Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rogaland County, Norway

From wikipedia:

Rogaland is a county in Norway, bordering Hordaland, Telemark, Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder. It is the center of the Norwegian petroleum-industry, and as a result of this, Rogaland has the lowest unemployment rate of any county in Norway, 1.1%.

Etymology

Rogaland is the Old Norse name of the region - revived in modern times. (Until 1919 the name of the county was Stavanger amt.) The first element is the plural genitive case of rygir, the name of an old Germanic tribe (see Rugians). The last element is land n 'land, region'.

Coat-of-arms

The coat-of-arms is from modern times (1974). It shows the old stone cross in Sola, erected in memory of Erling Skjalgsson after his death in 1028.

Geography

Rogaland is mainly a coastal region with fjords, beaches, and islands, the principal island being Karmøy. Boknafjorden is the largest bay, with many fjords branching off from it. The third largest urban area of Norway is located in Rogaland. Stavanger, along with Sandnes, Randaberg and Sola, is ranked above Trondheim Cities/towns: Stavanger, Sandnes, Haugesund, Egersund, Sauda, Bryne, Kopervik and Skudenshavn. Karmøy has large deposits of copper (some of which was used in the construction of the Statue of Liberty). Rogaland is the most important region for oil and gas exploration in Norway, and is one of the country's most important agricultural districts.

History

In the district are remains from the earliest times, such as the excavations in a cave at Viste in Randaberg (Svarthola). These include the find of a skeleton of a boy from the Stone Age. Various archeological findings stem from the following times, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Many crosses in Irish style have been found. Rogaland was called Rygjafylke in the Viking Age. Before Harald Fairhair and the Battle of Hafrsfjord, it was a petty kingdom. The Rugians were a tribe possibly connected with Rogaland.

Administrative divisions

The county is conventionally divided into traditional districts. These are Haugalandet north of Boknafjorden, Ryfylke in the mountainous east, and Jæren to the southwest and Dalane in the far south.

Location of Rogaland Municipalities

Rogaland has a total of 26 municipalities:

  1. Bjerkreim
  2. Bokn
  3. Eigersund
  4. Finnøy
  5. Forsand
  6. Gjesdal
  7. Haugesund
  8. Hjelmeland
  9. Karmøy
  10. Klepp
  11. Kvitsøy
  12. Lund
  1. Randaberg
  2. Rennesøy
  3. Sandnes
  4. Sauda
  5. Sokndal
  6. Sola
  7. Stavanger
  8. Strand
  9. Suldal
  10. Time
  11. Tysvær
  12. Utsira
  13. Vindafjord

Culture

A series of festivals and congresses of international fame and profile are arranged, such as The Chamber Music Festival, The Maijazz Festival, The Gladmat (lit. food with a happy smile) Festival, and The ONS event, which has been held in Stavanger every second year since 1974. The ONS is a major international conference and exhibition with focus on oil and gas, and other topics from the petroleum industry. The Concert Hall and Music Complex at Bjergsted and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra provide important inspiration in the Norwegian musical environment. Another annual event in Stavanger is The World Tour Beach Volleyball. During this tournament, the downtown is converted into a beach volleyball arena.

Tourism

Rogaland is home to many natural wonders, like Prekestolen, Kjerag and Gloppedalsura. In Stavanger, there is an archeological museum with many artifacts from early history in Rogaland. An Iron Age farm at Ullandhaug in Stavanger is reconstructed on the original farm site dating back to 350-500 AD. The Viking Farm is a museum located at Karmøy.

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