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Kristiansund kommune
—  Municipality  —

Coat of arms

Møre og Romsdal within
Kristiansund within Møre og Romsdal
Coordinates (city): 63°7′28″N 7°49′7″E / 63.12444°N 7.81861°E / 63.12444; 7.81861Coordinates: 63°7′28″N 7°49′7″E / 63.12444°N 7.81861°E / 63.12444; 7.81861
Country Norway
County Møre og Romsdal
District Nordmøre
Municipality ID NO-1505
Administrative centre Kristiansund
 - Mayor (2007) Per Kristian Øyen (Ap)
Area (Nr. 426 in Norway)
 - Total 23 km2 (8.9 sq mi)
 - Land 87 km2 (33.6 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 - Total 23,240
 - Density 757.7/km2 (1,962.4/sq mi)
 - Change (10 years) 0.1 %
 - Rank in Norway 58
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Official language form Bokmål
Norwegian demonym Kristiansunder[1]
Data from Statistics Norway

Kristiansund Kristiansund.ogg [ˈkrɪstɪansʊn] is a city and municipality on the western coast of Norway, in the Nordmøre district of Møre og Romsdal county. It was officially awarded township status in 1742.

Kristiansund was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The island and municipality of Grip was merged with Kristiansund on 1 January 1964. The island and municipality of Frei was merged with Kristiansund on 1 January 2008.



The city borders Smøla to the northeast, Tustna to the east, and Averøy to the southwest. In the south, the island of "Nordlandet" borders the island of Frei which, since 2008, is a part of Kristiansund municipality. In the northwest the small island of Grip is located.[2].


8000 BC - 1066

Many scientists believe that the very first Norwegian lived near the city of Kristiansund. At the end of the last Ice age some areas at the western coast of Norway were ice-free. There was also a lot of food in the sea around Kristiansund at that time, and it is believed that the first settlement arrived in Kristiansund around year 8000 BC.

During the Viking ages there were many important battles around Kristiansund. The most famous one was the battle at Rastakalv on the island of Frei, where the Norwegian King "Håkon the Good" fought against the Eirikssønnene-group. There is now a memorial monument located near Rastakalv, where the battle was fought.

The middle ages

A picture of Christianssund from the early 1840s.

The island of Grip was an important fishing community during the Middle Ages, and were considered to be the most important municipality in the region at the time. The natural harbour in Lille-fosen, close to where Kristiansund is located today were also frequently used for fishing purposes.

17th to 18th century

During the 17th century a small settlement developed around the area we know today as Kristiansund harbour. As more and more settlers arrived, the area became an important trading port for fishing and the lumber transportation along the coast. The Dano-Norwegian government established a customs station here, which was controlled by the main trading port in Trondheim.

Dutch sailors brought the knowledge of clipfish production to Kristiansund at the end of the 17th century, and for a number of years the city was the largest exporter of clipfish in Norway, exporting goods mainly to the Mediterranean countries. The citys clipfish production was also part of the reason why it was awarded town status in 1742.


The city centre and harbour of Kristiansund seen from sea.

The city, formerly named "Christiansund", is named after the Danish-Norwegian king Christian VI in 1742. The last element of the name, sund, means "strait" or "sound". The old name of the town/village (originally the island Kirkelandet) was Fosna or Fosen (Old Norse: fólgsn) which means "hiding place" (here 'hidden port'). It was also often named Lille Fosen ("the small Fosen") to distinguish it from the island Storfosen ("the big Fosen") in Ørland.

Before 1877, the name was written Christianssund, from 1877-1888 it was spelled Kristianssund, and since 1889 it has had its present spelling, Kristiansund.

Before the introduction of postal codes in Norway in 1968, it was easy to confuse the name Kristiansund with Kristiansand in the south. It was therefore obligatory to always add an N (for north) to Kristiansund (Kristiansund N) and an S (for south) to Kristiansand (Kristiansand S).


The Coat-of-arms is from 1742. It shows a waterfall because the old name of the town (Fosen) was misinterpreted as Fossund (as a compound of foss which means waterfall and sund which means strait). There are, however, no waterfalls in the municipality.

Another myth concerning the coat-of-arms is that there was a mix up, between Kristiansund's and Molde's intended shield. The Dano-Norwegian government officials in charge of the giving of the coats, had a party to remember the momentous occasion and became too drunk and hungover to remember which was which, and so Molde got the coat with a whale (which are scarce in between the Romsdal fjords) and Kristiansund got the waterfall (since Molde is on the mainland and Kristiansund lies in the open sea, it would be more likely that the waterfall was intended for Molde's mountains and the whales for Kristiansund.)


