For the town in Wisconsin that is named after the Norwegian city (in 1877), see Drammen, Wisconsin.
Drammen kommune

Downtown Drammen by night

Coat of arms

Buskerud within

Drammen within Buskerud
Coordinates: 59°44′16″N 10°12′18″E / 59.73778°N 10.20500°E / 59.73778; 10.20500Coordinates: 59°44′16″N 10°12′18″E / 59.73778°N 10.20500°E / 59.73778; 10.20500
Country Norway
County Buskerud
District Lower Buskerud
Administrative centre Drammen
  Mayor (2003) Tore Opdal Hansen (H)
  Total 137 km2 (53 sq mi)
  Land 135 km2 (52 sq mi)
Area rank 366 in Norway
Population (2008)
  Total 62,566
  Rank 9 in Norway
  Density 421/km2 (1,090/sq mi)
  Change (10 years) 8.2 %
Demonym(s) Drammenser
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-0602
Official language form Neutral
Website www.drammen.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Drammen is a city in Buskerud, Norway. The port and river city of Drammen is centrally located in the eastern and most populated part of Norway. Drammen is the capital of the county of Buskerud.


There are more than 63 000 inhabitants in the municipality, but the city is the regional capital of an area with more than 150,000 inhabitants. Drammen and the surrounding communities are growing more than ever before. The city makes good use of the river and inland waterway called Drammensfjord, both for recreation, activities and housing. No city in the country has received as many awards for environmental and urban development as Drammen: 6 national and 2 international prizes since 2003.[2][3]

Name and coat of arms

The Old Norse form of the city's name was Drafn, and this was originally the name of the inner part of Drammensfjord. The fjord is, however, probably named after the river Drammenselva (Norse Drǫfn), and this again is derived from drǫfn f 'wave'.[4] The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 17 November 1960. The arms are blue with a gray/silver column on top of a foundation of rocks. A key and a Viking sword are crossed in the middle forming an x. It is based upon the old seal dating from 1723 for Bragernes, one of the central parts of Drammen. The motto for Bragernes (in Latin) was In Fide Et Justitia Fortitudo (English: in faith and justice is strength), and the items in the seal are referring to this: key = faith, sword = justice, column on rocks = strength.[5]


The municipality of Drammen was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The rural municipality of Skoger was merged with the municipality of Drammen on 1 January 1964 and was transferred from Vestfold county to Buskerud county at the same time. The city itself has 66 000 inhabitants,[6] making it Norway's ninth largest.[7]


Drammen is currently divided into eight districts.[8]

Map of the urban area of Drammen
Map of Drammensfjorden


Rock carvings at Åskollen and Austad are 6000 to 7000 years old, and are the first signs of human activity in the area. The largest rock carving at Åskollen depicts a moose.

Drammen originally consisted of three small seaports: Bragernes (on the northern side of the Drammenselva river) and Strømsø and Tangen (both on the southern side of the river). For trade purposes, small seaports were placed under market towns. Despite their geographical proximity, Bragernes was placed under Christiania and Strømsø under Tønsberg. For this reason, cooperation between the adjacent seaport towns was almost impossible.

In 1662, a merger was proposed to unite Strømsø and Bragernes to form a market town with the name Frederiksstrøm. The proposal was rejected by Frederick III of Denmark. Bragernes received limited market town rights in 1715, and merged with Strømsø to gain status as a single city on 19 June 1811.[9]

Its geographical location made the city favorable for seafaring, shipbuilding, log driving, timber trade. During 19th century, paper and pulp industries were developed. Large parts of the city were ruined in the great fire of 12–13 July 1866, which led to the reconstruction of the city centre, including the characteristic town square and Bragernes church. The Drammen Line (Drammenbanen ) opened in 1872 providing rail service between Drammen and Oslo.[10][11]

In 1909, Drammen got the first trolleybus system in Scandinavia, the Drammen trolleybus. The lines ran until 1967. For many years the centre of Drammen suffered from heavy traffic. In 1970, Drammen Bridge with four lanes on European route E18 was built and in 1999 the opening of the Bragernes tunnel (Bragernestunnelen) diverted additional traffic away from the centre of the city. [12]

