar time and official time, while the easternmost point in Norway proper is on 31°10′E longitude, meaning 64 minutes difference between mean solar time and official time. The difference between those points is 26°41′ or 1 hour 46 minutes. The 15° E meridian passes Norway in the northern part of the country, from north over Vesterålen and Lofoten islands, then Vestfjorden and finally Salten and Saltfjellet, a total distance of about 320 km. The vast majority of the population in Norway lives to the west of the 15°E longitude.

Traditional districts of Denmark

The traditional districts of Denmark differ from the country's administrative country subdivisions, as their existence and extent are usually not defined by law. Danes will often refer to their traditional districts if asked where they come from, rather than the administrative unit which have been changed several times (last in 2007).

Some of these districts are nationally known, others more locally. Some of them may vary in their delimitations, while others are based on ancient hundreds and syssels with fixed borders. Dialect, folklore and local identity will or would often vary from one traditional district to another.

The lands of Denmark were the three major parts of the country until the 17th century.

Scanian Provinces

Scania (now Swedish)

Halland (now Swedish)

Blekinge (now Swedish)

Bornholm

Øerne ('The Islands')

Zealand

Hornsherred

Odsherred

North Zealand

Stevns

Møn

Lolland-Falster or Smålandene

Lolland

Falster

Funen

South Funen Archipelago

Langeland

Tåsinge

Ærø

Jutland

South Jutland

Vestslesvig

Als

Sundeved

Tørninglen

Angel (now German)

Svans (now German)

North Frisia (now German)

East Jutland

Kronjylland

Djursland

Bjerreherred

West Jutland

Hardsyssel

Fjends

Northwest Jutland

Thy

Mors

Salling

North Jutland

Himmerland

Hanherred

Vendsyssel

Uplands, Norway

The Uplands (Old Norse: Upplǫnd, Norwegian: Opplanda), is an ancient name for the agricultural lands and forest regions to the north of Oslo in Norway. The term generally included the districts Romerike, Ringerike, Hedmarken, Toten, Hadeland and Land. To the north, these lands branched out through valleys to the districts Gudbrandsdalen, and Østerdalen, which often were counted as part of the Uplands as well. It has also been implied that the districts Hallingdal, Numedal, Valdres, and Telemark were also included.Innlandet is one of several names proposed for a future administrative region consisting of Hedmark and Oppland. The two counties are slated to be re-merged after having been split in 1781 (then called Hedemarkens amt and Kristians amt, respectively).

Viken, Norway

Viken (Old Norse: Vík or Víkin) or Vika, was the historical name for a district in southeastern Norway, including the modern day Swedish province Bohuslän, which consisted of the area surrounding the Oslofjord and Skagerrak, the strait running between Norway and the southwest coast of Sweden and the Jutland peninsula of Denmark.

Viken is also the name chosen for a future administrative region consisting of a merger of the counties of Akershus, Buskerud, and Østfold.

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