There are two local TV stations in Kristiansund. The largest one is TVNordvest, (TV North-West) which broadcasts local news from the area around Kristiansund on a daily basis, as well as some other TV shows. The second one is TV Kristiansund, which is more of a culture channel, broadcasting cultural news from Kristiansund, like shows from the city Opera.

The local newspaper of Kristiansund is Tidens Krav, which also functions as a local newspaper for the other municipalities located nearby the city.

City parts and structure

The island of "Innlandet" in Kristiansund.

Kristiansund is built on five islands, where Nordlandet ("North Land"), humorously called Marokko ("Morocco"), is the second largest, and the site of the local airport, Kvernberget (IATA code: KSU). Gomalandet and Kirk(e)landet[3] ("Church Land"), third and fourth in size, are considered separate "lands" (islands) even though they are connected. The smallest island is Innlandet. ("Innermost Land"; humorously, "Tahiti") The city also consists of the larger island of Frei which was, until January 1, 2008, not a part of Kristiansund. Frei has now merged into Kristiansund municipality, and is now the largest of the five islands of Kristiansund. Even though there are many more smaller islands within city limits, these five "larger" islands are considered to be the "main islands". The highest point of the municipality is located in Frei, Freikollen at a height of 629 metres.

The island of Grip, located northwest of Kristiansund is also a part of the municipality. It was Norway's smallest municipality, and also one of the most remote until it merged with Kristiansund in 1964. Today the island of Grip holds status as a deserted fishing village, but in the summer season it is a popular tourist attraction due to the very special location and architecture. The second smallest Stave church of Norway (Undredal stave church is smaller) is also located at Grip.

Kristiansund is one of the most densely populated cities of Norway, having what is arguably the country's most urban small city centre, due to the relatively small size of the islands on which it is built and the very constricted central harbour/town area of Kirkelandet.


  • Kirkelandet kirke is the newest church, built on the main island Kirkelandet after the World War II, as the last piece in the reconstruction of the city.
  • Nordlandet kirke is located on the island Nordlandet. A stone church built in 1914.
  • Frei kirke is located on the island Frei.
  • Grip Stave Church is located on the island of Grip. The church is the smallest of its kind in Norway.
  • St. Eystein Catholic Church is the only catholic church in Kristiansund.


Kristiansund has a maritime, temperate climate with cool-to-warm summers and relatively short and mild winters. The city structure with the unique natural harbour of the city combined with warm wind from the southwest of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream gives Kristiansund a much warmer climate than its latitude would indicate.

Weather data for Kristiansund
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 2
Average low °C (°F) -1
Source:[4] 2008-10-06


The city council of Kristiansund have 45 representatives. (as of 2008) Per Kristian Øyen from the Labor Party (Arbeiderpartiet) was elected in 2007 as the mayor of Kristiansund, succeeding Dagfinn Ripnes.

The 2007 election

As of 2007 the following parties have representatives in the city council of Kristiansund:[5]

Kristiansund Kommunestyre 2007 - 2011
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
Labour Party Det Norske Arbeiderpartiet 20
Progress Party Fremskrittspartiet 8
Conservative Party Høyre 8
Christian Democratic Party Kristelig Folkeparti 2
Red Party Rødt/Raudt 1
Centre Party Senterpartiet 3
Socialist Left Party Sosialistisk Venstreparti 1
Liberal Party Venstre 2
  Total: 45

Twin towns

Together they have a tournament called Nordiske Dager. (Nordic Days)

Parks and gardens

A small section of the Langveien-park.

Though fairly small in size, the city of Kristiansund contain many green parks and gardens, frequently used by the city's inhabitants. There are two larger parks near the city centre. The first one is located near Langveien, and was constructed in the aftermath of World War II . The second one is located in Vanndamman. This area used to be part of the city water supply, due to the large amount of small lakes in the area. (hence the name "Vanndamman" (The Water pounds)) The two parks are partly linked together, but the Langveien-park serve more as an urban recreation area due to the short walking distance from the city centre, while the Vanndamman-park is more suitable for outings and jogging.


