Hamar is a town and municipality in Hedmark which is the county capital of Innlandet county. It borders in the west to Ringsaker, in the northeast to Åmot, in the east to Løten, and in the south to Stange. Closer to 223 km², or approx. 64%, of the municipality is owned by Vang Almenning. Hamar is the largest city in the Inland, and the municipality had 31,369 inhabitants as of 1 January 2020. The town of Hamar had 28,434 inhabitants as of 1 January 2020 and is part of the Mjøsby region.

The city is the county administrative seat for Innlandet county. Norsk Tipping is headquartered in Hamar.

The city was one of the host cities during the Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994. The ice skating races were held in Vikingskipet, while short track races and figure skating took place in Hamar Olympic amphitheater, and the city hosted several major theater and cultural events.

The ice hockey team Storhamar Hockey, the football teams Ham-Kam and Fart and the handball team Storhamar come from Hamar.

The city has a rich cultural life, with active choirs, theater groups and sports teams at all levels and a varied offer of concerts, theater performances, film screenings and art exhibitions offered to the region's inhabitants. The proximity to Lake Mjøsa makes the town an attractive summer town.


Hamar's settlement history dates back almost four thousand years. From the 5th century, the large farm Åker in Vang was a center of power and court, Heidsævistinget (Eidsivating), where law and judgment for the entire lake region was set. Some place names (for example Torshov and Vidarshov) also indicate religious power. Hedemarken was one of the last areas that Saint Olav managed to Christianize. He surprised five small kings under the leadership of King Rørek who had gathered in Ringsaker to fight.

Hamar is referred to as kaupang during Harald Hardråde's reign. In 1152, the bishopric of Hamar was established by the papal envoy Nikolaus Breakspere, who was later elected pope. With this came the cathedral, monastery, school and council chamber. Thus trade and culture also grew. For 400 years, Hamar was one of the country's four to five central cities, due to its position as a bishopric and religious center. Bishop Mogens Lauritssøn was the last Catholic bishop to give up, after the Danish army commander Truid Ulfstand came to Hamar in 1537 and took him captive in Denmark. These events mark a crossroads in Norwegian history. As a bishop, Mogens was a member of the Norwegian National Council. With the introduction of the Reformation, the Danish king Christian III abolished the Norwegian parliament, and Norway thus became a kingdom of sound under Denmark.

The cathedral and bishop's castle were now named Hamarhus Castle. The cathedral and the bishop's castle were destroyed during the Nordic Seven Years' War in 1567, by the Swedish king Erik's army commander, Johan Siggeson and his soldiers. With this, the last remnants of the center of power Hamar disappeared. In 1587, the market in Hamar was closed by royal decree, following pressure from Oslo citizens who are said to have felt the competition. Hamar lost its city status, the area was taken over by Storhamar farm, and the population declined rapidly.

In 1849, the market town of Hamar was established by royal resolution, on 400 acres of land from Storhamar farm towards Åkersvika. The city was to be an administrative and economic center for the Inland, with the sale of agricultural goods as the main means of trade. The country's second railway line was opened from Hamar to Grundset.

In 1871, Hamar was hit by a typhoid epidemic that lasted for ten years. The reason was that the sewer was drained too close to the water intake.

Hamar grew strongly as a city towards the end of the 19th century, helped by the food industry and the workshop industry associated with agriculture in the district.

The town was expanded in 1878, 1946, 1947, 1965 and most recently in 1992. The town reached its current boundaries in 1992 when the municipalities of Hamar and Vang were merged with parts of Ringsaker municipality (originally parts of Furnes) to the large municipality of Hamar. The municipality's area increased from 18 km² to 351 km². The inhabitants of Vang were strongly critical, and in a referendum 95% voted against merging.

Suburbs and towns
According to Statistics Norway (SSB), the town and city of Hamar had 28,434 inhabitants in 2005. 2,078 of these then lived in the Stavsberg area in Ringsaker municipality, 300 in Ottestad in Stange municipality. Until 1 July 2014, the nearly 6,000 other inhabitants of Ottestad settlement were described by Statistics Norway as Bekkelaget, and counted as part of Hamar settlement. Ottestad / Bekkelaget is located immediately south of the city and is considered a natural extension of the village of Hamar. Other suburbs are Hjellum, Ridabu and Smeby and Solvang. The settlements in the municipality are Ingeberg, the same year with 862 inhabitants, and Slemsrud, with 523 inhabitants - both of these areas are adjacent to Øvre Vang. The residential areas Vangli and Grubhol are located along national road 25 towards Løten. A small part of the settlement Ilseng also extends into Hamar municipality.