Norway Environment and Culture

By | September 8, 2021


Sea and mountains are the two unifying elements of this vast territory, characterized by different ecosystems. Starting from the N, in Finnmark County, and traveling along the entire mountainous axis of the country to the southern administrative region of Telemark, we meet the tundra, devoid of trees due to the permafrost that prevents the roots from penetrating deeply into the frozen ground. Twisted dwarf polar willows and some dwarf birches live in the valleys, while in the flat areas the low and colorful herbaceous vegetation of corymbs, lichens, mosses, rusty-red rhododendrons, polar heather, blue bluebells, yellow arnica, white androsaceous prevails. The reindeer, the deer, the white fox, the snow hares and the ptarmigan inhabit these areas. Along the coasts, where an Atlantic oceanic climate prevails mitigated by the Gulf Stream, the ecosystem is that of the deciduous forest, where birch and willow trees dominate the environment up to 600 m above sea level and where deer, bears, moose, polar foxes, hares, stoats. Towards the interior and to the west of the country, the taiga appears, a coniferous forest with different types of fir (white, red, black), larch and pine, the latter above all below 300 m of altitude. Norway’s environmental policies are among the best in Europe: attention to the control of pollution phenomena, the establishment of protected areas (12.2%) to prevent the disappearance of many natural habitats (the conservation laws of the nature date back to 1910), the limitations to the mining of the subsoil, agricultural deforestation and the intensive exploitation of timber, as well as fish and marine reserves (uncontrolled fishing has greatly impoverished the North Atlantic, so much so as to require the establishment of strict quotas for fish, in agreement with other EU countries) are the nation’s priority objectives. International Whaling Commission), resolved to a minimal extent after the passionate intervention of Greenpeace, with highly restrictive rules both on the species and quantity of cetaceans, and on fishing methods. Greenpeace is also engaged in another environmental battle in Norway: that which seeks to prevent the construction for extraction purposes in the Barents Sea, an important ecomarine system, vulnerable and valuable from the point of view of biodiversity. The landscape of the West Fjords (West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord) northeast of Bergen, considered the archetype of this type of formations, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005 for its exceptional natural beauty. Visit for Norway destinations.


Until the whole century. XVIII the theater of Norway consisted of occasional performances by student groups and even more occasional tours of German and, above all, Danish companies. Danish actors who performed in their own language also occupied the capital’s first public theater, the Christiania Theater, which was built in 1827, destroyed by fire in 1835 and rebuilt two years later. The first attempt to create a theater in Norwegian was made in 1850 in Bergen by the violinist Ole Bull, who founded a Norske Theater, entrusting its artistic direction to Ibsen the following year. In 1852 a Norske Theater also opened in Cristiania (where Ibsen was active from 1857 to 1862) with actors who ten years later definitively supplanted the Danish interpreters at the more prestigious Christiania, directed from 1865 to 1867 by the playwright B. Bjørnson, whose son Bjørn became the director of the new Nationaltheater in 1899, which boasted a stable company of excellent level and which continued to present national and foreign classics in editions of good artistic level. This theater was then joined by others: Norske (1913), where it is played in landsmål language, the Nye (1929), specialized in the contemporary repertoire, and the Folke (1935), linked to workers’ societies. All these halls are located in the capital, but there are also municipal theaters in Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger, and since 1948 there has been a company, Rikstheater, subsidized to perform in smaller centers. In addition, a State Drama School was founded in Oslo in 1953. A professional ballet company has existed in Oslo since 1948. The original core, founded by Gerd Kjolaas and Louise Browne, functioned as a tour company until 1952, under the name Ny Norske Ballet. In 1953 Kjolaas and Rita Tori gave birth to the Norske Ballet which in 1958, thanks to new state funding, was able to strengthen and become the Norwegian National Ballet, flanked in 1965 by a school for the professional education of future dancers. On the whole, the influence of the modern British dance tradition prevails over the company’s activity, which has become quite large over time. The repertoire is composed of some classics of international ballet which are flanked by creations by modern authors, Norwegian and foreign. A certain ferment of activity on the side of modern art, which until recently had not produced any particularly important results in Norway, now enjoys the fruits of greater collaboration between theatrical institutions and some experimental companies, such as the Goksøyr / Martens Salong which in 2004 was the first theater company to represent Norway at the Avignon Theater Festival. In addition, the National House of Dance, the Opera Nazionale and the National Ballet will have new locations in 2008, where stages reserved for the more experimental forms of both contemporary dance and opera are planned. The Black Box Teater of Oslo, the BIT – Teatergarasjen of Bergen, the Teaterhuset Avant Garden of Trondheim together today make up the Performing Arts’ Network which organizes performances by famous national and international companies.

Norway Environment and Culture