Festiviteten in Kristiansund

Started in 1876 and still going strong is the Sundbåt ("Sound Boat"/"Strait Crossing Boat") shuttle service with a capacity of a few tens of passengers, travelling between the islands. The small motor ferry crosses the harbour from Kirk(e)landet to Innlandet, then goes on to Nordlandet, to Gomalandet, and back to Kirkelandet, repeating the round trip in half-hour intervals morning to evening on weekdays. The Sundbåt bears the distinction of being the world's oldest motorized regular public transport system in continuous service.

The road to Kristiansund from mainland Norway, National Road No. 70 (RV 70) is connected to European route E39 at the bridge/tunnel system called Krifast. After passing through the underwater tunnel from the central part of Krifast, RV 70 crosses Frei, and enters Kristiansund over the Omsund Bridge onto Nordlandet. The Nordsund Bridge brings the RV 70 to Gomalandet and its terminus in downtown at Kirkelandet. Another high bridge, the Sørsund Bridge, leads from Kirkelandet to Innlandet. The above mentioned E39 leads southwest to Molde and northeast via the E6 to Mid-Norway's principal city, Trondheim.

There is a car ferry going from Kirkelandet to Averøy, whose people have been commuting to town for many years for work as well as selling agriculture products. The ferry to Averøy connects Kristiansund to RV 64, which goes on via the scenic Atlanterhavsvegen to Molde. The ferry is scheduled to be replaced by the 5.7 km long underwater tunnel Atlanterhavstunnelen in December 2009. A second car ferry goes from Seivika on Nordlandet to Tustna in the northeast (road: RV 680), with further road and ferry connections to the islands Smøla and Hitra, and to Aure on the mainland.

Besides roads and car ferries and Kvernberget airport, communications to/from Kristiansund consist of the traditional coastal express Hurtigruten connecting coastal towns from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the north, and the high speed catamaran passenger service Kystekspressen to Trondheim. Another option to get to Kristiansund is to fly with Scandinavian Airlines from several other Norwegian cities.

Commerce and industry

The front fasade of Kirkelandet kirke. It was one of the first truly modern church buildings in Norway, constructed in the mid 1960s.

Kristiansund is known as the major bacalao city of Norway. Bacalao is made of salted, dried codfish,[6] and has traditionally been exported in large amounts to Spain, Portugal and Latin America as food suitable during Lent. In recent years Kristiansund has become the major oil and gas city at the mid-northwestern coast. Oil companies like Shell and StatoilHydro have offices in Kristiansund from where they serve their offshore installations at Haltenbanken (one of the northernmost underwater oil fields in the world).

Due to the city's heavy involvement in fish processing and international shipping, there used to be as many as seven consulates in Kristiansund, mainly to Latin countries. Currently, there are only five left: Britain, Finland, Latvia, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

Culture and sports

Kristiansund is an important cultural centre in the region of Nordmøre. The city is probably best known for housing Norway's oldest opera, which was established in 1928 by Edvard Bræin. There is an annual opera festival held every February in Kristiansund named The Opera Weeks (Operafestukene). In addition to this, Kristiansund is also host city of Northern Europes largest photo festival, Nordic Light. Even though this is a rather "young" festival, (Est. 2006) it has grown to become one of the most important of its kind in Europe, attracting famous photographers from all around the world, like Don McCullin, Jock Sturges and William Klein.[7] Other smaller festivals held in Kristiansund include The Tahiti Festival and Kristiansund Church, Art and Culture Festival (shortened to the KKKK-festival in Norwegian).

Kristiansund's main football team, KBK is a result of the merger between the two largest football teams in the city, KFK and Clausenengen which got together so they could make an elite football club in Kristiansund. KBK now plays in the second division in the Norwegian football league.

Other popular sports in Kristiansund include Volleyball, Wrestling, Swimming, Ice skating and Handball.

