• Slovakia!

    Slovakia: Tatra Mountains. Go Now!

    Slovakia
    The Tatra Mountains (pictured) form the backdrop of this rural country, whose culture is rooted in this beautiful landscape. Go Now!

  • Bulgaria!

    Bulgaria: An old Turkish bridge. Go Now!

    Bulgaria
    The isolated mountains of Bulgaria hide cultural gems around every corner, including this old Turkish bridge in the Rhodopi Mountains. Explore Bulgaria!

  • Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Portugal!

    Portugal: Palace of Pena. Go Now!

    Portugal
    Although next to the seas and made famous by trade, Portugal boasts dynamic landscapes and architecture, including the Palace of Pena (pictured) near the town of Sintra. Go to Portugal!

  • Denmark!

    Denmark: Landscape. Go Now!

    Denmark
    From cities like Copenhagen to islands, beaches, and vast fields (pictured), Denmark offers incredible history, architecture, scenery, and more. Begin Your Journey!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

NorwayThe origin of the name "Norway" is not entirely known, but most people believe the name means "Way North" or "Northern Way." In the Old Norse language this is directly translated as "nor veg," which seems to indicate the name's origin, although no one knows with absolute certainty. The country's name is "Kongeriket Norge" in Bokmal Norwegian and "Kongeriket Noreg" in Nynorsk Norwegian.

Kongeriket Norge / Kongeriket Noreg

Introduction:

Norway was created by the earth, the glaciers, and the animals; today the people have not strayed too far from their historic roots, which forever ties them to the land. Even today it is the landscape and pure beauty of the country that pulls people to this northern location.

Despite the incredible natural beauty, the mountains, glaciers, and fjords also created havoc for the early settlers as farmlands were sparse, transportation was difficult, and the long cold winters meant farming was essentially impossible for most of the year. The people survived on the few plants and animals that somehow managed to make the region home just as the people did.

The people that thrived in this environment developed a very strong sense of adventure as they had to be tough to survive the weather and conditions. They also created an impressive communication network via the fjords, rivers, and oceans, which was much easier than trying to traverse the mountains. This sense of adventure, knowledge of the seas, and ability to withstand great difficulties led to the Viking Age in the late 700s.

The Vikings rose to fame due to their knowledge of the seas, their ability to trade, and their willingness to expand their boundaries, but their far superior boat technology also led to pillaging, which seemed to be a much easier way to earn a living. Despite the pillaging, the Vikings also displayed an incredible sense of right versus wrong and social justice, remnants of which can still be seen today. They were one of the first people in the world to have a Parliament and representation for the people as they allowed many rights to the people and they encouraged economic growth.

As the Viking Age slowly died, Christianity and foreign rulers arrived to Norway. Both made a lasting impact on the people. Christianity is still the most populous religion in Norway and this foreign dominance helped create a more distinct Norwegian culture while making the people more worldly as Bergen became a center of trade in northern Europe.

Despite the struggles of living under foreign rulers, Norway was allowed to essentially develop in its own way. With independence in 1905 the people continued on this path as the country became quite unique from a cultural perspective, yet became more reliant on the world around them to move forward. The Norwegians have led the world in numerous realms from environmental protection and legal rights for minorities to their development of winter sports.

Today Norway remains about the people and their lands. Their major sites are fjords, glaciers, and mountains, not architectural achievements, museums, or theme parks... although Norway offers all of those as well.

Welcome to the land of the midnight sun!

Articles

 

Norwegian History
Edited By Safari the Globe

The first people to make their way to Norway likely arrived in about 12,000 BC after the glaciers in the region began to recede. These glaciers also helped carve out the landscape of Norway and these early settlers faced huge physical obstacles in settlement due to the mountains, but found the coastline ideal for fishing and hunting.

As the glaciers continued to recede, the people continued to expand further north... Continue Reading

Norway's flag follows the same shape and rough design as that of Denmark, after which it is likely modeled. The colors are also representative of Denmark as well as of Norway's past. The red and white reflect their past union with Denmark and the blue represents Norway's past union with Sweden.

Name: Kingdom of Norway
Independence: June 7, 1905
Capital: Oslo
Currency: Norwegian Krone
Population: 4,722,701 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Norwegian & Sami
Language: Bokmal Norwegian & Nynorsk Norwegian
Religion: Church of Norway (Lutheran)

Information for Norway was last updated: October, 2013 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks