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  Telemark map of county

Welcome to Telemark County and the weather right now! Telemark County is one out of 19 countys in Norway with a area of 15.315 km2 and a population of approximately 171,953.

Each County is divided into different municipality. For Telemark County you will find the name of the municipality to your "right" (municipality for the whole country is 428) or read a short story given below.


Among the existing government incentives, all-electric cars are exempt in Norway from the annual road tax, all public parking fees, and toll payments as well as being able to use bus lanes.

In Telemark the Charging stations is 44 and Charging points is 101 at the moment. Charging points can be found on street parking, at taxi stands, in parking lots, at places of employment, hotels, airports, shopping centers, convenience shops, fast food restaurants, coffeehouses etc., as well as in driveways and garages.

Principal industries are Farming and forestry, industry, trade and commerce, public and private service industries.

Place to visit: The Telemark Canal, Hotel Dalen the largest wooden building in Northern Europe, Telemark Summerland in Bø, Patmos Sculpture Paerk in Sauherad, Henrik Ibsen´s birthplace in Skien, Morgedal, known as the Cradle of Modern Skiing, Mount Gausta in Tinn the highest mountain in Telemark a popular winter and summer sports area.


Telemark is the "middle ground" of southern Norway, Iying as it does midway between Eastern, Southern and Western Norway. Telemark stretches from the smiling coastline of the Skagerrak to the Hardanger Highlands, a high mountain plateau that is home to thousands of wild reindeer. The fields, forests and farmlands of Telemark"s southern and eastern areas are open and inviting. Farther to the north and west, in districts like Tinn and Tokke, the uplands with their deep ravines remind one of the wild mountains of Western Norway.

Starting at the coast, where oak and lime trees thrive in the mild climate, Telemark´s forests begin their march inland. Dense, dark and mystical spruce forests cover hill and dale, giving way to more open pine forests on poorer and drier ground. Climbing steadily, the larger trees must give way to the peaks of the highest mountains. And even at this height, there are still dwarf birches competing for survival with heather and lichen.

Many of Norway´s counties are dominated by one large, main valley from which smaller valleys, settlements and clusters of farms spread out. Not so Telemark. Telemark has hundreds of valleys criss-crossing its landscape. You"ve no more than climbed one mountain than you have another valley ahead of you. And you"ve no more than driven into a valley before you feel it close around you ... only to open just enough to let you through and on into the next valley.

But Telemark does have one important factor connecting all its parts, the Telemark Waterway with its canals and flights of locks. Starting high in the mountains, rivulets become brooks and then rivers running down the valleys to empty into lakes. From these the waters rush on, eventually passing the cities of Skien and Porsgrunn before flowing out into the Skagerrak salty waves.

Water is of vital importance to Telemark. Almost at its source high in the mountains, water is harnessed to provide energy. Dams and conduits transport a steady supply of this water to turbines in the county"s many electric power plants. This electric energy is especialy important as a source of heat and light for the hundreds of thousands of people living in eastern Norway. In addition, electricity also forms a basis for industrial activity. The power of water can be used and re-used innumerably. Dams, conduits and generators have been built at nearly every waterfall that breaks the even flow of rivers to the sea, in order to utilize the massive force of the rushing waters.

The sea, the rivers and the lakes are also important lines of transportation carrying conside rable amounts of goods. These are first and foremost the finished products for export and import that are transported over oceans, across the Skagerrak and in to cities and industrial centers such as Porsgrunn, Skien, Brevik, Kragerø and Rafnes. But timber is also floated down the canals and through the locks to woodproces sing plants. The Telemark Canal is the only waterway in Norway where commercial floating of timber still takes place.