Tourist attractions

The Norwegian clipfish museum. These building are typical for Kristiansund, and are easy to see along the harbour.
  • The archipelago of Grip, southwest of Kristiansund was until 1964 the smallest municipality of Norway. Today it is a deserted fishing village, but is a popular tourist attraction for the special architecture and unique location. Norway's smallest stave church, which was constructed in the end of the 15th century is also located at Grip.
  • Sundbåtene in Kristiansund claims to be the world's oldest public transport system, founded in 1876. The small "Sundbåt" passenger ferries crosses between the four "lands" of the city.
  • The old city structure in Vågen is a center for the historical fishing settlement in Kristiansund. Mellemværftet is also located here, which is an old shipbuilding facility for sailer ships. The Norwegian Clipfish Museum is also located here.
  • Innlandet is an old city part of Kristiansund with very special and unique coastal architecture. Innlandet is the part of Kristiansund who was least destroyed during the bombings of Kristiansund during World War II .
  • Nordic Light is an annual festival of photography arranged for the first time in 2006, and is currently the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The festival is represented by Morten Krogvold.
  • Festiviteten (Kristiansund Opera) is the oldest opera house in Norway. It is built in Art Nouveau-style, and was completed in 1914. It is one of the few older buildings in the city centre of Kristiansund that survived the bombing of the city during World War II .

Notable people from Kristiansund

The following people are from, or have their roots in, Kristiansund.

Kristiansund Picture Links

External links


  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.  
  2. ^ Grip was Norway's smallest-area municipality before being merged into Kristiansund in 1964.
  3. ^ In the local dialect, Kirkelandet (the "Church Land") is pronounced "Kirklandet", without the middle e.
  4. ^ "Weather Information for Oslo".]. Retrieved 6 Okt 2008.  
  5. ^ "Members of the local councils". Statistics Norway. 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2008.  
  6. ^ Salted, dried cod, used in bacalao (see Baccalà and Bacalhau), is known locally as klippfisk ("Cliff Fish", eng. clipfish), the name coming from the rounded, barren cliffs on which the fish were traditionally left to dry in the open air after being opened, gutted, flattened, salted, and pressed.
  7. ^

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Kristiansund [1] is a city and municipality on the mid-western coast of Norway, located in Møre og Romsdal county. It is arguably the city with the most special and interesting architecture of Norway, which originates from the aftermath of World War Two, when nearly 80% of the city was demolished by bombs. Situated on five islands slightly off the shore of main-land Norway. The natural harbour formed by the islands is considered to be very unique and particularly beautiful, protecting the city centre from winds and weather outside in the Atlantic Ocean.

Get in

By plane

Kristiansund Internatinal Airport, Kvernberget (IATA: KSU) (ICAO: ENKB) is an airport located 6 km east of the city centre, easily available by car, taxi or shuttle bus. There are numerous daily departures to all the larger Norwegian cities, including Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Haugesund and Kristiansand. The main carrier at the airport is Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).

By car

European Route E39 conects Kristiansund with main-land Norway through the KRIFAST-bridge and tunnel system. Route 70 leads all the way into the city centre. Atlanterhavstunnelen (The Atlantic Sea Tunnel) is an underwater tunnel which opened for public transport and cars on dec. 19th 2009. The tunnel links the city of Kristiansund to the island of Averøy, and the popular tourist attraction of Atlanterhavsveien.

By bus

The two bus companies NorWay Bus Express and TimEkspressen have regular scheduled bus routes to and from Kristiansund. TimEkspressen have departures for Molde and Ålesund every hour, (hence the name TimEkspressen literally meaning "The Hour Express") while NorWay Bus Express have schedules to Oslo, Oppdal and Trondheim numerous times a day. There is also an extensive local bus network run by Nettbuss Møre, connecting the different parts of the city with each other.

By boat

Kristiansund is a scheduled stop point for Hurtigruten (The Norwegian Coastal Steamer) on it's way from Bergen to Kirkenes. There is also a twice a day catamaran passenger boat-service to Trondheim from Kristiansund. In the summer season there is also scheduled boat service to the isle of Grip, outside of Kristiansund in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a popular summer destination for tourists with it's unique coastal architecture.

Get around

Nettbuss Møre's blue, local busses have frequent departures from Kristiansund Trafikkterminal to the different parts and suburbs of the city. Currently, the price for a one-way ticket lies between kr 15 and kr 30, depending on your destination.

The four main island of which the city of Kristiansund is built in is also connected by a passenger ferry-system, as well as road bridges. The "Sundbåt" carry passengers between all the four islands with departures every 20 minutes.

