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Horten kommune
Norway Counties Vestfold og Telemark Position.svg
Vestfold og Telemark within
NO 3801 Horten.svg
Horten within Vestfold og Telemark
Coordinates: 59°25′15″N10°25′58″E / 59.42083°N 10.43278°E / 59.42083; 10.43278 Coordinates: 59°25′15″N10°25′58″E / 59.42083°N 10.43278°E / 59.42083; 10.43278
Country Norway
County Vestfold og Telemark
District Vestfold
Administrative centreHorten
  Mayor (2020)Maxmillian Patrick Zakariassen [1] (PTT)
  Total70 km2 (30 sq mi)
  Land68 km2 (26 sq mi)
Area rank407 in Norway
  Total27,178 [2]
  Rank26 in Norway
  Density361/km2 (930/sq mi)
  Change (10 years)
Demonym(s) Hortenser
Hortensar [3]
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code NO-3801
Official language form Bokmål [4]
Website www.horten.kommune.no

Loudspeaker.svg Horten   is a town and municipality in Vestfold in Vestfold og Telemark county, Norway located along the Oslofjord. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Horten. The municipality also includes the town of Åsgårdstrand and the villages of Borre, Skoppum, and Nykirke.


The town of Horten was separated from the municipality of Borre to become a municipality of its own in 1858. The neighboring municipalities of Borre and Horten were merged back together on 1 January 1988. The name of the new united municipality was first Borre, but after a referendum it was changed to Horten on 1 June 2002. The towns name was changed due to a conflict between Jeppe Wegger-Hessen and Marcus Lindberg. [5] The local newspaper in Horten is named Gjengangeren, and covers mostly local news. It is also available online (see external links section).

Borre National Park contains the largest known burial site in Scandinavia. [6] It also has the largest collection of king's graves in Scandinavia. [7]

General information

Edvard Munch's house in Asgardstrand Edvard Munch's house.jpg
Edvard Munch's house in Åsgårdstrand

The nearest train station in Horten is Skoppum. Skoppum is 1 hour and 10 minutes by train from Oslo Central Station. By car Horten is reached by following European route E18 south, and is approx. 100 kilometres (62 mi) from Oslo. The nearest airport is Sandefjord Airport Torp which is located about 30 minutes by train south of Skoppum.


The town is named after the old Horten farm (called "Hortan" in 1552), since it is built on the same ground. The name seems to be the definite form of hort m 'bulge' (but here in a weak form, Norse *horti). Several hills and mountains in Norway have the name Horten (or Horta, femininum), and here it could be referring to the hill Brårudåsen lying in the middle of the town. [8]


The coat-of-arms is from relatively modern times. They were granted on 19 November 1907. The arms were granted when Horten received city status. The arms use the old "English"-style of shield that is divided diagonally in a "party per bend" style with a mural crown on top signifying its city status. The lower part of the arms show the importance of the city as a naval port. The upper part shows a rose as a symbol for the nature around the city. [9]


Horten is a city and municipality on the western shore of the Oslo Fjord in Vestfold County. It borders with Åsgårdstrand in the south, and to Re in both the west and north. Neighboring towns are Tønsberg in the south and the much smaller Holmestrand in the north. About half of the municipality's total area is made up of forests, while slightly less than a third is agricultural land. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Horten. Smaller towns include Åsgårdstrand, Skoppum, and Nykirke. [10]

Nature preserves

Nature preserves include Vealøs, Adalstjern, Frebergsvik and Falkensten. Additional nature preserves are found by Borrevannet, Løvøya, Bastøy, and in the village of Åsgårdstrand. Falkenstendammen is a wildlife preserve, home to various nationally threatened species. Reverompa Plant Reserve was established in 2006 due to presence of the nationally endangered crested cow-wheat. Tordenskjoldeika is a protected 700-year-old oak tree by the harbor. [10]


Number of minorities (1st and 2nd generation) in Horten by country of origin in 2017 [11]
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 408
Flag of Somalia.svg  Somalia 384
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia-Herzegovina 341
Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania 323
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 166
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 149
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 148
Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines 134
Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan 122
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 116
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 108
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 105

Besides the city of Horten proper with a 2016 population of 20,301, the municipality is also home to three villages: The Horten part of Åsgårdstrand (2016 pop. 2,953), Skoppum (1,692), and Nykirke (715). The population growth in the municipality is lower than the county average; Horten had a population growth of 13.2% in 2000–2015, while Vestfold County had a population growth of 14.0%. Horten is one of Norway's most densest municipalities with a population density of 384/km2 as of 2015. [10]


