Thursday, 6 September 2007

Norway - Land of the Midnight Sun

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government.
The monarchy holds a strong position i Norway, and the present monarch, King Harald V, enjoys great popularity.

The Norwegian parliament Stortinget, Oslo.

The 165-member Parliament (Stortinget) is elected under a system of proportional representation by universal adult suffrage for a four-year term.

Location of Norway (orange) on the European continent (white)

History of Norway

Archaeological finds indicate that there were people in Norway as early as the 10th millennium BC (12,000 years ago). Archaeological research shows that they came from either southern regions (northern Germany), or from the north-east (northern Finland or Russia). From there they settled along the coastline.

Photo taken by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen (uspn@wikipedia) in August 2004 in Alta, Norway.

In the 9th century it seems that Norway consisted of a number of petty kingdoms. According to tradition, Harald Fairhair gathered the small kingdoms into one in 872AD with the Battle of Hafrsfjord. He became the first king of a united Norway.

The Arctic Cathedral with surroundings in Tromsø illuminated by the midnight sun.

Northern Norway is known to tourists as the "Land of the Midnight Sun"
North of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set between the middle of May and end of July; conversely the sun does not rise between the middle of November and the end of January.

Satellite image of continental Norway in winter

A main indoor activity in Norway is reading. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Norwegians read more than any other population in the world, spending an average of 500 kroner a year per capita on books.

Norway's population of 4.6 million is growing by 0.363% per year. Most Norwegians are ethnic Norwegians, a Nordic/North Germanic people.

Scouts holding Norwegian flags lead a parade on the 17 May, Norway's Constitution Day


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