20 Interesting Facts about Norway

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20 Interesting Facts about Norway

This Scandinavian country has the right to be considered one of the best countries in the world. For many years in a row, it has been the leader in the human development index. It means that Norway has a high standard of life expectancy, education of the population and general standard of living. These 20 Interesting Facts about Norway might surprise you!

 Norway is famous all over the world for its unique northern nature, a rich history of conquest, a progressive society and leadership in world rankings. Despite the harsh climate, it is very beautiful and popular among tourists.

Where else can you find out something interesting about this Scandinavian country? In this collection of 20 facts about Norway!

Norway is still officially a constitutional monarchy and is ruled by King Harald V. Interestingly, before that, kings named Harald were in Norway for the last time in the 12th century. His wife, Queen Sonja Haraldsen, is also known throughout the world.

20 Interesting Facts about Norway
Bobel Peace Medal. Photo: Wikipedia

The Norwegian capital (Oslo) has been the venue for the Nobel Peace Prize almost every year since 1901. The other prizes are awarded in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

This country owns the most remote island in the world, Bouvet Island. This volcanic island, which is 93% covered by glaciers, is completely uninhabited. It became part of Norway in 1929, and since then the authorities of the country have preserved it as a protected area. Its area is only 49 square kilometers.

There is 43 kilometers long land border between Norway and Russia, and there is only one checkpoint. It is located in the settlement of Storskog on the E105 highway, and is the northernmost European road border crossing in Europe.

Ancient and modern skiing was invented in Norway. Norwegian Sondre Norheim is considered the father of modern skiing. At the end of the 19th century, he began using ski bindings and developed skiing techniques. However, the very creation of skiing goes deep into Norwegian history. The oldest skis were used in Norway as early as 4,000 years ago. Also, the “ski” words “slalom” and “ski” come from the Norwegian language.

Not surprisingly, Norway is the leader in the medal standings at the Winter Olympics. Throughout 2018, it managed to earn the most medals in winter sports. A total of 368 medals, including 132 gold medals. Its closest rival is the U.S. with 305 medals and 105 gold.

20 Interesting Facts about Norway
Largest nuber of wild reindeer. Photo: Wikipedia

The largest number of wild reindeer live in Norway – on the largest mountain plateau in Europe – Hardangervidda. The plateau is also the country’s national park and home to 7,000 reindeer. In total, there are about 25 thousand reindeer in Norway, freely walking on the plains.

Norway has two official languages – Nynorsk and Bokmål. Nynorsk is modern Norwegian, and Bokmål is book speech. And in its native, Norwegian, the country’s name sounds differently – in Bokmål Norge, and in Nynorsk Noreg.

About 98% of Norway’s energy consumption is produced by hydroelectric power plants. In the list of countries that produce domestic energy from renewable sources, Norway ranks 9th. However, the state actually produces more energy than all eight countries above it in the ranking combined. The country’s government has tightened energy efficiency standards for buildings and is agitating residents to use wood for heat.

20 Interesting Facts about Norway
Hornindalsvatnet, the deepest lake in Europe. Photo: Visit Nordfjord

Norway has the deepest lake in Europe, Hornindalsvatnet. It is 514 meters deep, although its area is small – only 51 square meters.

Dads in Norway can also take care of their newborn children. About 90 percent of fathers take a 12-week maternity leave, called pappapermisjon.

20 Interesting Facts about Norway
Bastøy, the m,ost comfortable prison in the world. Photo: Wikipedia

The Norwegian prison, located on the island of Bastøy, is the most comfortable prison in the world. The criminals here are quite serious – rapists, murderers and drug dealers – but they live in excellent conditions in wooden houses. At the same time, they walk in the woods and meadows, swim in the sea and work with domestic animals. It’s like a paradise!

In Norway, there is the Lærdal Tunnel, which is the longest vehicular tunnel in the world. it stretches for 24.5 kilometers and is divided into three artificial caves for resting drivers.

This northern country is home to the highest waterfall in Europe, Vinnufossen. Its height of 860 meters makes it sixth in the world ranking.

Norway has the largest glacier in continental EuropeJostedal Glacier. Its area is 487 square kilometers, and there is a national park of the same name.

20 Interesting Facts about Norway
Wine monopoly Norway. Photo Ellen Jarli/Vinmonopolet

Alcohol policy in Norway is quite strict, alcohol is sold only in stores Vinmonopolet. In each city there are only two stores, in the countryside there are none at all. At the same stores on weekdays are open only until six in the evening, and on Saturday – until three.

One of the most prosperous countries in the world is not a member of the European Union. Yes, Norway has repeatedly considered joining the EU, but it never happened.

Akvavit, which translates to “living water,” is the national Norwegian drink with a strength of over 35%. It is made from alcohol that is distilled through potatoes with the addition of caraway seeds, dill and other herbs.

20 Interesting Facts about Norway
Christmas tree Trafalgar Square in London. Photo: London gov.

The Christmas tree installed in Trafalgar Square in London is a gift from Norway. Every year since 1947, the country has sent a Christmas tree as a thank-you for Britain’s support in World War II.

Norway is an amazing country that combines harsh and beautiful nature with a high standard of living. The country was the birthplace of the Vikings and was the birthplace of the legendary conquerors!

20 Interesting Facts about Norway
Jean Hartley

20 Interesting Facts about Norway, written by Jean Hartley. Jean is a qualified essay writer and English tutor. Her favorite subject at school was geography and literature. Therefore, Jean is very fond of writing about different countries and their customs.

Feature image (on top): Alexander Ludwig in the HBO Nordic TV series “The Vikings”

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