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Saturday 25th October
Norway Facts
Galdhopiggen (2,469 m) is Norway's highest mountain.

Mjosa is the largest lake in the Kingdom of Norway.

The Sognafjorden (Sogne Fjord) is Norway's longest and deepest fjord.

The Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier in Northern Europe.

The first Norwegian colonists settled in Iceland at the end of the ninth century.

Harald the Fairhaired gathered Norway into one kingdom in 900.

Before Norway converted to Christianity, in 995, pagan gods such as Odin and his son Thor were worshipped.

King Olav Tryggvason founded the city of Trondheim in 997.

In 1030 King Olav Haraldsson was killed at the Battle of Stiklestad. Later he was canonised becoming St. Olav, the patron Saint of Norway.

Olav Haraldsson's body was taken to Trondheim where a cathedral was built over his grave. Trondheim became an important place of pilgrimage.

King Canute was the King of England (1016-1035), Denmark (1018-1035) and Norway (1028-1035).

In 1066, three days before William of Normandy (the Conqueror) invaded England, the Norwegian king, Harald Hardruler, was killed in the Battle of Stamford Bridge against King Harold of England.

In the middle of the fourteenth century the Plague (Black Death) swept through Norway killing over a third of the population.

In 1469 the King of Denmark and Norway gave Shetland to Scotland when his daughter married Scotland's King James III.

In 1825 the first emigrants left Stavanger in Norway for New York. Hundreds of thousands of Norwegians migrated to the USA in the following years.

Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) and three fellow Norwegians arrived at the South Pole a month before the ill-fated British expedition led by Robert Scott.

Thor Heyerdahl made the famous Kon-Tiki Expedition in 1947. Heyerdahl, thinking that people might have migrated from South America to Polynesia built the famous raft Kon-Tiki and sailed from Peru across the Pacific to prove such a voyage was possible.

Thor Heyerdahl became interested in similarities between the petroglyphs of reed boats in Gobustan near Baku, Azerbaijan, and petroglyphs in Alta, Norway.

In 2004 members of the Tangaroa Expedition planned the construction of a balsa wood raft to cross the Pacific Ocean in the wake of Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition. Tangaroa successfully arrived at the harbour of Papeete, Tahiti, on 30 July 2006.

During the Second World War thousands of Norwegians joined the Norwegian Resistance Movement. Many Norwegians joined the Allied Armies and the Norwegian merchant fleet provided assistance to the Allies fight against Germany.

For over fifty years the City of Oslo has sent a Christmas tree to the UK which stands in Trafalgar Square in London. The tree commemorates the protection given by Britain to members of Norway's royal family during the Second World War.

Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, founded the Nobel Peace Prize. Nobel decided that the annual Peace Prize should be awarded by a Committee in Norway.

Norway is a member of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Other members are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and the European Commission.

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