Mandal is a town in Agder with 11,053 inhabitants. The city was
an administration center in the former Mandal municipality and is
now an administration center in the new municipality of Lindesnes.
The city is known for its salmon river, as a maritime city, and for its industry with shipyards, production of boat engines and textiles. Mandal is also known for its artists. Mandal became a charging station in the 19th century, and gained city status in 1921.
The mandal area is mentioned as "Vester-Risør" at the end of the 14th century when King Erik of Pomerania gave the place the right to trade in the later famous mandal salmon. The settlement at this time, however, was not the same place as the current town (settlement) is located, but at the entrance to Skogsfjorden, a small trading place called Spidsbo. This place is today a beach without buildings located in Furulunden just west of the city center.
Today's city dates from the 16th century. There were early settlements up in the Mandal River, called Marndal or Mandal, and Mandal is thus one of the oldest cities in the south - if not the oldest. In addition, there was a third settlement in Kleven, where the natural harbor was crucial. Kleven was a very important port along the coast of Agder in historical times, and here was the pilot and customs station. The trading place Vester-Risør is first mentioned with loading place privileges in 1632. Vester-Risør had the privileges renewed in 1662, under the market town of Kristiansand, and with a name change to Mandal.
The town fire in 1810 took the old stone church from the 16th century, which stood on the square down in the town. Today's Mandal Church is from 1821 and Norway's largest wooden church, built in the Empire style. Mandal was given its own chairmanship and municipal self-government as a charging station in 1837. The 19th century was a pioneering time with great growth, bustling art life and new businesses. Salmon fishing and trade made Mandal a rich trading town, as evidenced by large, large bourgeois houses. A handful of families with forest and salmon dishes made a good living from fishing and exporting salmon and timber. The prosperity is reflected in the statue "Mandalitten" in the center, he has "salmon in his pockets, eggs in his shoes and fine bread in his hat".
The industrial city
Mandal Hospital was built in 1877. The city was given the status of a market town on 1 July 1921, and at the same time the municipal boundaries were expanded, with i.a. Vestnes from the then Halse and Harkmark municipality.
After the First World War, industry began to come to the city, and Mandal is known for its shipbuilding and engineering industries. Large shipyards have delivered ships and ship equipment in Norway and abroad: Westermoen Hydrofoil, Båtservice Verft by the Skogsfjord, the later Umoe Mandal southeast of the mouth of the Mandal River. The city also produced the legendary Marna boat engines from 1930 to 1984.
The municipality has also been a center for the development and construction of high-speed boats in Norway since the early 1950s. It was Toralf Westermoen who started this work. Since then, new speedboat concepts have been built and developed continuously in the city. The Navy's new missile torpedo boats of the Skjold class are currently under construction in Mandal at the Umoe Mandal shipyard.
Furthermore, the textile industry has been significant, with four industrial companies in the heyday of the 1930s to 60s - Sjølingstad Uldvarefabrik, Buøy Veveri, Mandal Kokosveveri and Mandal Veveri. In the last century, from time to time, 2-300 people worked at the textile companies in the city.
During World War II, the German occupation forces built an airport on the flat land on Vestnes, between Furulunden and Skogsfjorden, and the airport made Mandal an Allied bomb target. After the war, the airport was removed and the area was built with detached houses. The city has continued to expand and today also covers areas that were previously part of Halse and Harkmark, including the Skinsnes business area and the Ime residential area with its own school.