Fast facts for the Hamar Region
- Total area: 2,726 square kilometres
- Forest area: 1,445 square kilometres
- Agricultural land: 378 square kilometres
- Population: 87,000
- Length and depth of Lake Mjøsa, Norway's largest lake: 117 kilometres/468 metres
Hamar is the principal city in the county of Hedmark, a municipality and the administrative centre for Hedmark county's public administration, the various county departments and Eidsivating Court of Appeals. Hamar is located on the east shores of Lake Mjøsa, Norway's largest lake. Most of Mjøsa's shores are dominated by rolling agricultural areas, among them some of the most fertile grainlands in Norway.
Between the year 500 and 1000 AD, Aker Farm was one of the most important power centres in Norway, located just a few kilometres from today's Hamar.
Today one part of Hamar is the modern, administrative and commercial centre. Another town is partly hidden underground.
Out on a headland called Domkirkeodden, jutting out into Lake Mjøsa, lie the ruins of the 950-year-old Hamar Cathedral. The siting on the highest point on the headland made the cathedral a powerful landmark, visible from a long way off for seafarers on the lake. The church was built of limestone, probably quarried locally.
The architecture is Romanesque, with later additions in the Gothic style. An impressive steel and glass cover was erected in 1998 to protect the ruins of cathedral, thus preserving them for future generations. The protective building is the largest glass construction in Europe, with a ground area of 2,600 square metres. The ruins are a magnificent arena for church services, concerts and plays. Museum shop and café. The ruins are a part of Hedmarksmuseet which comprises an archaelogical museum and an open air folk museum.
The administrative centre is the village of Stangebyen. Archeological finds indicate agricultural settlements in Stange well before the Viking Age. Since the shortest route from the south to Hamar went through the area, there have also been trade and hospitality in Stange since time immemorial.
Stange Church is one of the oldest medieval churches in Norway. It is mentioned in 1225 in Håkon Håkonsen's Saga.
Ringsaker consists of a rolling agricultural terrain, green hills and pine forests. Urban centers in Ringsaker include Brumunddal and Moelv. Ringsaker is first mentioned in King Harald Hårfagre's Saga in the Heimskringla by Snorre Sturlason.
The administrative centre is the village of Løten. There has been traffic from east to west through Løten, throughout all recorded periods of history. Archeological evidence support earlier trade along this route.
When King Christian IV of Denmark prohibited the importation of German beer in the early 17th Century, destillation began in Norway. In 1624, distilled alcohol was prohibited at weddings, and by 1638 King Christian forbade the clergythe right to distill in their own homes. "Gamle Løiten" from Løiten Brænderi, which was established in 1855, was a highly prized aquavit produced in Løten.
The famous painter Edvard Munch was born in Løten in 1863.