Egersund is a coastal town in Rogaland county, often called the
southern village in western Norway, or "okka town". In 1998,
Egersund's bicentennial as a city (1798-1998) was celebrated.
Egersund is located in Eigersund municipality, which has 14,346
(SSB, 1 January 2011) inhabitants, of which 11,484 live in the city
as of 1 January 2020. The city has a size of 6.98 km².
Egersund was an important port with densely populated areas already in the Viking Age. The place was early an important place of worship for pagan worship and got a church in the early Middle Ages. Egersund was previously an independent municipality established as Egersund presidency district in 1837. In 1947, part of Eigersund with 515 inhabitants was transferred to Egersund.
On 1 January 1965, Egersund municipality was merged with Helleland and Eigersund municipalities as well as parts of Heskestad municipality to form the new Eigersund municipality.
The city has one of the better natural ports in Norway, and is, among other things, Norway's largest fishing port measured in quantity of landed fish. Many internationally renowned companies are based here, and Navico (formerly Robertson, autopilot manufacturer) and Jeppesen (manufacturer of electronic charts, among others) have local branches. Aker Solutions also has a large department here. Most of the industry is sea and boat related.
Attractions in and near the city include the Faience Museum, Dalane Folk Museum and Eigerøy lighthouse. A more unknown sight is the "Stoplesteinan", a stone ring more than a thousand years old that is somewhat reminiscent of Stonehenge in England. Stoplesteinan is located directly above Skårabrekkå in Egersund. In 2007, Egersund was named Norway's most beautiful small town.
People have lived in the district around Egersund
since the Stone Age, and there are several places to find remains of
settlements that can be dated back to the migration period (400-600
years AD). Egersund comes from the Old Norse name for the lease
between Eigerøya and the mainland called Eikundarsund. The name of
Eigerøya, Eikund, comes from the rich occurrences of oak trees on
the island in ancient times. The name is among the oldest place
names in Norway. In the form Eikundarsund we find it all in Olav the
Saint's saga in Heimskringla. From the 1000s, Olav the Saint's fleet
often lay here. We also find the name in texts and poems in Olav's
In ancient times there was a church here, St. Mary's Church, mentioned in 1292 in a privilege of indulgences issued in Rome on February 5, 1292 by Pope Nicholas IV. It is called Ecclesia beatæ Mariæ de Eikundarsund. It was the first church in Eikundarsund (Egersund), and was a parish church in Maria parish. It is believed that it stood in the same place as Egersund church stands today.
There was also a chapel here, St. Laurenti Chapel, mentioned in a letter of 5 February 1308 as Ecclesia beati Laurentii de Eikundarsund, where Pope Clemens V gives King Håkon 5. Magnusson extensive privileges regarding the king's fourteen chapels (including St. Laurenti Chapel ), which was founded by himself or his father King Magnus Lagabøte and his grandfather King Håkon Håkonsson. Since these chapels were often built on royal farms, it is believed to have been owned by Husabø farm. An old tradition is that there was a church at Strandgata 43, but the exact position is somewhat uncertain.
In 1623, the old church (probably St. Mary's Church) was leveled and rebuilt as a new church. It is the same church that stands today (see Egersund church).
On 18 July 1798, Egersund's city status was calculated from, when the city was approved as a charging station, ie Egersund got its own customs district and could operate its own trade and imports, without having to go around Stavanger. Egersund had applied for such market town courts in 1745, and it would therefore take 53 years before they were granted their application. Actually, Egersund as a city is much older than from 1798, when it gained status as a city. The very construction of becoming a city took place at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1701, Egersund had about 200 inhabitants, and already in 1745 the city had 500-600 inhabitants. In 1758, the city had 682 inhabitants, more than 3 times as many inhabitants as the city had 57 years before. For comparison, it can be mentioned that Sogndalstrand, which at that time had been considered a charging station already from 1638, only had 80 inhabitants in 1701, in 1745 only 100 and in 1758 there were 109 inhabitants there.
