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Telemark fylke
Coat of arms of Telemark fylke
Coat of arms
Telemark within Norway
Telemark within Norway
Country Norway
County Telemark
Region Østlandet
County ID NO-08
Administrative centre Skien
 • Governor Kari Nordheim-Larsen
 • County mayor Gunn Marit Helgesen
 • Total 15,299 km2 (5,907 sq mi)
 • Land 13,854 km2 (5,349 sq mi)
Area rank #10 in Norway, 4.55% of Norway's land area
Population (2014)
 • Total 171.333
 • Rank 13 (3.63% of country)
 • Density 12/km2 (30/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 1.8 %
Demonym(s) Teledøl or Telemarking
Time zone CET (UTC+01)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02)
Official language form Neutral
Income (per capita) 139,900 NOK
GDP (per capita) 219,404 NOK (2001)
GDP national rank 12 (2.38% of country)
Data from Statistics Norway
Religion in Telemark[2][3]
religion percent

Telemark   ( ) is a county in Norway, bordering Vestfold, Buskerud, Hordaland, Rogaland and Aust-Agder. The county administration is in Skien. Until 1919 the county was known as Bratsberg amt.


  • Location 1
  • Infrastructure 2
  • Population 3
  • The name 4
  • Coat-of-arms 5
  • History 6
  • Districts 7
  • Municipalities 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The county is located in southeastern Norway, extending from Hardangervidda to the Skagerrak coast. The coastline extends from Langesundsfjorden to Gjernestangen at the border with Aust-Agder. Telemark has a very broken and heterogeneous landscape, including many hills and valleys.


The international road E18 goes through the southern parts of Telemark, namely Grenland and the municipality of Kragerø. European route 134, another important motorway and the fastest route between Oslo and Bergen, goes through the municipalities of Vinje, Tokke, Kviteseid, Seljord, Hjartdal and Notodden. RV36, stretching from Porsgrunn to Seljord, links the E18 and E134 motorways.

Telemark is well served by railways. The Sørlandsbanen runs through the traditional districts of Vestmar and Midt-Telemark, serving the municipalities of Drangedal, Nome, and Sauherad. Grenland is primarily served by Vestfoldbanen, but also has connections through Bratsbergbanen which runs between Skien and Notodden.

Geiteryggen Airport in Skien offers flights to Bergen and Stavanger.

From Langesund, Kystlink operates ferry services to Sweden and Denmark.

The main bus lines in the county are operated by Telemark Bilruter, serving western and middle parts of the county, and Nettbuss which serves the middle, eastern and southern parts of the county. Drangedal Bilruter serves the Vestmar region.


The largest population centres are Skien, Porsgrunn, Notodden, Rjukan and Kragerø. Other important places are , Seljord, Fyresdal and Vinje.

The name

The Norse form of the name was Þelamǫrk. The first element is the genitive plural case of þelir, the name of an old Germanic tribe. The last element is mǫrk "woodland, borderland, march". (See also Denmark, Hedmark and Finnmark.)

Until 1919 the county was called Bratsberg amt. The amt was named after the farm Bratsberg (Norse Brattsberg), since this was the seat of the amtmann ('governor'). The first element is the genitive case of brattr m "steep mountain", the last element is berg n "mountain". (The name is referring to a steep mountainside behind the farm.)

Telemark lent its name to Telemark skiing, a style invented by Sondre Norheim, and the characteristic Telemark landing of ski jumping.


The coat-of-arms is from modern times (1970). It shows an old type of battle axe, significant for the county.


The film The Heroes of Telemark is loosely based on the Norwegian heavy water sabotage, a raid on a heavy water plant at Rjukan during World War II. Ray Mears made a documentary titled The Real Heroes of Telemark as a response to the inaccuracies of the film, giving an account more focused on the outdoor skills that were required for the operation (spending months in the mountains and remote cabins).

Notable people born in Telemark


The county is conventionally divided into traditional districts. The most common district divisions today are Grenland, Vest-Telemark, Midt-Telemark, Øst-Telemark. An older, larger division is Upper Telemark (traditionally comprising more than two thirds of Telemark, or the districts Vest-Telemark and parts of Øst-Telemark) and Lower Telemark (traditionally comprising the coastal area of Grenland and Midt-Telemark). Today, Upper Telemark provostship (Øvre Telemark prosti) comprises 12 municipalities and more than 80% of Telemark, also including Midt-Telemark.

An additional district, Vestmar is disputed. Others like Bø, Nome and Sauherad might also be considered as the district of Midt-Telemark. The district borders of this County is highly undefined and disputed.

Crest Name Population Municipality no. Language form Webpage
Fyresdal 1371 0831 Nynorsk
Kviteseid 2530 0829 Nynorsk
Nissedal 1395 0830 Nynorsk
Seljord 2937 0828 Nynorsk
Tokke 2341 0833 Nynorsk
Vinje 3675 0834 Nynorsk

Aust Telemark

Grenland .

Municipality Population Areakm² Densitypop. per km²
Skien 62,537 719 70
Porsgrunn 37,323 161 207
Bamble 14,163 282 50
Nome 6,606 430 17
Siljan 2,349 202 12
Total 122,978 1,794 60



Municipalities in Telemark
Rank Name Inhabitants[4] Area km2
1 Scheen, Skien kommune Skien 67,999 722
2 Porsgrunn kommune Porsgrunn 32,623 161
3 Bamble kommune Bamble 14,107 282
4 Notodden kommune Notodden 12,390 856
5 Kragerø kommune Kragerø 10,620 289
6 Nome kommune Nome 6,527 389
7 Tinn kommune Tinn 6,022 1,858
8 Bø i Telemark 5,595 260
9 Sauherad kommune Sauherad 4,666 292
10 Drangedal kommune Drangedal 4,159 998
11 Vinje kommune Vinje 3,641 2,740
12 Seljord kommune Seljord 2,966 672
13 Kviteseid kommune Kviteseid 2,522 626
14 Siljan kommune Siljan 2,412 203
15 Tokke kommune Tokke 2,337 907
16 Hjartdal kommune Hjartdal 1,587 741
17 Nissedal kommune Nissedal 1,404 789
18 Fyresdal kommune Fyresdal 1,381 1,110
Total Telemark fylke Telemark 168,231 13,173


  1. ^ Projected population - Statistics Norway
  2. ^ Statistics Norway - Church of Norway.
  3. ^ Statistics Norway - Members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway, by religion/life stance. County. 2006-2010
  4. ^ "Statistics Norway". 1 January 2010. 

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Homepage of Telemark County
  • Homepage of Telemarkreiser AL, Destination Marketing Organization for Telemark
  • County map
  • Rjukan lag av Norske Redningshunder, K9 saves lives
  • The reality behind the movie

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