View of Arendal's city centre in August 2006
Arendal within Agder
|• Mayor (2015)||Robert Cornels Nordli (Ap)|
|• Total||270.21 km2 (104.33 sq mi)|
|• Land||255.14 km2 (98.51 sq mi)|
|• Water||15.07 km2 (5.82 sq mi)|
|Area rank||288 in Norway|
|• Rank||20 in Norway|
|• Density||174.7/km2 (452/sq mi)|
|• Change (10 years)||11.3%|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-4203|
|Official language form||Bokmål|
Arendal (Urban East Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈɑ̂ːɳɖɑːl] (
The 270-square-kilometre (100 sq mi) municipality is the 288th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Arendal is the 20th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 44 800. The municipality's population density is 174.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (452/sq mi) and its population has increased by 11.3% over the last decade.
The town of Arendal was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 January 1875, a small area with 22 inhabitants was transferred from the town to the neighboring municipality of Østre Moland and another small area with 52 residents was transferred to the neighboring municipality of Øyestad.
On 1 January 1902, the rural municipality of Barbu (population: 6,787) was merged into the town of Arendal. In 1944, a small area of Moland with a population of 21 inhabitants was transferred to Arendal as well. On 1 January 1992, the town was vastly expanded. The neighboring rural municipalities of Hisøy (pop: 4,026), Moland (pop: 8,148), Tromøy (pop: 4,711), and Øyestad (pop: 8,679) were all merged with the town of Arendal which had a population of 12,478, bringing the total population of the new municipality of Arendal to 38,042.
The Old Norse form of the name was probably Arnardalr. The first element is the genitive case of ǫrn which means "eagle" and the last element is dalr which means "valley" or "dale", thus meaning the "eagle valley".
The coat-of-arms of Arendal were granted on 7 November 1924 (based upon an older seal). The blue and silver arms show a sailing ship as a symbol for the importance of fisheries and sailing to the local economy. A ship appeared on the oldest known seal of the town, dating back to the 17th century. In the late 19th and early 20th century the arms showed the ship in the upper part and a landscape with the coat of arms of Norway in the base of the shield.
The Church of Norway has six parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Arendal. It is part of the Arendal prosti ( deanery ) in the Diocese of Agder og Telemark.
|Parish (Sokn)||Church Name||Location of the Church||Year Built|
|Moland||Austre Moland Church||Brekka||1673|
|Tromøy Church||Brekka||c. 1150|
|Øyestad Church||Rykene||c. 1200|
The village of Arendal was established in the middle of the 16th century, and was then called Arendall. Initially, it had no formal town status.
When the town of Christianssand was founded by King Christian IV in 1641, he granted the citizens a monopoly on all trade in Nedenæs and Lister og Mandal counties (including the area of Arendal). This grant, intended to subsidize Christianssand and its fortifications, placed existing towns in a difficult position. Both towns and the peasants in the rural countryside protested the hardships this caused. As a result, Arendal received royal permission in 1622 to continue as a loading-place for timber until a means could be found to transfer its trade to Christianssand.
The town of Arendal was given market city privileges in 1723. However the peasants in the surrounding district, who by law were to sell their goods only at Arendal, were smuggling their goods out on cutters and selling them in Denmark, in the Baltic, and in Britain.
This continued until 1735, when Arendal was granted a full town charter. This charter, combined with Danish imposition of a monopoly on grain imports, caused great poverty and starvation among the peasants in the surrounding districts, leading to several famous rebellions.
As a result of the rebellions, the age of privileges for towns like Christianssand and Arendal came to an apparent end in 1768 by royal proclamation. But the problems did not end then; a farmer, Christian Jensen Lofthuus, in nearby Vestre Moland led a rebellion in 1786 which resulted in the government actually remedying some of the most repressive trade policies, but Lofthus died in prison. The charges against Lofthus were that he dealt in grain and other commodities to the detriment to Arendal's privileges.
Shipping, shipbuilding, and timber trade as well as mining and ironworks were important branches of industry in Nedenæs county for many centuries, especially in the Arendal region. Frequent contacts with the world abroad put their mark on our culture and traditions. In 1880, it was the country's biggest port in terms of tonnage handled. At the end of the 19th century, Arendal was recognized as a major shipping centre with many wealthy shipowners. However, this came to an end following the 1886 Arendal crash, in which Axel Nicolai Herlofson had defrauded many bank customers in the city, leading to bankruptcies and extreme unemployment.At one point in the middle of the 18th century, Arendal was one of Norway's biggest mining cities. The main production consisted of iron ore and magnetite.
