| University of Agder, Ansgar School of Theology and Mission|
Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park, Christiansholm Fortress, Agder Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden, Kristiansand Cathedral, Otra
Kristiansand is a city, municipality and the county capital of Vest-Agder county in Southern Norway. Kristiansand municipality is the fifth largest in Norway, with a population of 85,681 as of 1 January 2014. The Kristiansand urban area had a population of 154,346 on 1 January 2013, and is thus the fifth largest urban area in Norway. In addition, Statistics Norway counts 4 other densely populated areas in the municipality: Skalevik (Flekkeroy) with a population of 3,526, Strai with a population of 1,636, Justvik with a population of 1,803 and Tveit with a population of 1,396 (as of January 2012).
The Kristiansand area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In 1996 the well-preserved skeleton of a woman dating to approximately 6500 BC was discovered in the neighboring municipality of Sogne, which demonstrates very early habitation of the archipelago. Grauthelleren (Grathelleren) on Fidjane is believed to be a Stone Age settlement. The first discovery in Norway of a Sarup enclosure (a Neolithic form of ritual enclosure first identified at Sarup on the Danish island of Funen) was made in 2010 at Hamresanden and dates to c. 3400 BC. Archaeological excavations to the east of Oddernes Church have uncovered rural settlements that existed during the centuries immediately before and after the beginning of our era. Together with a corresponding discovery in Rogaland, these are unique in the Norwegian context; isolated farms, rather than villages, were the norm in ancient Norway. Other discoveries in grave mounds around the church, in the Lund section of the city, indicate habitation beginning c. 400 AD, and 25 cooking pits that were found immediately outside the church wall in 1907 are probably even older. One of the largest pre-Christian burial grounds in South Norway was formerly located to the south and west of the church. A royal centre is thought to have existed at Oddernes before 800, and the church was built around 1040.
Before the stone church was built, one or perhaps two wooden post churches are believed to have stood on the same spot. A few years ago, excavations were carried out under and around the runestone when it was moved to the church porch; the grave finds indicated that the churchyard must already have been unusually large in the High Middle Ages. This means that the area must have had a large population before it was reduced by the Black Death.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, there was already a busy port and a small village on the Otra at the lowest point of todays Lund neighborhood (Lahelle). Another important element in the development of Kristiansand was the harbor on the island of Flekkeroy, which was the most important on the Skagerrak beginning in the 16th century and was first fortified under King Christian III in 1555. In 1635, King Christian IV ordered his feudal seigneur, Palle Rosenkrantz, to move from Nedenes and build a royal palace on the island.
Kristiansand is strategically located on the Skagerrak, and until the opening of the Kiel Canal between the North Sea and the Baltic was very important militarily and geopolitically. This meant that for centuries it served as a military stronghold, first as Harald Fairhairs royal residence, then as a Danish-Norwegian fortress, and later as a garrison town. Kristiansand is a gateway to and from the continent, with ferry service to Denmark and a terminus of the railway line along the southern edge of South Norway.
Geologically, this part of Agder is part of the Swedo-Norwegian Base Mountain Shield, the southwestern section of the Baltic Shield, and consists of two main geological formations of Proterozoic rocks that were formed in the Gothic and later Swedo-Norwegian orogenies, with significant metamorphism during the latter. There is a substrate of 1,600–1,450 million-year-old slate, quartzite, marble and amphibolite with some hornblende gneiss, and overlaid on this acidic surface structures of both granite and granodiorite (in general 1,250–1,000 million years old, in some places 1,550–1,480 million years old). The Bamblefelt geological area starts to the east of the municipality and extends to Grenland.
The last Swedo-Norwegian formations are evident in large formations of granite. There are also incidences of gabbro and diorite, less commonly eclogite. The Caledonian orogeny did not affect this area. Faults run southwest-northeast. In ancient times there was a volcano off Flekkeroy, which left deposits of volcanic rock just north of central Kristiansand, on the site of the estate of Eg, now occupied by the Hospital of Southern Norway.
Christianssands Bryggeri is a producer of beer and soft drinks with a long history in the city. The brewery was established in 1859, and all products are made with spring water from the companys own spring, called Christian IVs kilde (Christian IVs spring).
The Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble merged in 2003. The orchestra now performs at the Kilden Performing Arts Centre, which opened in January 2012. This is also the new home of Agder Theatre, founded in 1991.
Sorlandets Art Museum is in the centre of Kristiansand, in the former buildings of the cathedral school. It was established in 1995 building on the former collection of Christiansands billedgalleri, and is the second-largest regional art museum in Norway. It includes both fine art and crafts and runs an extensive programme of activities that includes exhibitions of the permanent collection, temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, and touring exhibitions to schools and child-care facilities.
Christianssands Kunstforening, now renamed Kristiansand Kunsthall, is one of the oldest and largest art associations in Norway, founded in 1881, and has approximately 650 square metres (7,000 sq ft) of exhibition space for contemporary art in central Kristiansand. The association began assembling a permanent collection in 1902; this is now housed in Sorlandets Art Museum.
Cultiva, a local foundation, was established to ensure a portion of the profits made from selling shares in Agder Energy Ltd have lasting benefits to the community, focusing on art, culture, creativity and building competence; it supported projects in Kristiansand until the financial crisis forced cut-backs in 2011. In addition the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage endowed a cultural free port, Porto Rico, as one of the pilot projects of its "value creation project" in the 2000s.
In 2007 Kristiansand was awarded the designation Norges kulturkommune (Norways culture municipality), a distinction awarded every other year by the Norwegian Culture Forum.
Fiskebrygga is a former fish landing on either side of the Gravane canal, which separates the city centre from Odderoya; it was refurbished in the 1990s and now has wood-fronted buildings housing restaurants and shops including a fish market. It is very popular in summer, when the canal is also heavily used by boats.
The municipality millennium is Tresse - Retranchement, the city party space in front of Christiansholm Fortress, bottom Festningsgata the Baltic sea. The millennium was celebrated here include a large sign. A small sign to mark the Millennium for the future are made, but per. 2011 not installed in anticipation of the festival grounds shall be given a facelift. It should also dug a channel within the fortress, so this again is left on an island. These projects are waiting for political consideration and funding. Tusenarstreet were planted on the lawn between the festival grounds and playground/ice rink in Tresse.