  • Kristiansund Opera House. Is the oldest opera house in Norway, completed in 1914. The opera, arguably one of the most beautiful of its kind is built in Art Nouveau-style, and is one of the few buildings that survived the bombings of the city during World War Two.  edit
  • Innlandet. Is an old city part of Kristiansund with very special and unique coastal architecture. Innlandet is the part of Kristiansund who was least destroyed during the bombings of Kristiansund during World War Two.  edit
  • Sundbåtene, [2]. 7.30AM-7.55PM. In Kristiansund holds status as the world's oldest public transport system founded in 1776. The small "Sundbåt" passenger ferries crosses between the four islands of the city. Adults: kr 23, Children: kr 12.  edit
  • Vanndamman. Was originally the site of the city's water reserves, but is today a popular recreation and park area near the city centre.  edit
  • Peppes Pizza, Kaibakken 2, +47 22225555.  edit
  • Sjøstjerna Fiskerestaurant, Skolegata 8, +47 71678778 (), [3]. Fish restaurant, with clipfish as a specialty.  edit
  • Bryggekanten Brasserie, Storkaia 1, +47 71676160.  edit
  • Dødeladen Kulturrestaurant, Skippergata 1 A, +47 71675030 (, fax: +47 71675031). Tu-Th: 5PM-11PM, F: 5PM-midnight, Sa: noon-midnight, Su: 2PM-7PM.  edit
  • Smia Restaurant, Fosnagata 30 B, +47 71671170 (, fax: +47 71671158).  edit


There is a large variety of bars, night clubs and such in Kristiansund. Night clubs are usually open between 11 PM and 3 AM, while the opening hours for bars varies. Some bars are open even in daytime. Most places require that you are 20 years or older, but since the legal drinking age in Norway is 18, it varies from place to place. Do note that many night clubs practice ID-validation, meaning that you will have to carry an ID to be permitted access. Valid forms of ID include Norwegian bank cards, European standardized driving licenses or ID-cards and passports.

  • Atlanten Motell og Camping, Dalaveien 22, +47 71671104 (, fax: +47 71672405). Is a small motel and camping-area, located 3 km outside the city of Kristiansund.  edit
  • Havna Gjestehus, Vågeveien 5. Is a small guesthouse that offers cheap accommodation in the city centre of Kristiansund.  edit
  • Utsyn Café og Gjestehus, Kongens Plass 4. Is a guesthouse located on the second floor of the Utsyn Cafeteria, right next to the central square of Kristiansund.  edit
  • Astoria Hotel, Hauggata 13, +47 71678437 (). Is a small hotel, situated close to the city harbour.  edit
  • Comfort Hotel Fosna, Hauggata 16, +47 71571100. Is a medium-sized hotel located in the city centre of Kristiansund, with walking distance to the harbour.  edit
  • Hotel Kristiansund, Storgata 17, +47 71570300. Is a hotel situated at the sea front of Kristiansund, close to Kristiansunds largest shopping mall.  edit
  • Rica Hotel Kristiansund, Storgata 41, +47 71571200 (). Is a modern, sea-front hotel in the city centre of Kristiansund. The hotel holds status as the largest of Kristiansund, offering great value and service.  edit
  • Quality Hotel Grand, Bernstorffstredet 1, +47 71571300 (, fax: +47 71571301). Is the oldest, and one of the most exclusive hotels of Kristiansund. Located right in the centre core of the city, the hotel offers walking distance to nearly everything Kristiansund has to offer.  edit
  • Thon Hotel Innlandet, Heinsagaten 12. Is a hotel under construction on the isle of "Innlandet" in Kristiansund. The hotel is being built in one of the old and characteristic harbour houses in the city, giving the guests an unique atmospheric experience.  edit
  • Aure is a typical coastal municipality of Møre og Romsdal with many beautiful small islands. Most people live near the shore. Aure merged with Tustna in 2006 and the new municipality is called Aure. Population 3.600.

Aure’s coastline is almost 300 kilometres long. Unique possibilities for angling from the shore and from the many bridges and sounds. Fishing from boats for herring, mackerel, saithe, cod and pollock. Great hunting for red deer in the large forest and mountain areas. Excellent fishing for freshwater trout and sea trout. The scenery on Tustna is dominated by the coastal mountains. These over 900-metre-tall mountains, which rise straight up from the shore, form a chain in a north-south direction. Great walking, with several paths ascending to the summits, which offer fantastic views of the ocean and the fjords.

  • Grip is an archipelago located southwest of Kristiansund, and was until 1964 the smallest municipality of Norway. Today it is a deserted fishing village, but is a popular tourist attraction for the special architecture and unique location. Norway's smallest stave church, which was constructed in the end of the 15th century is also located at Grip.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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Proper noun


  1. A municipality in Møre og Romsdal, Norway

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