An independent Norwegian culture becomes tangible in the Viking Age, when Harald I Fairhair founded the kingdom. The fact that the Vikings were not only bloodthirsty seafarers but also skilled carpenters is proven by their temples, royal halls and the famous Oseberg ship. Their descendants made use of their sacred art skills in building wooden stave churches. The 30 or so stave churches that have survived to this day testify to this, for example those in Heddal and Urnes. The rural »rose painting«, which is still cultivated today, has been documented since the 15th century. Century rich wood carvings on farmhouses.
The further development of Norwegian culture was long hindered by the centuries of Danish sovereignty (1380–1814). One consequence of the foreign rule was the development of different languages, the dialect-based Nynorsk (national language) and the Danish-based Bokmål (written language). Efforts to create a common language from them have so far failed (Norwegian language).
Parallel to the development of a Norwegian national consciousness, an independent Norwegian literature emerged in the 19th century. With his socially critical dramas (» Nora or Ein Puppenheim «, 1879), H. Ibsen was groundbreaking for European theater. K. Hamsun (” Blessing of the Earth “, 1917, Nobel Prize 1920), S. Undset (Nobel Prize 1928) and T. Gulbranssen, who were controversial in their homeland because of his role in the Nazi era, also achieved world fame. Recently, the youth book author J. Gaarder ” Sofies Welt “, 1991) and the scandalous author KO Knausgård have become internationally known , with the much discussed autobiographical novel project »Min Kamp« (2009–11). The fact that the Norwegians are not only a (much) reading, but also a writing people is proven by the large number of crime authors, of whom J. Nesbø is one of the best known.
Norwegian art that was also recognized internationally only emerged with the modern age. In the metropolis of Oslo, where the Nobel Prize is awarded for the preservation of peace, modern architecture and art as well as historical places meet. E. Munch with his pictures “The Scream” (1893) or “Girls on the Bridge” (before 1903) was one of the pioneers of Expressionism.
The late romantic E. Grieg is considered to be the creator of Norwegian national music . He combined elements of folk music with modern composition techniques (“Peer Gynt Suites”, 1874/75). The figurehead of Norwegian jazz is J. Garbarek . Today there is a diverse pop, rock and country music scene, many festivals and a popular folk music movement that also plays the traditional Hardanger fiddle (Norwegian music).
In Norway, which is considered the cradle of modern skiing, winter sports are popular, as are football and handball.
World Heritage Sites in Norway
World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)
- Urnes Stave Church (K; 1979)
- Bryggen harbor district (Tyskebryggen) in Bergen (K; 1979)
- Town and mines of Røros (K; 1980)
- Rock paintings Hjemmeluft near Alta (K; 1985)
- Islands of the Vega Archipelago (K; 2004)
- Measuring points of the Struve arch (K; 2005)
- Western Norwegian fjords Geirangerfjord and Næerøyfjord (N; 2005)
Western Norwegian Fjords (World Heritage)
The two fjords on the country’s furrowed west coast fascinate with their breathtaking landscape with steep cliffs, waterfalls – such as “The Seven Sisters” -, glacial lakes and forests. The fjords were formed by the huge glaciers of the last ice age. Check shoe-wiki to see Norway Travel Guide.
Western Norwegian Fjords: Facts
|Official title:||Western Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Næerøyfjord|
|Natural monument:||Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, 120 km apart fjords in western Norway; Examples of some of the longest and deepest fjords in the world; narrow and steep rock walls, up to 1,400 m high and up to 500 m below sea level; Nærøyfjord is 250 m wide and is the narrowest fjord in the world at its narrowest point; Waterfalls, glacial lakes and forests along the rugged cliffs|
|Location:||Geiranger and Aurland, Western Norway|
|Meaning:||Unique fjord landscape in outstanding natural beauty|
Vega Archipelago (World Heritage)
Not far from the Arctic Circle is the Vega Archipelago, a cultural area that has been inhabited for more than 1500 years. It includes a few dozen islands with fishing villages, farms and lighthouses. The islands testify to a hard life in inhospitable nature, characterized by fishing and the breeding of eider ducks, whose down is used.
Vega archipelago: facts
|Official title:||Vega Archipelago|
|Cultural monument:||Group of numerous islands around the main island of Vega; Total area of 1,037 km², of which 69 km² land area; Traces of human settlement back to the Stone Age; Fishing villages, duck farms, warehouses, quays, lighthouses and natural areas characterized by agricultural use from the last 1,500 years, as well as the so-called “Eider houses” (hatcheries for eider ducks to extract their down)|
|Location:||Vega Archipelago on the coast of Norway, below the Arctic Circle|
|Meaning:||Extraordinary evidence of over 1500 years of fishing and agricultural history|