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Tourism

 
 
Nature attractions
There are mountains plunging into the sea from hundreds of metres, fjords, tall mountain peaks, northern lights and midnight sun.
 
The mountainous regions abound with broad plateaus and magnificent peaks. The fjords that were formed when the glaciers receded are unique in the world.

Vast forested areas are found in Eastern Norway and in Trøndelag, whereas long beaches stretch along the southern and northernmost coasts.

Norway is a country of endless rivers and powerful waterfalls which have contributed to making the country known abroad.

Twenty-one national parks provide nature lovers the opportunity to enjoy untouched nature. Norway's glaciers stretch out their white caps across mountain tops, especially towards the west and northern areas of the country.

For the lover of animal wildlife, there are of course different ENGINEs of photo safaris, including moose safaris, musk ox, whale, beaver, and eagle safaris. As to Norway's rich birdlife this makes the country a good place for birdwatching.


 
 
Historical milestones 
 
Travel back in time and learn about Norway’s rich heritage, including Vikings and the Sami.
 
9000 BC - 8000 BC   Earliest signs of human settlement.
     
8000 BC - 4000 BC   Old Stone Age, hunters and fishermen, rock carvings.
     
4000 BC - 1500 BC   New Stone Age, early agriculture, livestock.
     
1500 BC - 500 BC   Bronze Age, agricultural tools, jewellery, glass, weapons.
     
500 BC -   800 AD   Iron Age, iron ploughs and scythes.
     
800 AD - 1050 AD   Viking Age, longships, trade and conquest, runic inscriptions, voyages of discovery, Leif Eiriksson discovers America and Vikings.
     
900 AD   Norway united into one kingdom.
     
1030   Christianity adopted in Norway.
     
1130   Start of High Middle Ages, population growth, and consolidation of power both of church and crown.
     
1100 –   1200   Monarchy controls the church, slavery abolished.
     
1350   The Black Death reduces the population by almost two-thirds.
     
1380 –   1536   Union with Denmark through royal intermarriage.
     
1536   Norway ceases to be an independent kingdom.
     
1814   The Norwegian Constitution adopted, based on the American Declaration of Independence.
     
1814 –   1905   Union with Sweden.
     
1905   End of the union. Haakon VII crowned king of Norway.
     
1913   Universal suffrage for women introduced.
     
1914   Norway, Sweden and Denmark agree to remain neutral during World War I.
     
1920   Norway joins the League of Nations.
     
1929   Norway suffers considerably as a result of the world economic depression.
     
1939   Norway declares its neutrality at the outbreak of World War II.
     
1940   German forces invade Norway on 9 April. A government-in-exile is set up in London. Vidkun Quisling proclaims himself head of government in Norway.
     
1945   German forces in Norway surrender on 8 May. Quisling is tried and executed for treason. Norway becomes a charter member of the United Nations.
     
1949   Norway joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
     
1957   Death of Haakon VII - Olav V crowned king.
     
1959   Norway becomes founder member of the European Free Trade Association (Efta).
     
Late 1960s   Oil and gas deposits discovered in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
     
1970s   Explotation of oil and gas deposits begins. By the early 1980s they constitute nearly one-third of Norway's annual export earnings.
     
1972   In a referendum, Norwegians reject the Labour government's recommendation on European Economic Community (EEC) membership.
The government resigns.
     
1973   Norway signs a free trade agreement with the EEC.
     
1981   Gro Harlem Brundtland becomes Norway's first female Prime Minister.
     
1986   The International Whaling Commission imposes a temporary ban on whaling. Norway registers objections.
     
1991   Death of Olav V - Harald V becomes king.
     
1993   Norway brokers peace negotions between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which lead to the Oslo accords. Norway resumes commercial whaling depite international moratorium.
     
1994   Winter Olympics at Lillehammer.
     
1994   Norwegians again reject membership of the European union (EU) in a referendum.
     
1995   Norway becomes the second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.
     
2000   Norway begins mediation between the government of Sri Lanka and Tamil seperatists. The government of Kjell Magne Bondevik resigns over questions on how Norway should generate its power. He is succeeded by Labour leader Jens Stoltenberg.
     
2001   The Conservatives, Christian People's Party and Liberals agree to form a coalition government with Kjell Magne Bondevik as prime minister.
     
2005   Prime Minister Bondevik loses general election to the centre-left alliance led by Labour leader Jens Stoltenberg.
 
Stave churches
 
 
Norway is the only country in Northern Europe with wooden churches from the Middle Ages still intact.