Around the turn of the twentieth century, when thousands of Norwegians sought to take advantage of the more stable economic climate of the United States by emigrating, many of those from Arendal took their economic traditions with them. In New York City and the surrounding areas, a great deal of Americans who claim Norwegian ancestry can trace their roots to Arendal, as a great deal of Norwegian sailors, trimmers, shipbuilders, and carpenters from Arendal settled in areas of New York such as Brooklyn, Port Richmond (Staten Island), and several industrial centers in northern New Jersey such as Jersey City, Bayonne, Perth Amboy, and Elizabeth. In 1939, Arendal had the 4th largest Norwegian tanker fleet; only Oslo, Bergen, and Stavanger were larger.
During the German invasion of Norway on 9 April 1940, Arendal was captured by the German torpedo boat Greif.
Today, the town has small boat manufacturing, mechanical industry, electronics industry, as well as one of the world's largest silicon carbide refining plants.
All municipalities in Norway, including Arendal, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.
The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Arendal is made up of 39 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:
|Party Name (in Norwegian)||Number of|
|Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)||15|
|Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet)||6|
|Green Party (Miljøpartiet De Grønne)||1|
|Conservative Party (Høyre)||8|
|Christian Democratic Party (Kristelig Folkeparti)||3|
|Pensioners' Party (Pensjonistpartiet)||1|
|Centre Party (Senterpartiet)||1|
|Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)||2|
|Liberal Party (Venstre)||2|
|Total number of members:||39|
The municipality is bordered to the southwest by Grimstad, to the northwest by Froland, to the northeast by Tvedestrand, and to the southeast by the Skaggerak. The lake Rore is located on the Grimstad border along with the river Nidelva.
Arendal is the geologic type locality of the mineral Babingtonite, which was first described from specimens discovered here in 1824.
The coastal municipality includes several populated islands such as Hisøya, Tromøya, Merdø, Flostaøya, and Tverrdalsøya as well as many unpopulated or sparsely populated islands such as Ærøya. The island of Merdø was a major export port in the 17th and 18th centuries and now has a museum, a kiosk, and several beaches. There is regular boat service from Arendal to the island every day during the summer season.
In the middle of the town centre of Arendal is an area with wooden houses dating back to the 17th century. This area is called Tyholmen, and is what is left of buildings from before the 19th century. The inner harbour of Arendal is called "Pollen", where the fish market, pubs, and restaurants are located. Trinity Church dominates the skyline of this area.
Arendal has grown from a traditional sleepy summer-town (with culture activities just in the summer) to a more "all year" city. The building of the new library and the combined city hall/concert house has greatly improved culture life.
The Store Torungen Lighthouse is located on the island of Store Torungen outside Arendal. It was constructed in 1844 and electrified in 1914. It is 34.3 metres (113 ft) high and contains a 2nd order lens. It is reachable by a 55-minute boat trip from the town centre. The lighthouse is still in use.
The Lille Torungen Lighthouse is situated on the small island of Lille Torungen outside Arendal. The lighthouse is 28.9 metres (95 ft) high. Lille Torungen and Store Torungen were constructed as twin lighthouses, and both are located in the Arendal shipping lane.
The Sandvigodden Lighthouse is also located in Arendal.
Strømsbo gård is a manor house on a historic farm located west of the center of Arendal. The manor dates from the 1760s. From 1804 the manor and farm were owned by members of the Herlofson family. Peter Herlofson took over the farm and gave the building its present form. In 1883, Axel Herlofsen (1845–1910) built the Strømsbo steam sawmill at the head of Strømsbubukt. Nicolai Benjamin Herlofson (1876-1945), former mayor of Arendal, was born and raised at Strømsbo.
The European route E18 highway is a major transportation route through Arendal heading to Oslo in the northeast and Kristiansand to the southwest. Other main roads in Arendal include the Norwegian County Road 407, Norwegian County Road 408, and Norwegian County Road 410. The local railway line Arendalsbanen runs to Nelaug where it connects with the main Sørlandsbanen railway line, which runs between the cities of Oslo and Stavanger.
The Setesdal Bilruter (on behalf of public transit authority AKT) provides bus connections throughout the Arendal area, the Setesdal-region including Froland, as well as to the neighboring towns of Grimstad, Lillesand and Kristiansand, and a handful of their suburbs and outlying villages. A few more destinations can be reached with other bus operators (namely Agder Buss, Nettbuss, Konkurrenten.no, and Lavprisekspressen), including places such as Risør, Tvedestrand, Oslo, and Stavanger.There is also a bus connection to Kristiansand Airport operated by Agder Flyekspress and Nettbuss express (the latter on behalf of Flybussen.no). Ferries run between the city center and the islands of Hisøya and Tromøya. Arendal does also have an airport, Arendal Airport, Gullknapp, although it does not have any commercial airlines regularly stopping here.
