Sarpsborg (pronounced [ˈsɑ̀ʂbɔr] or [ˈsɑ̀rpsbɔrɡ]), historically Borg, is a city and municipality in Viken county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Sarpsborg.

Sarpsborg kommune
Parts of Sarpsborg
Parts of Sarpsborg
Coat of arms of Sarpsborg kommune
Official logo of Sarpsborg kommune
Sarpsborg within Viken
Sarpsborg within Viken
Coordinates: 59°17′09″N 11°06′43″E / 59.28583°N 11.11194°E / 59.28583; 11.11194Coordinates: 59°17′09″N 11°06′43″E / 59.28583°N 11.11194°E / 59.28583; 11.11194
Administrative centreSarpsborg
 • Mayor (2011)Sindre Martinsen-Evje (Ap)
 • Total406 km2 (157 sq mi)
 • Land370 km2 (140 sq mi)
Area rank238 in Norway
 (30 September 2019)
 • Total56,559 Increase
 • Rank13 in Norway
 • Density134/km2 (350/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-3003
Official language formBokmål[2]

Sarpsborg is part of the fifth largest urban area in Norway when paired with neighbouring Fredrikstad. As of 1 January 2018, according to Statistics Norway these two municipalities have a total population of 136,127 with 55,840 in Sarpsborg and 81,278 in Fredrikstad.[3]

Borregaard Industries is, and always has been, the most important industry in the city. The city is also the home of Borg Bryggerier, part of the Hansa Borg Bryggerier, which is Norway's second largest brewery-group.

General informationEdit


In Norse times the city was just called Borg (from borg which means "castle"). The background for this was the fortification built by Olav Haraldsson (see History section). Later the genitive case of the name of the waterfall Sarpr (Sarp Falls) was added, it's unclear how Sarpsborg received this part of its name, two interpretations are the most prevalent. The first coming from the Icelandic word Sarpr which means birdcage in English. The other interpretation is that Sarpr means "the one who swallows", probably referring to the local waterfall.[4]

In Norse times Østfold county was called Borgarsýsla which means "the county (sýsla) of Borg" and the law district of southeast Norway was called Borgarþing meaning "the thing/court of Borg".

The old name has been revived in the diocese of Borg (1968) and Borgarting Court of Appeal (1995).

Coat of armsEdit

The coat-of-arms is from modern times and was granted on 13 November 1991. It is based on a coat of arms dating from 1556 and shows a bear above a castle. The bear was introduced as early as some time in the 13th century, by the earl of Sarpsborg (Comes de Saresburgh), Alv Erlingsson. He used the bear to symbolise his strength.[citation needed] The castle symbolises the fortress (borg) that gave the city its original name.[5]


Downtown Sarpsborg (Roald Amundsens Gate)

The city was founded as Borg by the Viking King Olav Haraldsson (Saint Olaf) in 1016. It was burned to the ground by Swedish invaders in 1567 during the Northern Seven Years' War. Half the population was evacuated down the river to what is today known as Fredrikstad, about 15 kilometres (9 mi) downstream.

Much of the rebuilt town disappeared into the river Glomma during a 1702 mudslide. Again Borg was rebuilt, and it was recreated as a city in 1839, and separated from Tune as a municipality of its own.

The rural municipalities of Tune, Skjeberg, and Varteig were merged with the city on 1 January 1992. The population is steadily growing, and during the summer of 2005 it reached 50,000 inhabitants.

In 2016 the town celebrated its 1,000th anniversary, and the entire year was commemorated by a special programme that encouraged historic preservation within the town.[6]

Historically, the sawmill and timber shipping industry has been Sarpsborg's most important sources of income, however since the industrialisation in Norway, more specifically Sarpsborg and the establishment of local manufacturing businesses during the late 1800s, the biggest being Borregaard, Sarpsborg has changed from its traditional timber-based economy and pre-industrial society to a more manufacturing and refining-based economy and industrial society. In modern times Sarpsborg has moved away from being a city based on the local manufacturing and refining industry, with only around ten percent employed within the local manufacturing industry, coinciding with Norway's general shift towards a post-industrial society. Despite this, the city is still widely regarded by Norwegians both unofficially and officially, to be an industrial city.[7]

Number of minorities (1st and 2nd generation) in Sarpsborg by country of origin in 2021[8]
Ancestry Number
  Poland 1,646
  Iraq 1,382
  Bosnia-Herzegovina 1,102
  Kosovo 841
  Somalia 725
  Syria 557
  Sweden 492
  Afghanistan 408
  Iran 372
  Vietnam 297
  Lithuania 267
  Philippines 260
  Thailand 240
  Serbia 178
  Pakistan 174
  Denmark 161
  Russia 160

City districtsEdit


During the 1950s and 1960s, Sarpsborg was famous for its football (soccer) team, Sarpsborg FK, but is now more known for its ice hockey team, Sparta Warriors. In football, Sarpsborg 08 FF has taken over the local throne, currently playing at the highest national level. On 6 November 2009, they sent arch-rival FFK down from the top division in a play-off game in Fredrikstad stadion. Sarpsborg 08 has a women's football team that was promoted to the women's Division 1 at the end of 2011, at the same time as the club's under-19 girls reached the Junior Cup Final. Sarpsborg BK plays in the highest bandy division.[citation needed]

Sarpsborg is famous for its two elite leagues teams in floorball, Sarpsborg IBK and Greåker IBK.


Sarpsborg has a humid continental climate (Dfb) or temperate oceanic climate (Cfb), depending on winter threshold used (0 °C (32 °F) as in USA or −3 °C (27 °F) as in Europe). The all-time high 33.5 °C (92.3 °F) was recorded in July 2018. The all-time low −26 °C (−15 °F) was set in December 2002.

Climate data for Sarpsborg 1991-2020 (57 m, extremes 1991-2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 10.5
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.4
Record low °C (°F) −21.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 76.7
Source 1: Meteorological Institute[9]
Source 2: eklima/[10]

Musical artists and bandsEdit

Notable residentsEdit

Zacharias Mellebye, 1854
Oscar Torp, 1950

Public serviceEdit

The ArtsEdit

Nils Ole Oftebro, as King Olaf II, 1992
Thomas Myhre, 2009
Marianne Skarpnord, 2009


Twin towns - Sister citiesEdit

Sarpsborg has several sister cities:[16]


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
  2. ^ "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian).
  3. ^ "Population 1 January and population changes until now this year. The whole country, counties and municipalities". Statistics Norway. 22 August 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Sarpsborg kommune - Om Sarpsborg". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  5. ^ "Vedtak om bruk av byvåpenet i den nye kommunen" (in Norwegian). Sarpsborg. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  6. ^ "Sarpsborg 1016-2016".
  7. ^ Thorsnæs, Geir (2021-11-16), "Sarpsborg", Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian Bokmål), retrieved 2021-12-10
  8. ^ "Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents, by immigration category, country background and percentages of the population". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  9. ^ "".
  10. ^ "eklima portal".
  11. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 12 March 2021
  12. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 12 March 2021
  13. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 12 March 2021
  14. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 12 March 2021
  15. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 12 March 2021
  16. ^ "Vennskapsbyer" (in Norwegian). Sarpsborg kommune. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  17. ^ "::Bethlehem Municipality::". Archived from the original on 2010-07-24. Retrieved 2009-10-10.

External linksEdit