Molde

Welcome to Norway    Norwegian flagg

On this page you will find some information that might be helpful if you consider a posting to Molde. For more information about Norway you can go to : www.visitnorway.com

General information

Norway is a constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe that occupies the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It shares a border to the east with Sweden; its northernmost region is bordered by Finland to the south and Russia to the east. The United Kingdom lie to its west across the North Sea, and Denmark is located south of its southern tip. Norway's extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea, is home to its famous fjords.

The members of the Royal Family

Since World War II Norway has experienced rapid economic growth, and is now amongst the wealthiest countries in the world. Norway is the world's fourth largest oil exporter and the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of GDP.

Norway has rich resources of gas fields, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Norway was the second largest exporter of seafood (in value, after China) in 2006. Other main industries include food processing, shipbuilding, metals, chemicals, mining, fishing and pulp and paper products. Norway has a Scandinavian welfare model and the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation.

Norway was ranked highest of all countries in human development from 2001 to 2008. It was also rated the most peaceful country in the world in a 2007 survey by Global Peace Index.

Norway has two written norms, bokmål and nynorsk.

At 385,252 km2 (including Svalbard and Jan Mayen), Norway is slightly larger than Germany, but much of the country is dominated by mountainous or high terrain, with a great variety of natural features caused by prehistoric glaciers and varied topography. The most noticeable of these are the fjords: deep grooves cut into the land flooded by the sea following the end of the Ice Age. Norway also contains many glaciers and waterfalls.

Due to the Gulf Stream Norway experiences warmer temperatures than expected at such northern latitudes. The mainland experiences four distinct seasons.

Due to Norway's high latitude, there are large seasonal variations in daylight. From late May to late July the country experiences 20 hours of daylight per day. Conversely, from late November to late January, the daylight hours are very short.

The 2008 Environmental Performance Index put Norway in second place, after Switzerland, based on the environmental performance of the country's policies.

Climate

Norway has four seasons. It can get really cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Spring and fall can bee rainy and windy but also beautiful and sunny. Rain coat and boots are often necessary.

For weather forecast, visit: www.yr.no. Check for Molde (Møre og Romsdal)

Time

Norway is one hour ahead of GMT. In Norway we set the time for summer and winter. Daylight-saving time, sets last Sunday in March at 02am, forwards 1 hour. Daylight-saving time ends last Sunday in October at 03am, backwards 1 hour. 

Business

In general business is conducted in Norwegian but all of the international companies use English as working language. Most people understand and speak English. Municipal information is normally distributed in Norwegian and trying to learn Norwegian will certainly be appreciated.

Norwegians are punctual, so please be on time for appointments. As in all Scandinavian countries, women are found working in every aspect of business community, and they are treated with the same respect as men. Normal working hours are 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Welcome to Molde     molde

Facts about Molde

  • The name Molde came from a farm "Moldar", which is plural for Molde.
  • Explanation of the coat-of-arms
  • The water spouting whale in the coat-of-arms symbolizes the pursuit of herring in the fjords. Herring saved people from starvation during the famine of 1739 to 1741. The arms were granted at the same date as the town rights, on June 27, 1742.
  • The two founding industries in Molde during the Middle Ages were export of salt fish. The barrel in the coat-of-arms represent timber export, and the whale the export of fish. Molde was never a whaling port, and the signifiance of the whale is that it, according to Mediaval superstition, was sent by God to chase the fish towards land at certain times every year. The creator of the coat-of-arms had obviously never seen the schools of orcas and pilot whales in the fjord outside Molde, since the whale depicted is a baleen whale. 
  • Molde is county capital Møre og Romsdal at the northwest coast of Norway.
  • Molde municipality has 25 000 inhabitants. The district Romsdal has approximately 75 000 inhabitants.
  • Neigbouring munipalities are: Fræna, Gjemnes, Eide, Rauma, Midsund, Aukra, Vestnes, Sandøy and Nesset. 
  • Surface area Molde town: 10.7 km2
  • Surface area Molde county: 363 km2

 

Molde history

Towards the end of the Middle Ages appeared "Molde Fiære" at the end of the Molde river with a sawmill and timbertrading. The city got town rights in 1742. From the middel of the 19th century Molde was a commercial city and had government officials. Later the city became touristtown.
Many of the Norwegian big writers have ties with Molde: Bjørnsonwent to school in Molde and Ibsen spent his hiolidays in Molde. Alexander Kieland resided her as district governor.
Large parts of the eastern town centre were lost during the big fire in 1916, but here you find "old Molde" with elements of Art Nouveau and original wooden houses which have been restored and taken care of.Two thirds of the town centre was decimated by German bombers in 1940.

 Julneset, part of Atlantic wall

That explains the prevalence of simple, clean-cut and functional post-war architecture in some parts of the town, with large blocks along broad streets. Modern architecture dominates Molde's west end, and many of the buildings are designed by the same Molde architect.

