Kristiansand (formerly written Christianssand / Christiansand) is a town and a municipality in Agder county. The municipality is Norway's sixth largest by population and had 111,634 inhabitants as of 1 January 2020. The town of Kristiansand had 64,596 inhabitants as of 1 January 2020. The city is named after Christian IV.

Kristiansand borders in the west to Lindesnes, in the north to Vennesla and Birkenes, and in the east to Lillesand. The inter-municipal activities in Knutepunkt Sørlandet include all these municipalities, as well as Iveland.


The city is named after King Christian IV, who founded the city Christiansand on July 5, 1641. In 1877, the spelling Kristiansand was introduced in Norway's State Calendar, and the same spelling was applied to Kristiania and Kristiansund, and later the spelling was used in municipal contexts. The spelling Christiansand, from the 19th century - in the 18th century it was most common with only one s - has been retained in the names of a number of companies and associations, such as Christiansands Bryggeri, Christiansands Byselskab, Christianssand Storband and political parties in the city, among others. Former mayor of Kristiansand Arvid Grundekjøn has stated, half jokingly, that the city should change the spelling of Christianssand, and at the same time proposed to change the mayoral title to mayor; he justified it by saying that "the mayor of Christiansand has a completely different buzz than the mayor of Kristiansand".

Nature, geography and climate
Kristiansand is strategically located by the Skagerrak, and before the opening of the Kiel Canal, the area was very important militarily and geopolitically. This led to the place for centuries functioned as a military base, from Harald Haarfagre's royal estate to the Denmark-Norway fortress and later as a garrison town. Kristiansand is a gateway to and from the Continent, with ferry connections to Denmark and the domestic starting point for the railway route along the bottom of Sørlandsgrabenen.

This 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 in 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). East of the municipality, the Bamble field starts and extends east to Grenland.

The youngest Sveconorvegian formations are witnessed by larger formations of granite. There are also times of gabbro and diorite, less often eclogite. The Caledonian mountain range fold did not reach down here. The faults go in a southwest-northeast direction. Volcanic activity for approx. 300 million years ago, times of diabase left at Kroodden, for example.

Kristiansand has a maritime climate with small daily and annual temperature differences compared to an inland climate. Snowfall is periodic and not annual. The Gulf Stream provides local heating through the surface currents along the Norwegian Channel. It is also the Gulf Stream that gives Kristiansand mild winters when warming the coast.