Flag of Norway
Kingdom of Norway


National anthem of Norway

Ja, vi elsker dette landet

"Ja, vi elsker dette landet"  (or: "Ja, vi elsker") (In English: "Yes, we love this country") is the national anthem of Norway. The lyrics were written by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson between 1859 and 1868, and the melody was written by his cousin Rikard Nordraak in 1864. It was first performed publicly on 17 May 1864 in connection with the 50th anniversary of the constitution. Usually only the first and the last two verses are sung.
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Map of Norway

Map of Norway

Basic information on 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. The current focus is on containing spending on the extensive welfare system and planning for the time when petroleum reserves are depleted. In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU.
Location Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden
Population 4,627,926 (July 2007 est.)
Nationality noun: Norwegian(s) adjective: Norwegian
Flag description red with a blue cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)