Kristiansand was founded by King Christian IV of Denmark-Norway in 1641. The city centre is only 1x1 km and has preserved the characteristic square plan in the renaissance style. Have a leisurely walk through the old town "Posebyen", one of Northern Europe’s largest collections of charming, old, white wooden houses.
There is a street market in the old town at Saturdays during the summer season with stalls featuring Norwegian and international arts & craftsmen/artists, antiques/second-hand dealers, florist/herb sellers, and a café with sale of traditional Norwegian food.
Highlights during city walk in the old town “Posebyen”
Ekserserhuset at Tordenskjoldsgate 64. Built between 1807- 08. Functioned as an officers’ training academy until WWII. The building has also been used for concerts and drama productions, and as a ballroom for the garrison’s soldiers.
Bentsens Hus, Kronprinsensgt. 59. The house was built in 1855 and is one of the best preserved buildings in the town. The building previously belonged to Lieutenant Bentsen, who was assigned to the marching band. It has previously housed as many as 40 people, including 15 soldiers in the attic. In the yard you will find two stables, a tool shed, hayloft, a two-seater outside toilet, a woodshed and a chicken coop. This is the location for the old town marked every Saturday during the summer season.
Kristiansand nursing Home, Elvegata 39. Although the site has been occupied since 1698, the present building was erected after a fire (Østerbrannen) in 1859. One of Kristiansand’s best known houses, it was previously owned by an influential businessman locally referred to as ‘the King of Elvegada’. He donated to the Cathedral the baptismal font used to christen many of Kristiansand’s inhabitants. Kristiansand City Council took over the building in 1906 and turned it into a nursing home for the "elderly and infirm".
The former Post office at Kronprinsensgate 45. Dates back to 1695. Has been used for textile dyeing, and as a timber warehouse and a general store. During the autumn its courtyard sometimes contained up to 100 sheep waiting to be slaughtered and salted for winter consumption. The present building was erected after a major fire (Østerbrannen).
Sløyden at Gyldenløvesgt 70. Also known as ‘Thorkilds Bedehus’ (Thorkild’s Chapel). Built in 1855 and rebuilt in 1859 by master builder Mikkel Mortensen, who also built the churches in Søgne, Randesund and Birkenes. The building was used for prayer meetings and is considered to have been the cradle of many of Kristiansand’s major religious communities.
Gyldenløvesgate 69. Birthplace of the famous town character ‘Kjutta’.
Kafé Blåstua, Gyldenløvesgate 60 This café with its original décor is famous for its homemade cakes and waffles. The ‘Lige Godt’ charity shop (also run by the Blue Cross) is located in the same building.
The Blue Cross building on Gyldenløvesgate 56. Inhabited since 1802. The house has 16 rooms, three kitchens and a large garden. In 1876, it was bought by a Lieutenant Colonel renowned for throwing extravagant banquets. Later the house was used as a soldier’s barracks and in 1915 it was acquired by the organization Blue Cross, which used it to provide the unemployed with work.
Frivolds hjørne, Holbergsgt 17. This building was named after its last owner, a butcher named Frivold. Holbergsgate 17 is about 200 years old and was used for the sale of wines and spirits in the 1840s, while No.15 housed a carpenter’s and coffin makers.
Get more information and maps at Kristiansand tourist office.
PS: A group of senior citizens have created 1:10 scale models of ‘Old Kristiansand’ around 1900. Some of the model houses are currently displayed at Vest-Agder County Museum.