The Kingdom of Norway (Kongeriket Norge) is a Nordic country that occupies the western half of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It shares its eastern border with Sweden. Norway is surrounded by Finland and Russia to the northeast and the Skagerrak Strait and Denmark to the south. Its coastline faces the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. Norway has a strong seafaring tradition, with the Viking era often cited as an example. Norway merged with Denmark to form the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway from 1537 to 1814, then formed the United Kingdoms of Norway and Sweden from 1814 to 1905, when the two kingdoms separated and became independent. Modern Norway is still engaged in many maritime activities such as maritime transportation of goods and specialized shipbuilding, with the country being one of the leading petroleum exporters in the world. Though Norway is not part of the European Union, it still maintains close ties through its membership of the European Economic Area. Because Norway is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), it participates in the European Single Market and is part of the Schengen Area.
Norway uses the krone as its currency. One krone is equivalent to 100 ore. The word krone translates to crown. Before 1875, Norway used the speciedaler. The krone was adopted when Norway joined the Scandinavian Monetary Union in 1875. Though the union dissolved in 1914, Norway continued using the krone. The ore is used electronically since 2012. The Norges Bank, Norway’s Central Bank, issues and regulates the Norwegian krone. Circulating banknotes are in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 kroner. These notes feature prominent Norwegians who greatly impacted the country’s history and culture, and also include their contributions.