Tvedestrand is a town and municipality in Agder. The municipality is located between Arendal in the south and Risør in the north. The municipality also borders Froland, Åmli and Vegårshei. The municipality got its current boundaries in 1960, by merging the former Dypvåg and Holt municipalities, and the charging station Tvedestrand. Tvedestrand is often referred to as Sørlandet's smile hole.


The name Tvedestrand
The charging station Tvedestrand is located on land that belonged to the farms Berge, Gliddi and Myklebostad, but it is the farm Tveite that has given the place its name. The name simply means the beach of the farm Tveite.

Nature and geography
This part of Agder belongs to the Bamble field in the Svekonorvegian bedrock shield, and consists of two main geological formations of Proterozoic rocks formed during the Gothic and later Svekonorvegian mountain range ancestors, with a strong metamorphosis under 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. There are also some cases 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.

The municipality is located around the lower part of the Vegårsvassdraget (Storelva) and Oksefjorden, and further includes the coast and the islands east of the fjord. The terrain in the area is small and hilly with forested hills. The municipality's highest point is Ansmyrheia, 243 meters above sea level. The bedrock consists predominantly of bedrock and belongs to the Bamble field.

The population in the municipality decreased until 1970, but has shown an increase since then. The town and administration center Tvedestrand has 2,582 inhabitants as of 1 January 2020, and is located in the heart of the Oksefjord, in a narrow cauldron. From the quays, two streets lead up to the business district with the idyllic Tjenna. The settlement is spread inland, with many densely populated areas along the coast: Sagesund, Dypvåg, Gjeving on the mainland and Lyngør, Sandøy and Borøya. Several islands still have permanent settlement. The entire municipality has around 6,000 inhabitants.

Tvedestrand became a loading site in 1836 and was a shipping site for Næs Ironworks. The pulp mills at Fostvedt, Gjeving and Songe have played a significant role for Tvedestrand. There were large exports across the harbor, which has a 200-meter public quay. The engineering industry dominates, but there are otherwise many small companies in a large number of industries. Tvedestrand has some of Agder's best agricultural and horticultural settlements, with large livestock, berry and fruit growing.

Tvedestrand is one of the most sought after tourist districts in Sørlandet with a magnificent archipelago, several guest houses and many cabins. In the city we also find Norway's second, but largest book city; The book town by the Skagerrak.

History and culture
The municipal coat of arms, which was approved in 1986, shows a flying tern in silver against a blue background. This should symbolize coastal and bird life. The local newspaper Tvedestrandsposten was founded by Arne Garborg in 1872. The local radio for Tvedestrand is Radio P5. In Tvedestrand is also Strykejernet, which is considered Norway's narrowest house. This house also has entrance from the street level on both the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor.

Large parts of Tvedestrand center are covered by the NB! Register, the National Heritage Board's list of urban environments in Norway that have a national cultural-historical conservation interest.