Asker is a municipality in the county of Akershus, Norway and a suburb of Oslo.
Asker was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt).
Its main parts are Asker, Gullhella, Vollen
, Blakstad, Borgen, Drengsrud, Dikemark, Vardåsen, Engelsrud, Holmen, Høn
, Billingstad, Nesøya, Nesbru and Heggedal
. Asker is a notably coastal place with many beautiful beaches, but it is also a place of hills and woods. The district is known for many important businesses. It is also known for gardening. The Skaugum
estate, where Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
lives with his family, is situated here. The first IKEA
store outside of Sweden
opened in Asker in 1963 .
Although Asker is principally a rural municipality, the expansion of Oslo has resulted in its becoming an affluent suburb. Thus numerous celebrities now reside in the area.
Asker is also the home of the Frisk Asker Tigers, who won the Norwegian Hockey championship in 1975, 1979 and 2002. Asker Skiklubb is the largest sports club in Norway. It has a long history dating back to 1889. Many of Asker's famous people have been successful individuals associated with the sports club.
Asker, more notably Blakstad, was a stronghold for the Baglers, who contended with the Birkebeiners during a civil war during the Viking period.
The city is the home of Asker svømmeklubb. Asker women's football club has been home to many international players including four who played in the 2007 World Cup in China.
The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old farm Asker, since the first church was built here. The name (Norse Askar
) is the plural form of ask
In 1916 (or 1917) the Maud
, which had been built in local shipyards, was launched into Oslofjord
. The ship which had been constructed and built especially for Roald Amundsen
and was to sail through the Northeast Passage
. After being seized by creditors in Seattle, Washington
, United States
she was sold to the Hudson's Bay Company
as a supply vessel. After being renamed the Baymaud
she sailed to Cambridge Bay
where, in 1930, she sprung a leak and sank. In 1990 the ship was sold by the Hudson's Bay Company to the town with the expectation that she would be returned to Asker. Although a Cultural Properties Export permit was issued, the price tag to repair and move the ship was 230 million kroner
($43,200,000) and the permit expired.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times (1975). It shows three ashtrees
Asker is politically dominated by the conservatives, and the mayor is Lene Conradi from Høyre (Conservatives)
- Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway
- Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway
- Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway
- Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway
- Einar Gerhardsen, prime minister in three periods, from 1945 to 1951, from 1955 to 1963 and from 1963 to 1965.
- Harriet Backer (1845-1932), painter
- Dina Aschehoug (1861-1956), painter
- Tryggve Andersen (1866-1920), writer
- Nini Roll Anker (1873-1942), writer
- Johan Bojer (1872-1959), writer
- Arne Garborg (1851-1924), poet, lived there for a period
- Dyre Vaa (1903-1980), sculptor
- Alf Prøysen (1914-1970), writer/musician, lived there for a period
- Halvard Hanevold, Olympic Gold in Biathlon
- Anders Jacobsen - professional footballer
- Pål Arne Fagernes (1974-2003), Javelin thrower and boxer
- Valgerd Svarstad Haugland politician, Christian Democratic Party
- Vigdis Hjorth, Author
- Hallvard Flatland, TV-host
- Anders Lange, politician (Founder of FrP, the Progress Party)
- Lauritz Askvold, painter
- Erik Bye (1926-2004), journalist, singer, TV personality
- Morten Harket, singer in a-ha.
- Wencke Myhre, singer
- Arne Bendiksen, singer and songwriter
- Arild Nyquist(1938-2004), poet, painter, singer and songwriter