Møre og Romsdal – Wikipedia

Edøy Church
Edøy Church

The name Møre og Romsdal was created in 1936.  Møre og refers to the districts of Nordmøre and Sunnmøre, and Romsdal refers to Romsdal. Until 1919, the county was called “Romsdalens amt”, and from 1919 to 1935 “Møre fylke”.

Between 1660 and 1919, the region was called Romsdalen amt, after the Romsdalen valley which lies in the present-day Rauma Municipality. The Old Norse form of the name was Raumsdalr. Raums is the genitive case of a name Raumr derived from the name of the river Rauma, i.e. “The Dale of Rauma”. Raumr may refer to stream or current, or to booming or thundering waterfalls like Sletta waterfall. A simply legendary approach to the name refers to Raum the Old, one of the sons of Nór, named for the Saga King of Norway. Since the majority of the residents of the county lived in the Sunnmøre region, there was some debate over the name. In 1919, many of the old county names were changed and this particular county was renamed Møre fylke.

The name Møre was chosen to represent the region where the majority of the county residents lived. That name is a derivative of Old Norse: Mǿrr (á Mǿri) and probably derived from the word marr referring to something wet like bog (common along the outer coast) or the sea itself. The name is interpreted as “coastland” or “bogland”. Møre was originally the name of the coastal area from Stad and north including most of Fosen. (There is also a coastal district in Sweden that has the same name: Möre.) The change in name from Romsdalen to Møre was provocative and it did not sit well with the inhabitants of the Romsdal region. Finally in 1936, the name was changed again to a compromise name: Møre og Romsdal (English: Møre and Romsdal).

The confusing designation møring—”person from Møre”—is used strictly about people from Nordmøre (and less frequently for people from Sunnmøre), excluding the people from Romsdal (while, accordingly, romsdaling—”person from Romsdal”— is used about the latter).
Traditionally, the county has been divided into three districts. From north to south, these are Nordmøre, Romsdal, and Sunnmøre. While the districts do not have distinct governments and despite modern road, air and sea connections throughout the county, the three districts are still distinctive in many ways. Historically speaking, connections have been stronger between Nordmøre and Sør-Trøndelag to the north, Romsdal and Oppland to the east, and Sunnmøre and Sogn og Fjordane to the south, than internally. Differences in dialects between the three districts bear clear evidence of this. Due to geographical features, the county has many populated islands and is crisscrossed by several deep fjords. Due to its difficult terrain, Møre og Romsdal has relied heavily on boat traffic, and its main car ferry company, MRF, has existed since 1921.


Møre og Romsdal has six communities with town status. The largest three (Ålesund, Kristiansund, and Molde) were towns long before 1993 when municipalities were given the legal authority to grant town status rather than just the King (and government). This change in law led to an increase in the number of towns (Fosnavåg, Åndalsnes, and Ulsteinvik were all added after this time). The county contains many other urban settlements (as defined by Statistics Norway) without town status, every municipality except for Halsa and Smøla contain at least one. As of 1 January 2018, there were 192,331 people (about 72 percent of the population) living in densely populated areas in the county while only 73,946 people lived in sparsely populated areas. The population density is highest near the coast, with all of the county’s towns located on saltwater… Paraphrased

Source: Møre og Romsdal – Wikipedia

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