NORWAY (Norweg. Norge), the western portion of the Scandinavian peninsula, which, with Sweden, forms one joint kingdom, is situated between 57' 58' and 71° 10' u. lat., and 5° and 28° e. long. It is bounded to the e. by Sweden and Russia, and on every other side is surrounded by water, having the Skagerrak to the s., the Ger man ocean to the and the Arctic sea to the n. Its length is about 1,100 in., and its greatest width about 250 m.; but between the lats. of 67° and 68°, it measures little more than 25 m. in breadth. The following table shows the areas and populations of the 20 aemter into which Norway is divided, as given in the last census of Jan., 1876: Of this total, only-332,938 live in towns. At the preceding census on Dec. 31, 1865, the population was 1,701,756.
The Scandinavian peninsula consists of more or less connected mountain masses, which, in the s. and w. parts of Norway, constitute one continuous tract of rocky high lands, with steep declivities dipping into the sea, and only here and there broken by narrow strips of arable land. South of Trondhjem (63° n. lat.), the ridge expands over nearly the entire breadth of Norway. The n. portions of the range, known as the Iijtfilen Fjelle,* occupy a space of about 25 m. in width and form, as far n. as 69°, the boundary-line between Sweden and Norway. South of 63° n. lat. the range of the Scandinavian mountains is known as the Norska, or Dovre Fjelle, although the latter name belongs properly only to the part immediately in contact with the Kj011en. The general elevation of the Norska Fjelle does not rise above the line of perpetual snow, whose average height'in these latitudes is 5,000 ft.; but it ranges above that of the growth of trees, which may be stated to lie 1000 ft. lower. Only two carriage-roads tra verse the Norska Fjelle, the one connecting Christiania with Bergen, and the other with Trondhjem. The Justedal glacier, in Bergen amt, is the largest on the continent of Europe, and covers an area of 588 sq. miles. The whole of the w. coast of Norway is densely fringed with islands and isulated rocky masses, which, n. of 68°, in the Lofoden (q.v.) group, assume larger dimensionS, and form extensive insular districts. The more important are Hindi; (357 sq.m., 8,190 inhabitants), on the borders of Nordland and Tromso; Lango (147 sq.m., 5,812 inhabitant* Karmo (only 21 sq.m., although the pop. is 11,827); sad Senjen (273 sq.m., with 3,339 inhabitants). To the s. of the
Anden group, near the little islands, Mosken and Varo, occurs that eddying whirl of counter-currents known to us as the Maelstrom; but with this and a few other similar exceptions, no serious obstacles impede navigation along the numerous channels of the coasts. The most important of the rivers are the Glommen (350 m. long, with a basin of 6,657 sq.m.), the Drams-elv, of less than half the length and basin, Tana, vikel, Skiens, Laagen, and Vorinen. These and numerous other streams are of more importance for floating down timber to the fjords than for navigation. The fjords or inlets form a characteristic feature of Norwegian scenery, and give a coast-line of upwards of 800 miles.
The most considerable of the lakes of Norway is the 3fjosen, near Christiania; but even this lake, which in some places is more than 1400 ft. deep, is scarcely 60 m. long, and has an area of leg than 200 sq.miles. Swamps and morasses, which occupy a large area, have of late years engaged the attention of the government, which is endeavoring to drain and utilize them for agricultural purposes, and with a view of converting them into fields of turf and peat for fuel.
Climate, Soil, peculiar physical character of Norway necessarily gives rise to great varieties of cliMate in different parts of the country. The influence of the sea and of the gulf stream, and the penetration into the interior of deep inlets, greatly modify .the severity of the climate, more especially on the w. coast. Thus. while the mean annual temperature is for Christiania, on the e. coast, 41°, it is 46°.8 Fahr. for Bergen on the w, coast, which is obly 30' further north. On the coast generally, rain and fogs prevail; while in the regions near the North cape, storms are almost incessant. In the interior, the air is clear and dry, end the winters are cold and the summers hot, while on the coasts the opposite conditions prevail. The longest day, which in the s. is 18 hours, may be said to be nearly three months in the high latitudes of the n. districts, where the longest night lasts almost an equal length of time. The protracted winter of the n. regions follows almost suddenly on the disappearance of the sun, when the absence of solar lights is compensated for by the frequent appearance Of the aurora borealis, which shines with sufficient intensity to allow the prosecution of ordi nary occupations.