As a first such an event in modern times: Norwegian counties Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag have decided to merge. The name of the new county will be Trøndelag. The change - if approved by the Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget - is expected to take place from 1 January 2018.

A historic day
27 April 2016 is an important day in the history of the local self-government structure of Norway. The two counties Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag have decided to merge.

The county assemblies – fylkestinget - made the landmark decision in a parallel session at the historic location of Stiklestad just before noon today. Sør-Trøndelag voted 41 for and 2 against – Nord-Trøndelag voted 21 for and 14 against.

The name of the new regional entity will be Trøndelag. The change will take effect from 1 January 2018, assuming approval from the Norwegian parliament, Stortinget. A final decision is expected by June of 2016.

Norway is currently having a widespread and energetic debate regarding a suggested simplification of its county and municipality structure. There are 19 counties and 428 municipalities. The aim of the current conservative government is to reduce the number of regions - or counties - to 10. Today’s decision is likely to have a major impact on the debate going forward.

Trøndelag is the middle region of the long-stretched land of Norway and it is a region with deep historic roots.

Trøndelag is called home by around 445 000 people. Among so many other things, Trøndelag is known for its undulating landscape, its beautiful dialect and its large, lush strawberries.

Trondheim will be the new political centre
It is expected that Trondheim will be the political centre of the new county. The administrative organisation – with its administrative leader, the fylkesmann - is expected to reside in the city of Steinkjer.

Trondheim is home to the beautiful Nidaros cathedral, Nidarosdomen. The cathedral is the grave church of St. Olav - the patron saint of Norway - and it was built between 1070 and 1300. In addition to being a historical and current pilgrim-walk destination, it is also the church where previous coronations - and more recently, royal blessings - have taken place.

King Haakon and Queen Maud were crowned here in 1906 – King Olav was blessed here in 1958 – and King Harald and Queen Sonja were blessed here in 1991.

Trondheim is also the hometown of Liv Ullmann – renowned actor and Ingmar Bergmann muse. For those interested in emigration history we strongly recommend the Swedish masterpiece ‘The emigrants’ starring Liv Ullman and Max Von Sydow from 1971. The film depicts the life of Swedish emigrants but will have many similarities to the life of those emigrating from Norway (Swedish with English sub-titles).

Sources: Trønder-Avisa | |

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