The climate here is mild, and generally warm and temperate. Arendal has a significant amount of rainfall during the year. This is true even for the driest month. The climate here is classified as Cfb by the Köppen-Geiger system. The average annual temperature in Arendal is 7.2 °C (45.0 °F). In a year, the average rainfall is 1,010 millimetres (40 in).
|Climate data for Arendal|
|Average high °C (°F)||1.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.4|
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.5|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||85|
Arendal has sister city agreements with the following places:
The area around Arendal was the location for the 1997 Lille Lørdag series Min drømmeserie starring Harald Eia and Bård Tufte Johansen. The 2013 Disney film Frozen is set in a fictional kingdom named Arendelle, which is derived from and loosely based on the city of Arendal.
Aust-Agder was one 18 counties (fylker) in Norway up to 1 January 2020, when it was merged with Vest-Agder to form Agder county. In 2002, there were 102,945 inhabitants, which was 2.2% of the total population in Norway. Its area was 9,212 square kilometres (3,557 sq mi). The administrative center of the county was the town of Arendal.
Grimstad is a municipality in Agder county, Norway. It belongs to the geographical region of Sørlandet. The administrative center of the municipality is the town of Grimstad. Some of the villages in Grimstad include Eide, Espenes, Fevik, Fjære, Håbbestad, Hesnes, Homborsund, Jortveit, Kroken, Landvik, Nygrenda, Prestegårdskogen, Reddal, Roresand, Rønnes, Skiftenes, Tjore, Vik, and Østerhus.
Southern Norway is the geographical region (landsdel) along the Skagerrak coast of southern Norway. The region is an informal description since it does not have any governmental function. It roughly corresponds to the old petty kingdom of Agder as well as the two former counties of Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder. From New Year 2020, the two counties have been merged into one county, Agder. The total combined area of Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder counties is 16,493 square kilometres (6,368 sq mi). The name is relatively new, having first been used in Norway around 1900.
Barbu is part of the town of Arendal in Aust-Agder county, Norway. It is also a former municipality which existed from 1878 until 1902 when it was merged into Arendal. The 15.7-square-kilometre (6.1 sq mi) municipality was located just to the north of the 0.34-square-kilometre (84-acre) town of Arendal. The administrative centre of the small, urban municipality was called Barbu as well. Barbu Church was the church for the municipality. Today, the name Barbu refers to the village-like place located in head of the Galtesundet strait. Barbu is also a parish (sogn) in the Arendal prosti (deanery) within the Diocese of Agder og Telemark.
Moland is a former municipality in Aust-Agder county, Norway. The 127-square-kilometre (49 sq mi) municipality existed from 1962 until 1992 when it was merged into the present-day municipality of Arendal. The administrative centre of the municipality was the village of Eydehavn which had a population of 6,011 in 1967 and 8,148 in 1992. Other villages in the municipality included Kilsund, Narestø, Saltrød, Brekka, Strengereid, Vatnebu, and Sagene. The municipality consisted of the mainland area to the north and northeast of the town of Arendal plus the islands of Flostaøya and Tverrdalsøya.
Tromøy is a former municipality of Norway in Aust-Agder county. The 30-square-kilometre (12 sq mi) municipality existed from 1878 until its dissolution in 1992. The municipal area is now part of the municipality of Arendal. The administrative centre was the village of Brekka, where the historic Tromøy Church is. The municipality encompassed all of the island of Tromøya as well as many smaller surrounding islands such as Merdø, Gjesøya, Skilsøy, and Tromlingene.
Hisøy is a former municipality in Aust-Agder county, Norway. The 10-square-kilometre (3.9 sq mi) municipality existed from 1881 until 1992 when it was merged into the municipality of Arendal. At the time of its dissolution, it was the smallest municipality in the whole county. The municipality encompassed the islands of Hisøya, Gjervoldsøy, Havsøya, Ærøya, Store Torungen, Lille Torungen, and several other small, unpopulated islands. The administrative centre was the village of Kolbjørnsvik on Hisøya island. Hisøy Church was the main church for the municipality, located in the village of His in the central part of Hisøya.
Austre Moland is a former municipality in Aust-Agder county, Norway. The municipality existed from 1838 until 1962 when it was merged into the neighboring municipality of Arendal. The administrative centre was at Brekka where the Austre Moland Church is located.
