Norway: Facts and Information

Norway Fact File

Location: Norway is a country in Northern Europe. It has borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Capital: Oslo

Population: Just over 5,000,000

Area: 350,000 sq km (approx)

Currency: Norwegian Krone

Official Language: Norwegian

 

The Flag of Norway

Flag of Norway

Other Facts About Norway

  • Norway is divided from the United Kingdom by the North Sea and from Denmark by the Skagerrak Strait. It also shares maritime borders with Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
  • Many fjords (steep sided inlets) are located on Norway’s North Atlantic Ocean coastline.
  • Norway’s official name is the Kingdom of Norway.
  • The Vikings came from Norway, raiding the coastlines of Europe and settling in Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and regions of Ireland and Britain.
  • Norway was in a union with Denmark from the 14th century until 1814.
  • During the 19th century, Norway and Sweden were in a union. This came to an end when Norway separated from Sweden in 1905.
  • Norway was neutral in World War 1 and it attempted to stay neutral during World War 2 until it was attacked and occupied by Germany.
  • Norway has 25000 km of coastline.
  • Oil and fish are among Norway’s key exports.
  • Nearly all of Norway’s electricity is generated from hydroelectric power plants.
  • The main cities in Norway include: Oslo (the capital), Bergen, Trondheim and Drammen.
  • The composer Edward Grieg was Norwegian.
  • Norway is famous for its pickled herring, codfish, trout and cheeses.
  • When it’s Christmas time, Norwegians enjoy lefse (a flatbread made from potatoes and topped with butter and sugar).
  • Football is massively popular in Norway and many Norwegian players play in leagues all over the world. Many Norwegian international players, such as John Arne Riise, Henning Berg, John Carew, Steffen Iversen, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ronny Johnsen, have played for English Premier League teams.
  • Cross-country skiing is also very popular, and Norway has twice hosted the Winter Olympic Games (in 1952 and 1994).
  • Only one tenth of Norway’s houses were built before 1920.
  • The unofficial national food of Norway is the Grandiosa frozen pizza. More than 20 million of them are eaten in Norway every year.

Luxembourg: Facts and Information

Luxembourg Fact File

Location: Luxembourg is a country in Western Europe. It shares borders with France, Germany and Belgium.

Capital: Luxembourg City (also the largest city in Luxembourg)

Population: 500,000 (approx)

Area: 2586 sq km

Currency: Euro

Official Languages: French, German and Luxembourgish

 

The Flag of Luxembourg

The Luxembourg flag, with three horizontal stripes (red, white and blue), was first used in the 19th century and was officially adopted in 1972. It is almost identical to the flag of the Netherlands.

Flag of Luxembourg

Other Facts About Luxembourg

  • Luxembourg is a landlocked country – it doesn’t have any coastline.
  • It is a founding member of the European Union.
  • Luxembourg was occupied by German forces during World War 2.
  • It is one of Europe’s smallest countries.
  • Three rivers, the River Moselle, Sauer and Our, form the Luxembourg – Germany border.
  • Luxembourg is one of the Benelux countries (along with Belgium and the Netherlands).
  • People who come from Luxembourg are known as Luxembourgers or Lexembourgious (pronounced Lux-em-bourg-wah).
  • There is only one university in the country – the University of Luxembourg.
  • Luxembourg is a very modern country. Its population owns the highest percentage of mobile phones per person and it has traditionally had the highest GDP of any country in the world.
  • Radio-Television-Luxembourg (or RTL) is one of the largest TV and radio production groups in Europe.

Belgium: Facts and Information

Belgium Fact File

Location: Belgium is a country in Western Europe. It has borders with France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Capital: Brussels (also the largest city)

Population: Approximately 11 million

Area: 30528 sq km

Currency: Euro

Official Languages: Dutch, French and German.

 

The Flag of Belgium

The colours of the flag (black, yellow and red) were probably taken from the colours of the Duchy of Brabant (an old state in the Netherlands which was established in the 12th century and came to an end in the 15th century). The three vertical colour bands were probably influenced by the French flag.

Flag of Belgium

Other Facts About Belgium

  • The two largest regions of Belgium are Wallonia (French speaking) and Flanders (Dutch speaking).
  • Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are together known as the Benelux countries.
  • Belgium gained its independence (from the Netherlands) in 1831, following the Belgian Revolution.
  • Germany invaded Belgium in both World War 1 and World War 2.
  • Belgium is one of the founding members of the European Union.
  • It is a highly industrialised country and it exports machinery, chemicals, finished diamonds and metal products.
  • The famous 16th century map-maker (cartographer), who produced a world map in 1569, was born the region that is now Belgium.
  • Most of Belgium’s population live in towns and cities. Some of the largest ones are: Brussels (also the capital of Belgium), Antwerp, Bruges, Liege and Namur.
  • Belgium is famous for several different types of food and drink, including: beer, waffles, chocolate and french fries  – which many people think originated in Belgium and not France. Belgians love to eat fries with mayonnaise.
  • Several sport stars were born in Belgium, including the tennis players Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, the cyclist Eddy Merckx, and the soccer goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff.
  • The 1920 Olympic Games was held in Antwerp in Belgium.
  • The actress Audrey Hepburn was born in Belgium, as was Jean-Claude Van Damme.