The Telemark Canal is the only watercourse in Europe to receive EUROPA NOSTRA´S highest award. The Canal was awarded the medal in 1994 for restoration and preservation. The Europeans have given the Canal their seal of approval and deemed it worth a visit. Never again will canals be built in Norway. It is too late. These times will not tolerate the pace of the Canal. And besides, the canal builders are now gone. They disappeared from the face of the earth - such as other mystical creatures disappeared without trace. But The Telemark Canal is there. It is there. A long, wet reminder of an extinct species. The Telemark Canal is one of the souveniers we have left of a time when people in this country appreciated boats, water, peace and a steady pace of life. May she remain til the end of time. Steadily growing number of tourists travel by boat along the unique Telemark Canal with its many flights of locks. Privately owned small craft and larger passenger boats alike are lifted all of 72 metres above sea level, up to the lakes that will carry them more than 100 kilometres inland.

Several passenger boats now cruise the waterways between Skien, Notodden and Dalen. Other large lakes have regularly-scheduled boat services that bring their passengers into close contact with a fascinating blend of the maritime and the land-locked. Such apparent opposites can be found in many places and at short distances from one another in Telemark.

Take the traditional seafaring town of Kragerø. Here tropical plants flourish, descendents of the seedlings or seed brought home by some local seaman or another. But a mere hour´s drive away, in Drangedal and along lakes Nisser and Vråvatn, truly Norwegian high mountain scenery abounds complete with dwarf birch, heat her and windswept rock-faces. Some of the richest fruit-producing areas of Norway are found along the shores of the Norsjø, in Sauherad and Gvarv. The area´s warm summers are especially well-suited to the intensive cultivation of apples. But pears, plums, cherries and strawberries also thrive in these warm and fertile surroundings. And yet, just a few kilometres above these teeming orchards, chill mountain winds blow all year round, in a climate so harsh that even moss looses its grip on the rocky crags. And that is Telemark for you. That much variety, that much contrast.


As long as people have lived in the Nordic countries, they have had the problem of finding something to help them move around in deep snow. They tried fastening long wooden planks to their feet with leather straps so as not to sink too far down into the snow. Thus were skis invented, helping people survive in a harsh climate. The planks, or skis, bent up at the tips, let people move about swiftly and easily, and the swiftest began to race each other. Remarkable things began happening in Telemark in the mid 1850´s.

The ski happy young people of Morgedal developed a new binding that fastened around the heel, making skis much easier to steer. Such heel-bindings, a Norwegian invention, have since won worldwide recognition. Skis were also improved by being made narrower in the middle - a model that has set trends in ski making to this day. Telemarks-skis, the Telemark swing (or "christie") and slalom are all elements native to Telemark. These show that Morgedal in Telemark can indeed call itself "The cradle of modern ski sports". And that again is why Morgedal was chosen as the site for lighting the Olympic Flame for the Winter Games in Oslo 1952, in Squaw Valley 1960 and in Lillehammer 1994.

Sondre Norheim from Morgedal and "Snowshoe" Thompson from Tinn became the legendary pioneers of ski sports in 19th-century North America. Olav Bjaaland and Hjalmar Johansen were both excellent skiers from Telemark who accompanied the Norwegian Polar explorers Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen on daring expeditions. And in our day Telemark continues to foster talented, world-class skiers who complete in sports and entertainment.


Communications and trade have been essential to Telemark throughout its history. For thousands of years, trade routes between Eastern and Western Norway have passed through Telemark, crossing over the high mountain plateaus and following the waterways. The importance of theses routes over so long a period of time was a prime reason for the development of steamer traffic and the building of the Telemark Canal in the second half of the past century. From stave churches and trolls to Henrik lbsen and Edvard Munch.

Does he think he can draw trolls, when he´s never even met one! jeered Kragerø-born artist Theodor Kittelsen about a colleague. Kittelsen must have met trolls at any rate, at least in his imagination. These huge, clumsy, good-natured beings, so much a part of the Norwegian national tradition, thrived in Telemark. And there they lived on, forever and a day. Or at least long enough for Kittelsen to draw and paint their likenesses.


