After King Christian established the city in 1641, it gradually developed into the administrative centre of the region. The present population of 75.000 makes Kristiansand Norway’s fifth largest city.
Centrally located on the South coast of Norway, Kristiansand offers convenient domestic as well as international travel and transportation – by air, sea, rail and road.
In addition to a substantial service sector, local business spans from advanced process industry to leading suppliers of offshore technology. With a strong link to the Agder University College, Kristiansand has one of Norway’s most competent IT and telecommunications clusters.
Music plays a key role on the city’s cultural stage, with the Quart Festival and the International Church Music Festival as the most prominent annual events.
Busy cultural scene
The downtown area of Kristiansand is an interesting place to spend an evening out. A number of art galleries and the impressive regional museum Sørlandets Kunstmuseum present varied contemporary art. The Night Gallery presents experimental open-air video art. Students and intellectuals give life to numerous cafés and pubs that cater to most international tastes.
Regional institutions such as the Agder Teater, Kristiansand Symfoniforkester as well as the Sørlandet kunstmuseum are all based in Kristiansand. The city’s own cultural activities include a public library, a natural museum and a botanical garden, cinemas, as well as activity centres for children and youngsters. The Quart Festival and the International Church Music Festival are among the most reknown musical events.
Kristiansand recently established a cultural foundation – Cultiva – with a considerable capital (NOK 1.4 billion). The purpose is to secure creativity and innovation in local art, culture and knowledge institutions activities. This effort may well contribute to developing Kristiansand into one of the leading cultural cities in Norway.