Norway is the westernmost, northernmost — and in fact the easternmost — of the three Scandinavian countries.
Best known for the complex and deep fjords along its west coast, it stretches from the North Sea near Denmark and Scotland into the Arctic Ocean where it borders northern Finland and the northwestern tip of Russia.
The petty viking kingdoms of Norway was unified in 872 AD by Harald Hairfair. In the following period, Norwegians settled in many places, such as Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and parts of Scotland and Ireland. In the beginning of the 14th century, Norway and Sweden were unified as the Norwegian king was also elected king of Sweden. At the end of the century, the two countries and Denmark were unified in the so-called Kalmar Union.
Sweden broke out of the union in 1521. Norway remained in union with Denmark until 1814. Only few months after the declaration of independence, Norway entered into union with Sweden, though it must be noted that this union with Sweden allowed Norway to keep a great deal of independence.
The union with Sweden lasted until 1905, which is considered the beginning of modern Norway. From 1940 until 1945, Norway was occupied by Nazi forces.
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