And certainly long enough to have seen the stave churches, these fantastic wooden buildings from the 12th and 13th centuries. Most of them were torn down because they were considered old fashioned and dilapidated. But two of them are still standing in Telemark, one in Heddal near Notodden and one in Eidsborg near the road between Høydalsmo and Dalen. Tarred and richly carved, these wooden churches are now considered Norway´s most important contribution to international architecture.

Medieval stone churches still stand in many places in Telemark. Their sturdy stone walls have withstood time, fire and other hazards. Many such churches are still in regular use by their local congregations. No other county in Norway has as many protected wooden buildings of medieval origin as Telemark. Houses that people have lived in, almost unchanged, for hundreds of years. The reason they have survived was often that they were in such good condition, and virtually maintenance-free, that there was no reason to replace them.


Beliefs in trolls and other supernatural beings existed alongside Christianity for hundreds of years. Medieval ballads, songs and tales were told and retold, passed on from one generation to another, in the isolated valleys and farms.

Folk songs and folk music survived as people continued to sing and play their fiddles. For edification - and for enjoyment. One of the world´s most famous modern dramatists, Henrik Ibsen, was born in Skien in 1828. There can be no doubt that some of the inspiration, incidents and names he used derive from Telemark"s folk tradition and nature.


In honor of this great dramatist, the regional theatre for Telemark and Vestfold counties has been named the Ibsen Theatre.

As is only natural, they do perform Ibsen´s plays in addition to a great variety of other works, and all presented to the highest artistic standards. The theatre tours every corner of the two counties, bringing both traditional and modern drama by local, national and international play writes to the smallest hamlet. Another theatre venture is the Grenland Free Theatre in Porsgrunn, which has managed to survive and grow as an independent troupe without comprising its artistic merit.

Telemark´s impressive cultural traditions and their own growing interest in the national heritage have drawn artists and folklorists to the county from the the mid 1800´s until the present. Among them were some of Norway´s greatest artists - such as Halfdan Egedius, Erik Werenskiold and Thorvald Erichsen. World-reknowned Edvard Munch found innumerable subjects for his works during the years he lived in Kragerø, a town he characterized as the "Gem among our coastal towns". These rich traditions have been maintained right up to our own time by Henrik Sørensen and Harald Kihle, who found special inspiration in the area around Vinje where they did much of their most important work.

An impressive number of artists and writers have been born and bred in Telemark, combining their rich cultural heritage with an eager acceptance of new impulses. Among the most important of these was August Cappelen from Ulefoss, who died in 1852 at the early age of 25, but produced art of lasting value in his short life time.

"Oh, that I might rove to Telemark, and bide there a summer"s day," was the dream of poet Per Sivle from Western Norway. For hundreds of years Telemark was an almost mythological place, remote, isolated. A white space on the map. And, according to nervous clergymen and bishops on short pastoral visitations, inhabited by hordes of murderous, barbarian hardheads.

But quite a lot happened quite quickly and proved that these myths were only that - myths. During the 1800´s, transportation in Norway expanded. The people of Telemark had modern ideas about this too. Passenger service was established between Kristiania (now Oslo) and Telemarks coastal towns. But it was Telemark´s large inland lakes that were really tempting to enterprise. Even before the canals and locks were built, steamboat had been taken apart and transported in bits up from the coast to the shores of the lakes. There they were riveted together again and put into service for carrying farmers and livestock and farm products and stone.

Now that these boats were sailing the lakes, a stray tourist or two often sailed along. What did these travellers experience? Deep forests and smiling countryside, pure, fresh waters and clear air. Cascading waterfalls and enormous lakes - over 7 procent of the county´s surface is covered by water. And winding roads up and down the mountainsides, through narrow valleys, over windswept mountain moors. Tarred log buildings standing as they had stood for hundred of years, mining operations, rose-painting and woodcarving, silversmiths and folk costumes. And not "costumes" that had been re-created for use only on special occasions but people"s everyday clothing. And salt fish and potatoes, cured meats and crisp-bread - and porridge, porridge, porridge.