Karljohansvern was the Royal Norwegian Navy's main base from 1819-1963 Kalkovnene pa Karljohansvern, Horten, Vestfold, Norway - panoramio.jpg
Karljohansvern was the Royal Norwegian Navy's main base from 1819–1963

Horten's employment sector is made up of industry (21.7% as of 2014), health- and social services (18.1%), education (12.1%), and commerce and auto-repair (12.7%). The Royal Norwegian Navy was traditionally an important industry, but the city experienced an economic change when the Navy moved its main base to Bergen, and Horten Verft went bankrupt in 1987. Currently, one of the most important industries is electrical engineering, represented by companies such as Kongsberg Maritime , Kongsberg Norcontrol, Simrad Horten, GE Vingmed Ultrasound, and others. [10]


Åsgårdstrand has been a vacation and bathing destination since 1920. It had already become an artists' colony by then, attracting painters such as Edvard Munch and Fritz Thaulow. Edvard Munch spent a total of seven summers at his vacation home in Åsgårdstrand, known as Munchs Lille Hus ("Munch's Little House"). The house is now a museum, located on Munch's Street (Munchsgate 25). [12]

Borre mounds

Burial mound at Borre National Park, Norway's first national park. Borre mound cemetery Norway.jpg
Burial mound at Borre National Park, Norway's first national park.

Borrehaugene (from Borre, the name of a local village and haugene from the old Norse Word haugr meaning mound) was the first national park to be founded in Norway. Borre National Park is situated between Horten and Åsgårdstrand. The site provides important historical knowledge,[ citation needed ] and can be seen as evidence that there was a center of power here in the Viking Age. The excavations also uncovered an unusually good selection of craft work, much of which is on display in Oslo at the Viking Ship Museum. This style has become known as "Borre style" and is, today, known for its animal and knot ornaments, which were often used for decorating harnesses. The finds also confirm that there was a Viking ship buried at Borrehaugene.

The Borre mound cemetery at Borre National Park contains graves of kings dating back to the Migration Period. The park covers 45 acres (180,000 m2) and has the largest collection of kings' graves in Scandinavia. These burial mounds may represent North Europe's most extensive collection of graves of the old Scandinavian Yngling dynasty. From 1989 to 1991, new excavations were undertaken both in and around the national park.


Ferries cut across the Oslo Fjord, connecting Horten and Moss. The ferry Basto V leaving Moss, Norway 05.jpg
Ferries cut across the Oslo Fjord, connecting Horten and Moss.

Being located out on a peninsula, most major transportation arteries go to the west of Horten, and secondary roads connect the city to these routes. The Moss–Horten Ferry (also known as the Bastø Ferry) crosses the Oslofjord, connecting to Moss in Østfold. The ferry departs 1–4 times per hour, and the journey takes about 30 minutes. The ferry transports annually about 1.8 million vehicles and 3.5 million passengers. [10]

The railway line Vestfoldbanen passes through the Horten municipality, but not through the main city center. Skoppum Station is located southwest of the downtown, although several commuters prefer to use Holmestrand Station due to better road access. [14]


Horten has several football clubs. The most successful and well known is FK Ørn-Horten, which currently plays in the Norwegian 2nd Division. Another Horten team, Falk, plays 3rd division, while Borre and Holtankammeratene plays further down in the leagues.


Close to Horten is the University College Høgskolen i Buskerud og Vestfold , commonly referred to as Bakkenteigen, which offers a wide range of subjects from sociology, history and language thru mathematics, nature science and maritime studies. Bakkenteigen has over 4,000 students and aims to be a resource for research and development in the region.

Sites of interest

Norwegian Naval Museum Norwegian Naval Museum Horten.jpg
Norwegian Naval Museum

Notable residents

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

The following cities are twinned with Horten: [17]

Related Research Articles

Buskerud Former county (fylke) of Norway

Buskerud is a traditional region, a former county and a current electoral district in Norway, bordering Akershus, Oslo, Oppland, Sogn og Fjordane, Hordaland, Telemark and Vestfold. The region extends from the Oslofjord and Drammensfjorden in the southeast to Hardangervidda mountain range in the northwest. The county administration was in modern times located in Drammen. Buskerud was merged with Akershus and Østfold into the newly created Viken County on 1 January 2020.

Vestfold Former county of Norway

Vestfold[ˈvɛ̂stfɔl](listen) is a traditional region, a former county and a current electoral district in Eastern Norway. In 2020 the county became part of the much larger county of Vestfold og Telemark. Located on the western shore of the Oslofjord, it bordered the previous Buskerud and Telemark counties. The county administration was located in Tønsberg, Norway's oldest city, and the largest city is Sandefjord. With the exception of the city-county of Oslo, Vestfold was the smallest county in Norway by area. Vestfold was the only county in which all municipalities had declared Bokmål to be their sole official written form of the Norwegian language.