At the town fire in 1843, 2/3 of the buildings in Egersund center burned down. The fire started in the afternoon of Thursday 14 September 1843. The fire spread very quickly from house to house due to the very dense wooden houses. The fire turned out to be almost impossible to stop, but it was finally stopped at 7 o'clock, just before it took the church with it. 700 people were left homeless after the fire, but no one had died in the fire. After the fire, it was understood that house construction until now had been far too close. A regulatory commission was appointed to deal with the planning of streets and properties. While before the fire there had been narrow and winding streets that many places were too narrow to drive a cart through, the center now appeared as a completely new city. The starting point was the plan ideal at the time, namely to build the city in a grid pattern, when drawing up new plot boundaries and streets. The house plots were now gathered in quarters, with wide streets around to get sufficient distance and air between the houses. Strandgaten became the main street along the sea, and a fire common was built, namely Skriverallmenningen.
In 1847, Egersunds Fayancefabriks Co. A / S founded by Johan Feyer. The factory was the cornerstone company in the municipality until its closure in 1979, when the many hundreds of workers could jump straight over to Kvaerner, which established a large industrial area at Hovlandsvige on Eigerøy. The faience from Egersund are today collectibles worth many thousands of kroner.
On July 7, 1859, Egersund was hit by a new fire. This time the fire was not as serious as the previous one, but still took the entire city district around Lervika from Lerviksbakken to Bøckmansgate. This time they took the opportunity to make streets that were wide and provided spaces between the houses, and that two fire streets were put on the zoning plan, namely Nyaldmenningen (Johan Feyersgate) and Lerviksallmenningen (Lerviksbakken). Finally, one had understood how vulnerable and flammable the city was without really well-planned streets.
On October 20, 1862, the city was once again hit by a fire. The
fire was in the same area as the fire in 1859. This time they were
better prepared. The Nyaldmenningen and the firefighters and
volunteers' efforts meant that the fire could be extinguished after
only 5-6 hours. In this one, as in the other two fires, no people
lost their lives.
In 1878, the railway from Stavanger to Egersund was opened.
The railway was continued to Flekkefjord in 1904.
In 1905, Egersund became the first town in Rogaland to receive electric lighting. The electricity came from a power plant at Øgreifossen.
On April 9, 1940, Egersund was among the first cities in Norway to be invaded by the Germans during World War II, due to the good port and the telegraph line between Norway and England that went here. The Germans built up large camp areas in the district (Slettebø, Stapnes and Nordre Eigerøy), and several important events unfolded in the area. In the local community, there was a resistance group called the "Aakre gang" who lived up in the heath at Mysingehålå.
In 1944, the railway in Egersund was connected to the Sørlandsbanen via Sira.
1947 Bakkebø home and work school is established, a central institution for the mentally handicapped established by the Norwegian Red Cross. Discontinued at the beginning of the 1990s in connection with the liability reform (HVPU reform).
In 1972, the municipal coat of arms was first used, and was designed by the then first archivist of the National Archives, Hallvard Trætteberg. Eikebladet in the municipal coat of arms refers to the name Eigersund. Oak grows throughout the municipality, partly as pure oak forest and larger oak groves. Oak leaves are often used as a symbol, but Eigersund is the only one to have an upright oak leaf in the weapon.
In 1979, the faience factory was closed down, which for a short period meant that about 600 people were unemployed. But a few years before, Kvaerner had opened a department in Egersund, where almost all of the former faience workers got jobs.
In Egersund, the
summer is characterized by various festivals. These have basically
been held throughout the city's main hall; the city tent. The city
tent was taken down for the last time, when it was worn out after
ten years of service in weather and wind, but the festivals have
passed. Eigersund municipality later agreed to invest in a new tent,
which came up in the summer of 2010.
Here is an overview of various festivals and annual events in Egersund:
Lighthouse festival (cultural festival for the mentally handicapped who dances, plays music, runs a theater or other cultural activities)
Egersund Song Festival
Dalane Blues Festival
The Christmas town