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Hamar is located on the east bank of the largest lake in Norway, the Mjøsa. The capital of the Hedmark region, it became famous internationally via the Lillehammer Winter Olympic Games in 1994. One of the city's most interesting buildings – a stadium – was built specifically for this event. It has the shape of a capsized Viking ship. The skating competitions were held here.
Hamar was founded as a diocesan town in 1152 and was one of Norway's most important cities during the Middle Ages. Today Hamar has about 30,000 inhabitants.
In addition to the "Viking ship", there is much more to discover in Hamar, such as the Stone Age burial grounds and hills, the ruins of a medieval cathedral, the Norwegian railway museum, the Hedmark museum and the "white swan of the Mjøsa", the oldest paddle steamer in the world.
Hamar is a university town and since 1994 has also borne this title in its name. Greifswald and Hamar have maintained friendly relations since 1992, putting the seal on them in a twin city agreement in 1997. Since then, municipal staff from the Norwegian city regularly come to Greifswald to share experiences. The Norwegians are very interested in the economic and social development of the German twin city. One result, for example, has been the opening of a biotechnology centre in Hamar modelled on Greifswald Biotechnikum.
Another reason for the Norwegians coming back to Greifswald time and time again is the Nordische Klang. Every year Hamar sends artists to this cultural festival.