Landeveien, Åsgårdstrand
painted by Hans Heyerdahl (1890)

Åsgårdstrand is a town in Vestfold, Norway. It is also the name of a former independent municipality and a center of trade. The town is situated 10 km south of Horten, 10 km north of Tønsberg and 100 km south of Oslo by the west coast of the Oslofjord.

From 2007, the town has had the classification of a Tourist Town, which gives the shop owners in the oldest part, closest to the sea, the right to keep open all days of the week. In order to become a Tourist Town the number of visitors needs to greatly exceed the number of residents throughout the year.

In this small, southern idyllic town you will find art gallerys, hotel, a couple of bakeries, a café, grocery stores, bank, a pub and a wine bar. There are also several other summer open bars and restaurants around the older part of the town. In addition, Åsgårdstrand has an elementary school, an old folks home and several kindergartens.

In June every year, Åsgårdstrand celebrates Midsommer - the longest day of the year - with a large fire on the shorefront.

The name

The meaning of the name is the strand (beach, waterside) belonging to the farm Åsgård (Norse - Ásgarðr). The first element in the farm's name is´ás meaning 'mountain ridge' (the usage here referring to its position on Raet), the last element is garðr meaning 'farm'.


Summer Night at Åsgårdstrand
painted by Edvard Munch (1904)

Åsgårdstrand was ladested (center of trade) from 1650 under Tønsberg, from 1660 under Holmestrand. In 1752 the center of trade was given the rights of doing business with national goods. From the beginning of the 19th century, Åsgårdstrand, was a lively export harbor for lumber, of which most was exported to the Netherlands.

By the end of the sail ship era, the trade stagnated.

The town was increasingly known as an important center for artists and painters and since the 1880s a vast number of internationally famous painters has either visited or lived in the town. Painters like Edvard Munch, Christian Krogh and Hans Heyerdahl. The reason for this is the very special light which the best artists either went to Åsgårdstrand or Skagen in Denmark to experience.

The municipality was founded as Åsgårdstrand formannskapsdistrikt in 1837. Merchant and ship owner Anders Riddervold was elected as the first mayor.

Since the 1920s Åsgårdstrand has been a popular vacation and recreational spot. Both the Dutch royal family, prominent guests from Oslo and other rich and famous travelled to the small town each summer and spent their holidays on one of the four hotels. Summer guests are still leaving their mark on the idyllic town.

On 1 January 1965 Åsgårdstrand and Borre municipalities, plus a part of Sem was merged to the new municipality of Borre. By the time of the merger Åsgårdstrand had 488 inhabitants and was the smallest municipality in Norway

Notable people from Åsgårdstrand

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Åsgårdstrand.

Coordinates: 59°21′N 10°28′E / 59.350°N 10.467°E / 59.350; 10.467

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 8/27/2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.