Modum Municipality in Viken, Norway

Modum is a municipality in Buskerud in Viken county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Vikersund. The municipality of Modum was established on 1 January 1838.

Holmestrand Municipality in Vestfold og Telemark, Norway

Holmestrand  is a town and municipality in Vestfold in Vestfold og Telemark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Holmestrand. The town was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. The neighboring rural municipality of Botne was merged into the municipality of Holmestrand on 1 January 1964. Sande municipality will be merged into Holmestrand on January 1, 2020. The municipality of Hof was merged into Holmestrand on January 1, 2018.

Tønsberg Municipality in Vestfold og Telemark, Norway

Tønsberg[ˈtœ̂nsbær(ɡ)](listen), historically Tunsberg, is a city and municipality in Vestfold in Vestfold og Telemark county, southern Norway, located around 102 kilometres south-southwest of Oslo on the western coast of the Oslofjord near its mouth onto the Skagerrak. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Tønsberg. The city is the most populous metropolis in the district of Vestfold with a population of 52,419 in 2019. The municipality has a population of 56,293 and covers an area of 329 square kilometres in 2020.

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Vestfold Line railway line

The Vestfold Line is a 137.79-kilometer (85.62 mi) railway line which runs between Drammen and Eidanger in Norway. The line connects to the Drammen Line at the northern terminus at Drammen Station and continues as the Bratsberg Line past Skien Station. The line is exclusively used for passenger trains, which are provided by the Norwegian State Railways, which connect northwards to Oslo and south-westwards to Grenland. The 13-kilometer (8.1 mi) section from Eidanger to Skien is often colloquially included in the Vestfold Line.The standard gauge line is electrified at 15 kV  16.7 Hz AC and has twelve remaining stations. The Vestfold Line runs through the coastal region of Vestfold and serves major towns including Holmestrand, Tønsberg, Sandefjord and Larvik, as well as Sandefjord Airport, Torp.

Åsgårdstrand town in Vestfold, Norway

Åsgårdstrand is a small port town in Horten municipality, Vestfold, Norway. It is also the name of a former independent municipality and a center of trade. The town is situated 10 km south of Horten, 10 km north of Tønsberg and 100 km south of Oslo by the west coast of the Oslofjord. On 1 January 1965 Åsgårdstrand and Borre municipalities, plus a part of Sem were merged into the new municipality of Borre. By the time of the merger Åsgårdstrand had 488 inhabitants and was the smallest municipality in Norway.

Borre mound cemetery Burial mound site in Norway

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Haugen is a Norwegian surname and place name frequently used for farm homesteads. Haugen derives from the old Norse word haugr meaning tiny hill, small grassy knoll, or mound. Derivatives also include the Norwegian surnames Haugan and Hauge. Haugen can refer to:

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Borre, Norway village in the municipality of Horten, Vestfold

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Horten Line railway line

The Horten Line was a 7.0-kilometer (4.3 mi) branch railway line of the Vestfold Line which ran from Skoppum to Horten, Norway. The line opened as a narrow gauge line on 13 October 1881, the same day as the Vestfold Line. The latter had been proposed to run through Horten, but instead a branch line was chosen. The Horten Line converted to standard gauge in 1949 and electrified in 1957. Passenger transport ran until 1968 and freight trains until 2002. The line was demolished in 2009. Skoppum Station and Borre Station have both been preserved as examples of Balthazar Lange's Swiss chalet style architecture.

Skoppum Station railway station in Horten, Norway

Skoppum Station is a railway station on the Vestfold Line in the village of Skoppum, in Horten, Norway. Situated 99.54 kilometers (61.85 mi) from Oslo Central Station, it serves an hourly regional service operated by Vy. The station has two platforms and is itself located on an island platform, giving Skoppum a keilbahnhof design. The station building was designed by Balthazar Lange in Swiss chalet style.

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Vestfold og Telemark County (fylke) of Norway

Vestfold og Telemark, lit. Vestfold and Telemark in English, is the southernmost county in Eastern Norway that consists of two distinct and separate traditional regions, the former counties of Telemark and most of Vestfold. The county capital is Skien, which is also the county's largest city. While Skien is the capital of the county municipality, the seat of the County Governor is Tønsberg. It borders the counties of Viken, Vestland, Rogaland and Agder.


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