Kristiansand is Norway’s fifth largest town with a population of 75,000. The town is the trade and communications centre for Sørlandet here in the south of Norway and has extensive train, bus, ferry and plane links with the rest of Norway and abroad.
The Country’s Second Largest Harbour
Kristiansand has the country’s second largest harbour and an economy based on industry, trade and tourism. The town was founded by King Christian IV in 1641 and the town centre is built in the Renaissance style. The renaissance style is readily apparent in the strict street plan of the area called Kvadraturen. “Posebyen”, the oldest section of town, boasts tiny, but charming houses in the traditional style of the area. The name comes from the French word reposer meaning to sleep, from when soldiers were billeted in private homes.
Hospitable, Good-natured Temperaments
The Norwegian concept of the southern idyll conjures up islets and skerries and small white houses with lush gardens nestled between rocky coastline knolls. The same building style characterises the other southern towns as well. One of the region poets claimed that people’s close contact with the sea has given them webbed feet and hospitable, good-natured temperaments.