Information about Norway

Two centuries of Viking raids into Europe tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav TRYGGVASON in 994.

Conversion of the Norwegian kingdom occurred over the next several decades.

In 1397, 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 Nazi Germany (1940-45). In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a 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.

Above picture: The Gogstad Ship, excavated in 1880, dates to the late 9th century; it is housed in the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. Constructed largely of oak, the vessel is 24 m long and 5 m wide and was built to carry 32 oarsmen.

Above picture:The Royal Palace (Slottet) in Oslo, constructed between 1825 and 1849.

Above picture: The Parliament Building (Stortinget) in Oslo, constructed between 1861 and 1866.

Above picture: Akershus Fortress is is a medieval castle built to protect the city of Oslo; construction dates back to the late 1290s.

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