The isolation of Telemark has been proven a myth. For thousands of years people have travelled in and through the county, across the forests, along the lakes, over the moors. Contact with western Norway and with Setesdal, eastwards to Kongsberg and Oslo or between inland villages and Skien and the coast were well established as far back as history can relate.

The people of Telemark fished along the coast and sailed to Denmark and even further abroad for trade. 3000-year-old artifacts made in Germany and nenmark have been found in Bronze Age graves in Telemark, proving that long-distance trade must have been carried out for a long time both by land and sea.

Brevik, Kragerø and Porsgrunn were among Norway´s leading seafare towns during the days of sail. This meant the existence of the sort of competence that is not built up overnight, but is the result of generations of experience. Traditions in shipbuilding were developed that continue to this day in the form of wooden pleasure craft built according to time-honored methods - as well as in modern, industrial shipbuilding activities of the Tangen Yard in Kragerø.

We don´t really know of any Olav or Kari from Telemark who suddenly invented the tourist industry. That´s not how things happen. They happen in a far more everyday fashion, when someone decides, "The mail must get through", for example. Mail and goods, and the spreading of news and public announcements all led to the movement of people, such as clergymen travelling from church to church on Sundays, and tax collectors collecting taxes and judges making the rounds of a circuit court. People who had important and often official business to attend did not find this travelling easy or comfortable, but at least, they felt entitled to a bed and a meal when evening came. And this in turn led gradually to the establishment of inns.

Some of these travellers were genuinely interested in the people, the culture and the landscapes they met. Many wrote of their journeys, sketched what they saw and became so interested in all the unusual what they saw and be came so interested in all the unusual and fascinating detail they observed, that they often remained longer than their official business made necessary.

The first tourist could well have been a tax collector who found beauty in a rose-painted farmhouse. Thinking that more important than the confiscation of family silver for the Royal Taxes, he might well have stayed the extra day or two. That can be the way it all started - with public officials and ordinary people travelling about in business, combining their business with the pleasure of investigating the interesting, the exciting and the quite exotic. Who would have thought that it was possible to strap on a pair of skis and then have fun with them? The people of Telemark did. Then the shcolar arrived to transcribe the age-old folk tales still told by the old people, or to study the exotic flora growing on sunny mountainsides, impossibly far inland and unaturally high up. And then the canals were dug and the locks were built - and then it really started.

Tourists are everywhere in today´s Telemark. Tourists who arrive of their own free will, with no other objective than to experience Telemark. Its inland and alpine ski areas during the winter. Its coastline and sea, for fishing, sunning and bathing in the summer. And for boating. Its forests, piny-smelling in the sun, teeming with life, with an unbelievable variety of plants and animals. Its high mountain moors in the fall, cleansed by crisp winds, with rein deer, cloudberres and grouse.

The Industrial Workers´ Museum in Rjukan. The Blues Festival in Notodden. A visit to Henrik Ibsen´s childhood home at Venstøp near Skien. The flights of locks. The sight of timber floating downstream. Bever safaris. "Treasure hunting" - in closed-down quarries and mines. Telemark Sommarland in - the ultimate family entertainment park. Museums and exhibitions showing collections of art of yesteryear - and of today. Hotels, pensions, motels and cottage parks, campgrounds, farms with rooms for rent. There is something to suit every taste and budget. Or you can take ad vantage of our "public rights" and set up your tent somewhere in the wilderness - and enjoy the solitude of a night alongside a burbling stream. Travelling in Telemark is something to dream about provided you do something about it.


In every municipality you will find links to Local Directory. This will give you information ON whats happen localy in the municipality even Job vacancy.


GoNorway will present companies which have challenging job, development and career prospects in their organizations. In every municipality you will find links to companies offer Job opportunity.


The choice of different activities in Norway such as Fjords, Golf, Skiing, Cycling, Cruising, Fishing, Stave churches etc.


You can see Video from Norway and from all the Countys.

In order that you may get the best out of your visit Norway we recommend that you visit the Tourist Information.

Telemark map of Norway with county marked

Telemark Online, list of townships in county