During the Middle Ages, when immense cathedrals were being built in stone in other places in Europe, a similar technique was developed in Norway for building in wood.  Boat construction and home building in the Viking times had developed the technique and tradition of combining art with wood working. This culminated in the stave churches.

The stave churches are a particularly valuable part of the Norwegian architectural heritage, and are considered to be of national and global importance.

UNESCO

Norway's oldest wooden church is Urnes Stave Church in Luster beside the Sognefjord. It is also the only stave church to make the prestigious UNESCO's World Heritage List. 

Built in 1150, it was once a private church for a powerful high-born family. Its builders were aware of international trends in architecture, and transferred these trends from stone to wood. The interior of the church is exceptionally richly decorated with motifs from real life such as elk and doves, but also imaginary centaurs and dragons. This decoration has become known as the Urnes style.

Popular churches

The largest stave church in Norway is Heddal. It is not only a medieval architectural masterpiece, but also a living church for today's congregation in Notodden in Telemark. On the wall in the exterior passage, you can see runes inscribed, telling that the church was dedicated to the holy Virgin Mary.

Inside the church you can see a beautifully carved wooden chair from around 1200. The wall-painting that you see today is dated 1668. Underneath, on the west wall, there are remains of the original painting from about 1300.

However, the most visited and most photographed stave church in Norway is Borgund in Lærdal beside the Sognefjord. It is also one of the best preserved stave churches. Several runic inscriptions have been found on the church walls.

Intricate decorations

There are several ENGINEs of stave churches but the common element to all of them is that they have corner-posts (“staves”) and a skeleton or framework of timber with wall planks standing on sills. These walls are known as stave walls, hence the name stave church.

The decoration of stave churches feature an intriguing combination of Christian designs intermixed with what is often assumed to be pre-Christian Viking motifs, such as the interwoven dragon motifs. The wooden doors and finials are beutifully carved.

Travel facts

Within the limit of NOK 6,000 you are allowed to bring with you the following articles free of customs and excise duty:

Alcoholic beverages

(minimum age 18/20*)
a) 1 litre of beverages with more than 22 % up to and including 60 % alcohol per volume as well as 1½ litre with more than 2.5 % up to and including 22 % alcohol per volume or 3 litres with more than 2.5 % up to and including 22 % alcohol per volume
and
b) 2 litres of beer with more than 2.5 % or other beverages with more than 2.5 % up to and including 4.7 % alcohol per volume.

This means that you may for example bring with you 5 litres of beer provided you do not have with you any other alcoholic beverages.

*For importing alcoholic beverages with more than 22 % alcohol per volume the minimum age is 20.

Tobacco

(minimum age 18)
200 cigarettes or 250 g of other tobacco products and 200 leaves of cigarette paper.

Meat, meat products, milk and milk products
Meat, meat products, cheese and foodstuffs except dog and cat food, totalling 10 kg altogether from EEA countries. From countries outside the EEA, it is prohibited to bring meat, meat products, milk and milk products with one in one’s luggage. Such products must be imported through a veterinary border control station, and the goods must be accompanied by a health certificate.

Animals

Special provisions govern the importation of animals. Dogs, cats and ferrets from all EU countries except Sweden must have pet passports, ID marking, valid rabies vaccination, and valid blood-test documentation (does not apply to ferrets).  Dogs and cats must also be given approved tapeworm treatment during the week before and the week after importation.

Smalll rodents, cage birds and rabbits must have valid import permits issued by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

For more information, please visit the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. 

Currency

When entering Norway you are allowed to bring with you Norwegian and foreign bank notes and coins at a total value of NOK 25,000. If the currency you are carrying exceeds this amount it has to be declared on a form available from the customs authorities. There is no limit on travellers’ cheques.

It is prohibited without special permission to import the following

• Drugs, medicines and poisons (minor quantities of medicine for personal use are permitted) 
• Alcohol over 60 % per vol.
• Weapons and ammunition
• Fireworks
• Potatoes
• Mammals, birds and exotic animals
• Plants/parts thereof for cultivation

For further information about customs regulations when entering Norway, please visit the Norwegian Customs and Excise.

Map of Norway

 
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NordicHouse in Krakow is a consulting company, which was created with the purpose of initiating and developing the interregional cooperation between the Nordic countries and the Southern Poland through promotion of contacts for business, tourism and culture.
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