We will be making a return visit to Kristiansand, Norway soon via a 7-Day Viking Sagas cruise on Holland America Line’s new ms Koningsdam.
Not to be confused with the city of Kristiansund on Norway’s northwestern coast, Kristiansand is a city of nearly 90,000 resident located on Norway’s south coast, facing Denmark and surrounded by water on three sides.
9 Fun Facts About Kristiansand, Norway
1. Kristiansand is Norway’s outdoor playground with mild temperatures mild and little snow. The city is warmer than most other places at the same latitude such as Anchorage, Alaska. Average January temperatures range from 27 °F – 36 °F , while July average daily temperatures ranges from 50 °F – 70 °F.
2. Kristiansand was founded on July 5, 1641 King Christian IV. The city is named after its founding King, and the word “sand,” referring to the sandy headland upon which the city was established.
3. The city’s name was often written Christianssand until 1877, when it was changed to Kristianssand by an official spelling effort to make the city name “more Norwegian.” The name was again changed to its present form with a single “s,” Kristiansand, in 1889.
4. Completed in 1885, the Kristiansand Cathedral was was designed by architect Henrik Thrap-Meyer in Neo-Gothic style. One of Norway’s largest cathedrals, the church measures 230 ft long and 128 ft wide, with a single 230 ft tower.
5. The upper part of the Cathedral Tower was damaged by artillery shell during April, 1940 attack on Kristiansand by Nazi Germany. The church’s interiors are modest but there’s a gorgeous altarpiece by Norwegian artist Eilif Peterssen. The church can be visited weekdays between 11am and 2pm.
6. One of the world’s most unusual McDonald’s restaurants is located in downtown Kristiansand in a former bank building.
7. Kristiansand is the birthplace of Mette-Marit, the Crown Princess of Norway (born Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby). Married in 2001, she is the wife of Crown Prince Haakon, heir apparent to the throne of Norway.
8. Opened in 2012, the Kilden Performing Arts Center is a theater and concert hall with four stages on Odderøya in Kristiansand, Norway. The building cost nearly 1.7 billion Norwegian krones. It houses Agder Teater, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra (KSO) and Opera Sør.
9. Founded in 1964, the Kristiansand Zoo (Dyreparken) and Amusement park is Norway’s largest zoo and most popular tourist attraction. The zoo houses more than 800 animals of nearly 100 different species. In April, 2016, the zoo provoked parents’ fury after feeding a beheaded zebra to its tigers in full view of visiting children. Zoo officials said the healthy zebra was killed because of overpopulation.
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