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Petit village in Norway with shortest name in the world

April 22, 2021 | 08:37

Located on the South of Lofoten Islands is a small village, which its name only contains one letter that is impossible to shorten.

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Lofoten Islands in Norway is called “one of the most majestic and beautiful places in the world”. It is also the home for the village with the shortest name – Å (Pronounced similar to aw (/ɔ/) in English).

Å in Old Norse means “Small river”, and there is at least seven villages in Norway with names like this. However, this village in Lofoten Islands is still the most attractive destination to the tourists.

The road sign of the village is often stolen by the pranksters and brought back home as a “souvenir”. This has happened to many times that the authority decided to put up a different one that said “Å i Lofoten”, meaning “Å of Lofoten”. However, it was disapproved by local people, and the original one-letter sign was replaced.

The Lofoten islands of Nordland are among the most scenic places on earth. Vertical spires of glacially carved granite rise from the Norwegian Sea 100 miles north of the Arctic Sea—but the weather is surprisingly mild, due to the Gulf Stream. Photo:
The Lofoten islands of Nordland are among the most scenic places on earth. Vertical spires of glacially carved granite rise from the Norwegian Sea 100 miles north of the Arctic Sea—but the weather is surprisingly mild, due to the Gulf Stream. Photo: Premium Stock Photography GmbH / Alamy

The village’s population is about 150 people, with the bright red painted houses under the sun. The main attraction of this village is Lofoten Stockfish Museum. This is where they produce unsalted dried fish, one of the oldest products in Norway. The museum displays the manufacturing process of dried fish from when they were caught from the sea to when they were finally ready for export. The other museum of Å village in Lofoten is Norway Fishing Village Museum (Norsk Fiskeværsmuseum).

In 2004, Paul Parry – British tourist decided to make a trip on bicycle from Point Å to Point B. Paul loved using worldplay, since he is a writer and comedian. He started from Å village, Norway, to Bee town, Nebraska, America.

Paul Parry running on the deck of Queen Mary 2. Photo: Archieve
Paul Parry running on the deck of Queen Mary 2. Photo: Archieve

His journey was constantly interrupted since he could not go by bicycle all the way from Europe to America, and had to catch the train from Southampton, England to New York, America. During his journey on a ship across the sea, Paul did a marathon run on Queen Mary 2.

After 3 months long, Paul finally reached to Nebraska. The Mayor of Omaha City, Nebraska called it “Å to B” Day. The media and people in town cherished Paul Parry when he finally reached the destination.

Taking Paul’s journey as an inspiration, a lot of tourists coming to Å said that they intended to travel from Å to all other cities and towns in the world, which have their names started with one letter, such as from Å to E – a river in Scotland, Ø – an island in Denmark or U – a city in Micronesia and even Y – a commune in the Northern France.

The welcome sign of Bee Town for Paul Parry. Photo: Archieve
The welcome sign of Bee Town for Paul Parry. Photo: Archieve
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