Flekkefjord is a municipality and town in Agder county. The
municipality borders Sokndal and Lund in Rogaland county in the
west, Sirdal in the north and Kvinesdal in the east.
Flekkefjord is the westernmost of the urban municipalities along the Sørland coast. The community center is close to the E39, about halfway between Kristiansand and Stavanger. In addition to the city center, Flekkefjord municipality also includes the settlements Sira, Gyland, Rasvåg and Kirkehamn.
Flekkefjord municipality is the result of a municipal merger in 1965. In addition to Flekkefjord, the current municipality includes the former municipalities of Nes, Hidra, Gyland and Bakke.
The city center is still characterized by wooden houses from earlier times. Most have gradually been painted white, although they were previously kept in other colors. The buildings in the city center streets are now being modernized. The town of Flekkefjord has 6,056 inhabitants as of 1 January 2020.
Nature and geography
The western part of Agder belongs to the Svekonorvegian bedrock shield, and consists of two main geological formations of Proterozoic rocks formed during the Gothic and later Svekonorvegian mountain range folds, with a strong metamorphosis below the latter. A substrate of 1,600 - 1,450 million years old slate, quartzite, marble and amphibolite with some hornblende gneiss, and on top of this acidic surface structures of both granite and granodiorite (respectively 1,250 - 1,000 million years old, and in places 1,550 - 1,480 million years old). The youngest Sveconorvegian formations are witnessed by larger formations of granite. In the municipality, 1,050 million-year-old granitic eye ice dominates the upper structures. The Caledonian mountain range fold did not reach down here. The faults go both in the southwest-northeast direction and in the south-north direction.
Far to the southwest, the 925 million-year-old Sokndal belt of anorthosite, jotunite and mangerite extends into the municipality, from Rogaland. It is in this structure that ilmenite ore with titanium production is mined in the neighboring municipality of Sokndal.
It is almost 7.5 km (4 nautical miles) from the inner fjord to the open sea. The inner fjord pool is large enough to accommodate several ships and boats at anchor and free from strong winds or currents. During the sailing ship era, there were many ships in winter storage. When the Dutch started filling their port areas with stone, they came to Norway to pick it up. Flekkefjord had plenty of that item. A district has been named after this: Hollenderbyen. Many young boys from the district rented these boats.
The city received purchase rights in 1842 after a long dragon fight with, among others. a. Christiansand. The purchase right came with various exclusive rights that provided good income.
The city was in its time the terminus for the Flekkefjord line, the extension of the Jær line from Egersund to Flekkefjord. This was popular because it was not very comfortable to travel by sea over the Jæren reef. Travelers heading further east had to take the mail boat that ran along the coast to Oslo, at least on to Kristiansand. When the Sørlandsbanen was completed, the section Sira - Flekkefjord became a siding, which gradually lost importance. The old stately station building was demolished, something many regret today. Rail traffic has now been discontinued, but most of the track still exists, and is used for carriage rides.
The town and district have had up to five barrel factories, the last of which was closed in the 1960s. At times, production was large - the herring entered the fjord and the barrels were needed right outside the living room door. When the herring pulled away, the barrels were exported to Iceland. There was a similar number of tanneries, based on ships from the city going out to get oak bark (quebracho) which was used as a tanning agent. The last were Dalen's Tannery (sole leather) and Aarenes Tannery (leather for, among other things, backpacks, women's bags, etc.) Aarenes Tannery is still in operation. A large proportion of the fire trucks used in Norway today were previously built up in the old barrel factory premises, but production has now been moved to modern premises in Nulandsvika. Other historical industries include felt factory (Fjellse), woolen factory (Loga), gaiters factory, shoe factory, clothing factory and a large number of boat and shipbuildings, of which Simek AS went bankrupt in 2018, and Flekkefjord's time as a boatbuilding town Ended. After Halvorsens Mek. Workshop moved out of the center, they started production of heating boilers, which today are delivered for many purposes, many of them on oil installations and rigs. Many of the puzzles sold today are also made in Flekkefjord.
Flekkefjord started early with the school system - both upper secondary, pre-school and vocational school (later called vocational school) and housewife school. In addition, there was a private high school, where i.a. the author Jens Bjørneboe spent a period before the war. After the war, the private high school was taken over by Morten Ringard who ran a secondary school there. The school did not have the right to an exam, so the students were examined in all subjects before they received a paper that released them. Most managed in two years. Many students from all over the country got a second chance there.
Morten Ringard was also from 1939 until his death for the editing of "Julehilsen fra Flekkefjord" - a magazine full of local history, poems, old and newer pictures and nostalgia in unchanging layout. After his death, Mrs. Tua Ringard took over the editorial responsibility, which today is held by her son Sverre Ringard.
The city celebrates Sankthans in its own way by having the main fire at anchor in the middle of the fjord. This is called Spira, and was previously in an old boat, which sank during the night. The custom has roots dating back to the 19th century.
Flekkefjord has also in recent years become known for its
alternative cultural life, among other things through the
35-year-old work of Flekkefjord Rock Club and the Fjellpark
Festival, which is Norway's longest-lived rock festival. The
environment around the rock club and the festival has also gradually
fostered both nationally and internationally known actors, such as
Smalltown Supersound, Anja Lauvdal and Ole Petter Andreassen's many
The older municipal archive sources for the municipality (and the former municipalities) can be found today at the Intermunicipal Archive in Vest-Agder IKS (IKAVA). This includes protocols from, for example, the municipal council, chairmanship, poor board, school board and archives with, among other things, personal information in the form of client archives, tax protocols, but also school protocols.