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Haugesund is a city and municipality in the county of Rogaland, Norway.
Haugesund was separated from Torvastad as a city and municipality
of its own in 1855.
The rural municipality of Skåre was merged with Haugesund January 1, 1958.
Haugesund is a small municipality, only 73 km².
The population is 31,738, giving the municipality a population density of 459 people per km².
The city is situated at a strategically important sound through which ships could
pass without heavy sea.
In the early years the coastal waters of Haugesund were a huge source of herring,
and the city grew accordingly.
Despite being a young city, king Harald Fairhair lived on Avaldsnes,
very close to the modern city.
In the last decades, the city, like its neighbours, has been turning towards the
petroleum industry, the herring being long gone.
Haugesund is a cultural centre for its region, and is home to several festivals,
the largest being the Norwegian International Film Festival and Sildajazz,
an international jazz festival with approximately 70 bands and close to 200 concerts.
As of 2007, Haugesund's agglomeration has a population of 41,183, of which
31,140 live in Haugesund and 10,043 live in Karmøy.
The Haugesund Region, a statistical metropolitan area, consisting
of the municipalities Karmøy, Haugesund, Tysvær, Sveio and Bokn,
has a population of 83,309 as of 2004.
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