 

Molde today

The name “the roses town” has its origins in the pleasant climate and lush vegetation which characterises the area.

Large parts of the local authority are southern facing in a fjord area with reliable winter conditions and good summer temperatures. The town itself is sheltered by a mountain ridge which protects the town against the north wind, and with islets and islands set against a panorama of peaks and mountain formations which are renowned, amongst other things, as inspiration for the writer Bjørnson in 'Undrer meg på hva jeg får at se over de høye fjelle,... (I wonder what I will see over the high mountains,…)'

Rose pike-flower girl  Molde market place

Approximately 80 % of the municipality’s inhabitants live in the town of Molde. Architecturally Molde is considered to be one of the country’s best preserved reconstructed towns. It has a compact and intimate town centre which is close to the town recreational area and the fjord. A national architecture competition has been held to develop the town’s façade facing the sea. 

Distances  and communication 

Molde is a natural centre in the county of Møre og Romsdal with good communications. Molde airport at Årø is 6 km away. There is an express boat route (Hurtigbåtrute) to Vestnes and Ålesund. There is a ferry to Vestnes, Åfarnes (Rauma) and to Aukra and Midsund municipalities. It is a short distance to Østlandet (the eastern part of southern Norway) from Åndalsnes and there are connections by train. By car it is an hour and a half to Ålesund, Kristiansund is an hour away. Molde is a port of call for the Hurtigruten.

Molde lies at the centre of a region with opportunities at Nyhamna with gas processing through the Ormen Lange gas field at Aukra which is a good 30 minute drive away and Hydro’s large project at Sunndalsøra which is an hour away. The industrial success story Hustad Marmor Omnya is 20 minutes away in Fræna municipality and IP Huse which is a unique business located at Steinshamn in Sandøy commune (Sandøy municipality) 

 

Knowledge and growth

A wide range of subjects are found within the upper secondary school system in Molde through the county’s largest secondary school, Romsdal videregående (Romsdal secondary school) and the well reputed Molde videregående skole (Molde secondary school); these schools together educate almost 1400 students. 

Molde University college has 1500 students. Together with Møreforskning the university college constitutes the country’s largest study environment within transportation and logistics. Also the IT department at the university college is one of the largest in the country. The school offers further professional training within nursing, economics/administration and political science. The university college offers several bachelor and doctorate degrees within logistics.

The aim of Molde Knowledge Park is to be an ‘incubator’ for the development of new business and companies within ICT. Molde municipality, the university college and industry and commerce are working together to develop broadband for the whole municipality.

Leisure and culture

Among other things Molde is known for its annual international jazz festival. Other significant festivals that should be mentioned are the international literature festival - the Bjørnsonfestivalen, Kirkemusikkfestival (the church music festival) and Barnekulturfestivalen (the children’s festival of culture).

The town is host to the regional museum, Romsdalsmuseet (the Romsdal museum) . This museum is located only 10 minutes walk from the town centre and is one of the largest and most comprehensive folk museums in Norway. It contains around 50 old buildings. You can get a guides tour or walk around on your own. The museum is situated in a nice park area . Romsdal Museum  has a sister museum, Fiskerimuseet (the fishing museum) at Hjertøya. In the summer season you can go by boat out to the island Hjertøya. It takes 10 minutes. The island is a great recreationa area where you can hire rowing boats, fish, go on a picnic, walk along guided paths or swim in the sea. At the Fisheries Museum you can get  an insight into the coastal culture.

Other districts museums are Nesset Prestegård, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnsons childhood home, Clothing (confectionary) museum in Isfjorden, Ergan coastal fort in Bud.
The Molde cathedral, which was consevrates in 1957, is a double-nave long church in a Gothic style. A 50 meter high freestanding bell tower culminates in a copper-clad pyramid. The interior of the church contains stained glass and is richly decorated. It is the third church to be build on the site. The two forst ones burned down, but an old wooden cross and Axel Enders's "Eastern Morning" altarpiece were rescued from the flames. 

Molde Dom church Romsdal museum

For regional theatre you can visit 'Teatret Vårt', there is also a centre for art in Molde, Kunstnersentret, as well as several art galleries. There is also an active music scene and various sports activities which have drawn attention due to their wide range and high level of performance. 

There are good opportunities to go on various walks within the entire municipality in summer as well as winter. Walks, trails, prepared ski runs and alpine skiing facilities with a ski lift are available near the centre of the town. A hiking map for Molde and Fræna municipalities is available to buy. There are good opportunities for outdoor activities such as golfing, sailing and small boat fun, mountaineering, and areas with relatively untouched countryside which also provide the chance to enjoy the scenery in all its magnificence.

To go further on Norway

History of Norway

Archaeological findings indicate that Norway was inhabited at least since early in the 6th millennium BC. In the first centuries AD, Norway consisted of a number of petty kingdoms. According to tradition, Harald Fairhair (Harald Hårfagre) unified them into one, in 872 AD after the Battle of Hafrsfjord in Stavanger, thus becoming the first king of a united Norway.

