Parts of Sarpsborg
Sarpsborg within Østfold
|o Mayor (2011)||Sindre Martinsen-Evje (Ap)|
|o Total||406 km2 (157 sq mi)|
|o Land||370 km2 (140 sq mi)|
|Area rank||238 in Norway|
|o Rank||13 in Norway|
|o Density||134/km2 (350/sq mi)|
|o Change (10 years)||6.6%|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-0105|
|Official language form||Bokmål|
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.
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.
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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.
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 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. The castle symbolises the fortress (borg) that gave the city its original name.
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.
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.
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 "Tippeliga" 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.
Harald Dahl, father of the British writer Roald Dahl, also came from Sarpsborg.