HISTORY & HERITAGE
"Preserve your memories. Keep them well.
What you forget you can never retell."
Louisa May Alcott
END OF AN ERA
Bratteklev is the best-preserved shipyard of its kind in the South of Norway. Once shipyards lined the entire coast, waterways were highways and wooden boats were needed to transport people, cattle, and merchandise. Bratteklev originally a farmstead, dates to the 1870s, and epitomizes the peak of an industry that eventually made way for larger boats and streamliners. The shipyard is intact with tools, logs, boats, and original interior, as well as the smell of tar and salty air.
WATERFALL AND IRON WORKS
Næs Ironworks Museum
River Storelva runs through the small town of Tvedestrand, and Næs Jernverk. The Ironworks is the second largest in Norway, production closed due to a flood in 1959 but great effort was made to preserve it as a showcase of Norwegian industrial activity dating back to the 17th century. Nearly all equipment, forges and buildings are intact. On the hill behind the Museum, you can still see the fine manor house, and the old romantic park Lunden, perfect for strolls.
A TALE OF RICH AND POOR
Arendal in the 1800s
Langsæ farm is part of the Kuben Museums assets, here you will easily understand the striking difference between the life conditions of rich and poor. Marvel at the colourful interiors and architecture of the Swiss style high society estate built in 1857 for a consul and merchant. Then, visit the spartan farmer's dwelling, here the buildings are built for function rather than comfort. Use the opportunity to visit the main museum exhibitions and remember to try out the traditional "Munker" pastry in the cafeteria.
FISHERMEN’S ISLAND OF FLEKKERØY
Southern Norway in miniature
The quaint and lively communities of Flekkerøy were founded on fishing more than 500 years ago. The island is the birthplace of Kristiansand and connected to the mainland by an underwater tunnel. From the days of the sailing ships, this has been an important harbour, where fishermen delivered their catch of the day. Here you may visit a café in an historic building for a taste of local delicacies, served with stories from the community.
CITY HIGHLIGHTS BY FOOT
Sørlandet is the southernmost region of Norway, characterized by a beautiful coastline dotted with small cities and white wooden houses. This guided walk will take you past the highlights of the city, giving you the chance to get to know the city and its people – both past and the present. Explore the city centre on your own before returning to the ship. Specifics and points of interest will vary depending on which city you choose for the walk.
SETESDAL MINERAL PARK
Crazy about rocks.
North of Kristiansand, after a ride through beautiful landscapes, you arrive at Setesdal Mineral Park. You enter through a green floral park with sculptures made by Norwegian artists and a view of the River Otra. The exhibition is the most stunning and impressive private collection of stones and minerals in the whole of Europe. More than 1200 specimens are housed inside the mountain cave exhibition, which you access by tunnels just like in an old mine. You will be impressed by nature's creativity!
KRISTIANSAND PAST AND PRESENT
Open-Air Museum and Høllen
Kristiansand was founded in 1641 by the Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV, who also gave the city its name. On this highly popular tour, you visit a lovely open-air museum showing buildings moved here from the centre of Kristiansand and from farms in the valley of Setesdal. Then, drive along the scenic coastal road to visit a beautiful old church, and the village of Høllen, where you can walk through a charming street of white timber buildings so typical of the region.
THE VINTAGE RAILWAY
Authentic old railway station buildings; stylish teak carriages; century old locomotives and the smell of burning coal make for a unique journey as the steam train winds its way through the valley. When it opened in 1896, this narrow-gauge railway helped connecting the isolated valley of Setesdal and the city of Kristiansand, it transported people, livestock, and various products from the valley. The railway closed in 1962, but reopened as a heritage railway two years later, as the country's first railway museum.
CITY ON THE WATER
Kristiansand and vicinity by boat
Embark a sightseeing boat for a nautical excursion through the intricate coastline, the highlight is definitely Skippergada, a natural maritime canal between two islands. After, you dock at a small local harbour and drive to the charming town of Lillesand. This bustling summer paradise was once home to eight busy shipyards that produced around 50 wooden sailing ships between 1860 and 1900. Take a pleasant and informative town walk between the signature white timber houses and enjoy some free time at the lively marina.
HISTORIC WALKING KRISTIANSAND
Sørlandets Art Museum
Kristiansand is full of charm and history. Back in 1641, the Danish-Norwegian King Christian IV founded the city on a bank of sand, and since then it has grown steadily. The history walk takes you past the most iconic places like Kilden Performing Arts Centre, the Fish Market, through Posebyen, the old part of the city, and the Cathedral. The walk also includes a guided visit to Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, the art museum, where the history of Kristiansand comes to life before your eyes.
Kuben- Cultural History Museum
After a short sightseeing of Arendal you arrive at Kuben, the Cultural History Museum. On display are the traditional "bunad" costumes and several carefully curated exhibitions. Drive to the idyllic island of Tromøya, the largest on the southern coast, and stop at Raet National Park to explore a very special beach of large elliptical stones, rounded by waves through the millennia. Enjoy the fresh air on the edge of the open sea, before driving to a small, picturesque church built in the 12th century.
KRISTIANSAND DURING WORLD WAR II
The Archive and Cannon Museum
This tour combines the two most important sights in Kristiansand from WWII. The Cannon Museum, home to the second largest cannon in the world ever mounted on land. You see the cannon, visit the bunkers, and learn about its fascinating history and facts. A short ride back to the city visit the former State Archive and Gestapo HQ, a building taken over by the Gestapo in 1942 used as the regional headquarters in Southern Norway. An educational tour, and a must for those interested in WWII history.