Grimstad is a town and municipality in the county of Aust-Agder, Norway. It belongs to the geographical region of Sørlandet.
Grimstad was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The rural municipalities of Fjære and Landvik were merged with Grimstad on 1 January 1971.
It is a little maritime town set among many small islands (Skjærgård). There is a harbour, a long pedestrian shopping street, a small market square, a church, and a museum dedicated to the early life of Henrik Ibsen, who served as an apprentice to Grimstad’s local pharmacist Reimann, from 1844 to 1847, before leaving Grimstad in 1850. Ibsen's intimate knowledge of the local people and surroundings can be seen in his poem Terje Vigen.
The site of the town was originally the port (Old Norse
) of the old Grøm
farm. The exact meaning of the name Grøm
is uncertain, but it is derived from a river name Gró
which means "the growing one".
were granted in 1899 and were based upon a seal of the city dating back to 1847. The arms show a brig
as a symbol for the importance of fisheries
to the city.
Grimstad is a coastal municipality in Aust-Agder
county bordering on the Skagerrak
. The municipality is bordered by Arendal
in the east, Froland and Birkenes
in the north, and Lillesand
in the west. In 1971
the municipalities of Landvik and Fjære were combined with Grimstad.
Grimstad lies within the boundaries of the ancient parish of Fjære. It is reportedly first mentioned as a harbor in the 1500s
. Eight years after he was deposed
, Christian II
(1513–1523)attempted to recover his kingdoms. A tempest scattered his fleet off the Norwegian coast, and on 24 October 1531, they took refuge at Grimstad. On 1 July 1532, he surrendered to his rival, King Frederick I of Denmark
, in exchange for a promise of safe conduct. King Frederick failed to honor his promise and imprisoned Christian until he died.
An inn is recorded at Grimstad as early as 1607. In 1622, Grimstad became a recognized harbor. By 1747, Grimstad was identified as a sailing community and a recognized haunt of smugglers.
During the Napoleonic Wars, England blockaded Norway. In 1811, an English brig entered the harbor to capture blockade runners, but was vigorously repulsed and did not return.
John Frederik Classen, who owned the Frolands Værk (an ironworks), obtained concessions to export and import through Grimstad and bypass Arendal with its customs dues. Grimstad was awarded market town status in 1816.
The Maritime Museum
(accessible by boat trip), the comprehensive City Museum
and the Norwegian Horticultural Museum
, are all popular among tourists, as are the wealth of exhibitions and concerts that the town hosts. The town is also a popular destination for summer vacationers, and supports a robust shopping milieu during the Christmas season.
During summer, Grimstad plays host to the Norwegian Short Film Festival
, which attracts film enthusiasts from far and near. Another popular attraction is the Agder Theatre
, an open-air stage located in a disused stone quarry
, and not to forget that you can shop at the world famous Oddensenteret.
- Henrik Ibsen(1828-1906), Playwright - wrote his first drama, Catalina in Grimstad.
- Knut Hamsun (1859–1952), Author
- Roald Dahl (1916-1990), Author - visited grandparents and summered at the Strand hotel in Fevik in Grimstad.
- Sverre Hassel (1876-1928), polar explorer - accompanied Roald Amundsen to the South Pole.
- Tryggve Gran (1889-1980), polar explorer and flight pioneer.
- Thor Hushovd (1978), road bicycle racer, first Norwegian to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, and also the first Norwegian to win the green jersey, and second Norwegian to win a stage.
- Dag Otto Lauritzen (1956), road bicycle racer, first Norwegian to win a stage in the Tour de France.
- Drottningborg, a private Lutheran boarding preparatory school
- Bibelskolen in Grimstad (BiG) a private Lutheran bible school
Located in Grimstad