The Viking age, 8-11th centuries AD, was characterized by expansion and emigration. Many Norwegians left the country to live in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and parts of Britain and Ireland.

In 1319, Sweden and Norway were united under King Magnus Eriksson.

In 1349, the Black Death killed between 50% and 60% of the population, resulting in a period of decline, both socially and economically. This resulted in several unions between the Nordic countries, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Although Sweden broke out of the union in 1521, Norway remained until 1814.

After Denmark–Norway was attacked by Great Britain, it entered into an alliance with Napoleon. As the Danish kingdom found itself on the losing side in 1814 it was forced to cede Norway to the kingdom of Sweden.
Norway took this opportunity to declare independence, and make a constitution. This caused the Norwegian-Swedish War to break out. Norway agreed to enter a personal union with Sweden. Under this arrangement, Norway kept its liberal constitution and independent institutions. Norway managed a peaceful separation from Sweden on 7 June 1905.

Norway claimed neutrality during World War II, but was invaded by German forces on April 9, 1940. King Haakon and the Norwegian government continued the fight from exile in London.

Norway had the fourth largest merchant marine in the world. It was led by the Norwegian shipping company Nortraship under the Allies throughout the war and took part in every war operation from the evacuation of Dunkirk to the Normandy landings.

In 1969 Philips Petroleum discovered petroleum resources at the Ekofisk field. In 1973 the government founded the State oil company, Statoil. Oil production didn't become a net income before the early 1980's due to the heavy investments in the petro industry required.

By the late 1990's, Norway had paid off foreign debt and started accumulating a sovereign wealth fund. Since the 1999's, one of the dividing issues of politics has been the level of spending of petroleum income.

 

Politics and government

Harald V, king of Norway

Jens Stoltenberg is the Prime Minister of Norway. Norway is a constitutional Monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. Oslo is the capital city. Harald V. King of Norway The Constitution of Norway was adopted in 1814. It grants important executive powers to the King, but these are effectively always exercised by the Norwegian Council of State (the cabinet). Norway has often been ruled by minority governments.

Oslo Stortinget Jens Stoltenberg

The Norwegian parliament is called Stortinget. The 169 members are elected from the 19 counties for four-year terms according to a system of proportional representation.

 

Economy

Norway is among the world leaders in offshore petroleum technology Norwegians enjoy the second highest GDP per-capita in the world. Norway has maintained first place in the world in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for six consecutive years. The Norwegian economy is an example of a mixed economy, featuring a combination of free market activity and large government ownership. The government controls 31.6% of publicly-listed companies.

The country is richly endowed with natural resources including petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Large reserves of petroleum and natural gas were discovered in the 1960s, which led to a continuing boom in the economy. Norway also has a very low unemployment rate, below 2% (June 2007). The wages in Norway are among the highest in the world. The egalitarian values of the Norwegian society ensure that the wage difference between the lowest paid worker and the CEO of most companies is much smaller than in comparable western economies.

Cost of living is about 30% higher in Norway than in the United States and 25% higher than the United Kingdom. The standard of living in Norway is high, and oil exports lead to a conclusion that Norway will remain wealthy through the foreseeable future.

Resources

Export revenues from oil and gas have risen to 45% of total exports and constitute more than 20% of the GDP. Only Russia and Saudi Arabia export more oil than Norway. To reduce over- heating from oil money and the uncertainty from the oil income volatility, and to save money for an aging population, the Norwegian state started in 1995 to save petroleum income in a sovereign wealth fund.

The control mechanisms over petroleum resources are a combination of state ownership in major operators in the Norwegian oil fields the government controls licensing of exploration and production of fields.

During the first half of 2007, the pension fund became the largest fund in Europe, with assets of about USD 300 billion (equivalent to over USD 62,000 per capita) and are the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation as of April 2007. Conservative estimates tell that the fund may reach USD 800-900 billion by 2017.

 

Education

Higher education in Norway is offered by a range of seven universities, five specialized colleges, 25 university colleges as well as a range of private colleges.

Public education is virtually free, with an academic year with two semesters, from August to December and from January to June. The ultimate responsibility for the education lies with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

Any Norwegian student who is a child of immigrant parents is encouraged to learn the Norwegian language. The Norwegian government offers language instructional courses for immigrants wishing to obtain Norwegian citizenship.

 

Religion

Nearly 83% of Norwegians are members of the state Church of Norway, to which they are registered at baptism. Many remain in the state church to be able to use services such as baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial, rites which have strong cultural standing in Norway.

According to the most recent Euro barometer Poll 2005, 32% of Norwegian citizens responded that "they believe there is a god," whereas 47% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 17% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force."

Outpost Molde

Focal point: Global Outpost Services
Office hours: By email
Languages: English
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