Øyestad is a former municipality in Aust-Agder county, Norway. The municipality existed from 1838 until 1992 when it was merged into the present-day municipality of Arendal. At the time of its dissolution, the 96-square-kilometre (37 sq mi) municipality of Øyestad encompassed most of the coastline between the towns of Grimstad and Arendal, along with the forested areas along the Nidelva river heading inland. Back in 1838, however, the municipality was far larger in size. The administrative centre was the village of Bjorbekk near the Bjorbekk Church.
Eydehavn or Eydehamn is a village in the municipality of Arendal in Aust-Agder county, Norway. The village is located about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) northeast of the centre of the town of Arendal, about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) northeast of the village of Saltrød, about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) south of the village of Strengereid, and just across the Tromøysundet strait from Kongshamn on the island of Tromøy. The village is named after Sam Eyde, the Norwegian engineer and industrialist. The local sports team is called IL Sørfjell and have teen teams in a variety of sports. Eydehavn has about 1,100 residents as of 2015.
Tromøya or Tromøy is the largest island in Southern Norway. The 28.6-square-kilometre (11.0 sq mi) island is entirely located in the municipality of Arendal in Agder county, Norway. The island has about 5,300 residents which gives it a population density of about 185 inhabitants per square kilometre (480/sq mi). The island is located directly across the harbor from the town of Arendal. The highest point on the island is the 95-metre (312 ft) tall Vardåsen. The island is separated from the mainland to the north by the Tromøysundet strait and it is separated from the island of Hisøya to the southwest by the Galtesundet strait.
Tromøy Church is a parish church in Arendal municipality in Agder county, Norway. It is located in the village of Brekka on the east coast of the island of Tromøy. It is one of the two churches for the Tromøy parish which is part of the Arendal prosti (deanery) in the Diocese of Agder og Telemark. This was the main church for the municipality of Tromøy from 1878 until its dissolution in 1992.
Hove is a largely beach area on the island of Tromøy in the municipality of Arendal in Aust-Agder county, Norway.
Lillesand is the administrative centre of Lillesand municipality in Agder county, Norway. The town is located along the Skaggerak coast, about 18 kilometres (11 mi) southwest of the town of Grimstad and about 25 kilometres (16 mi) northeast of the city of Kristiansand. The 5.03-square-kilometre (1,240-acre) town has a population (2016) of 7,530 which gives the town a population density of 1,497 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,880/sq mi).
Raet National Park is a national park in Arendal, Tvedestrand and Grimstad in Aust-Agder, southeastern Norway. It is mostly a marine park, and includes some islands and coastal areas. Raet covers an area of 607 km2 (234 sq mi), of which 599 km2 (231 sq mi) is sea and 8 km2 (3 sq mi) is land. The park was established on 16 December 2016.
Arendal is a city in Agder county, Norway. The city is the administrative centre of the municipality of Arendal and the seat of the County governor of Aust-Agder. The city also includes some area in the neighboring municipality of Grimstad as well. In Norway, Arendal is considered a by which can be translated as either a "town" or "city" in English.
Store Torungen Lighthouse is a coastal lighthouse on the island of Store Torungen in the municipality of Arendal in Agder county, Norway. This lighthouse, together with the nearby Lille Torungen Lighthouse, mark the entrance from the Skaggerak through the outlying islands to the mainland town of Arendal. Both lighthouses were built in 1844 with the same specifications, making "twin" lighthouses marking the way to Arendal. The two lighthouses were put on the coat-of-arms for the local municipality of Hisøy in which the lighthouses were located. Over time, both lighthouses were replaced, and the only one still standing is the Lille Torungen Lighthouse, although it is no longer in use. The site of the Store Torungen Lighthouse is accessible only by boat. The island and site is open to the public, the tower is open daily during the summers, and the lighthouse keepers house is available to rent for overnight accommodations.
Lille Torungen Lighthouse is a coastal lighthouse on the island of Lille Torungen in the municipality of Arendal in Agder county, Norway. This lighthouse, together with the nearby Store Torungen Lighthouse, mark the entrance from the Skaggerak through the outlying islands to the mainland town of Arendal. Both lighthouses were built in 1844 with the same specifications, making "twin" lighthouses marking the way to Arendal. The two lighthouses were put on the coat-of-arms for the local municipality of Hisøy in which the lighthouses were located. Over time, both lighthouses were replaced, and the only one still standing is the Lille Torungen Lighthouse, although it is no longer in use. The site of the Lille Torungen Lighthouse is accessible only by boat. The island and site is open to the public, but the buildings are not.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Arendal .|