Sarpsborg, which is celebrating its 1,000th anniversary, is Norway’s third-oldest city. It was founded by St. Olav in 1016. The Swedes burned down the city in 1567. Later, Sarpsborg was rebuilt and developed into an industrial city around the Sarpefossen waterfalls, led by two of the country’s leading manors, Borregaard and Hafslund.
Kragerø is celebrating its 350th anniversary and has gone from being a leading shipping town in the Age of Sail to becoming one of Norway’s most popular coastal recreational areas. Famous artists Theodor Kittilsen and Edvard Munch both influenced the town, but now its 4,000 holiday homes form the cornerstone of life in the town.
Grimstad gained its status as an independent market town in 1816. Today, shipping, farming, tourism and education are key cornerstones of Grimstad. Its fishermen bring up large quantities of shellfish out of the sea. The University of Agder has a branch campus in Grimstad with more than 3,000 students.
Bodø became a market town the same year as Grimstad. Since its restoration following World War II, the town has grown into a communication centre with a healthy commercial sector and a steady stream of tourists. Today, Bodø is the second-largest town in North Norway and has three times the population it had in 1945.