In recent years, the city centre has seen the introduction of new housing, shopping facilities, restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as a public pathway along the Drammenselva river.[13]

In 2011, Drammen observed its 200th anniversary with many citywide jubilee celebrations.[14] Drammen's district heating system was upgraded to use water-sourced heat pumps, drawing on local fjord water, to support population growth in the city.[15]


Drammen is one of the larger cities in Norway, and lies about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the capital of Norway, Oslo. The city centre lies at the end of a valley, on both sides of the Drammenselva river, and where the river meets the Drammensfjord. Drammen is also the main harbor for car and fruit import in Norway.

As of 1 January 2007, the population of the urban area of Drammen is 93,006. Drammen is the sixth largest urban area of Norway and occupies territory in five municipalities: Drammen (with about 61% of the population), Nedre Eiker (23%), Øvre Eiker (8%), Lier (5%), and Røyken (3%).[16]

The Øvre Sund area, situated along Drammenselva, will be regulated by the municipality in order to restore this area's character. The buildings there are from the 18th and 19th century, and contribute, as well as the river and the brewery, to give the city a special identity.[17] In 2008 Drammen won the prestigious prize for the best city development in Europe.[18]


Average at Drammen-Berskog 2005-2014

Climate data for Drammen (2005–2014)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −0.7
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.7
Average low °C (°F) −6.6
Source: eklima.no (high and low temperatures),[19][20]



Aass Brewery
Øvre sund bridge
Drammen Theater

Aass Brewery

Main article: Aass Brewery

Aass Brewery is the oldest surviving brewery in Norway, and has won acclaim for both its beer and its conservative building. Founded in 1834, the brewery's primary products are soft drinks, beer and aquavit.[22]


Drammen Museum

The Drammen Museum of Art and Cultural History includes Marienlyst, a manor house from ca. 1770, museum building from 1930 with the museum's administration, permanent exhibitions and collections, and Lyche pavilion from 1990 with the gallery, temporary exhibitions and museum café, Halling yard, with 5 old buildings, the oldest from 1760s. The museum also includes the two largest preserved like farms in Drammen, Gulskogen Manor and Austad farm.[26]

Drammen Spiral

The Drammen Spiral is a road tunnel that allows access to the Skansen Ridge, 600 ft above the town. It opened in 1961 on the site of a former quarry.[27]

Drammen Theater

Drammen Theater in Bragernes was built in 1869 and was designed by architect Emil Victor Langlet. The theater was the first modern theater in the country. It was designed in a complex Renaissance style with symmetrical facades and round arched windows. After Drammen Theater suffered total destruction by fire in December 1993, a new theater was rebuilt on the model of the original house. It was finished during February 1997.[28]

Sport clubs

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

The following cities are twinned with Drammen:[29]




  1. "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. Archived 30 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Archived 30 May 2004 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. Unger, Carl Rikard (1896). Sproglig-historiske studier (in Norwegian). Kristiania, Norge: H. Aschehoug & Co. p. 37. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  5. "Kommunevåpen". Fotw.us. 5 July 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  6. "Berekna folkemengd ved årsskiftet, 1. januar 2014". Retrieved 2014-05-25.
  7. "Drammen in brief". Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  8. Søbstad, Per Ivar. "Bydeler i Drammen". History of Drammen (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 11 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
  9. Søbstad, Per Ivar. "Kort oversikt over Drammens historie". History of Drammen (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 22 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
  10. Tor Wisting. "Drammenbanen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  11. Søbstad, Per Ivar. "Bybranner". History of Drammen (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 10 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
  12. "Drammen Bridge". structurae.net. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  13. "Steder - Buskerud - Drammen". Historier.no. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  14. "Drammen's 2011 bicentennial celebrations". Retrieved 2011-05-09.
  15. Richard Anderson (10 March 2015). "Heat pumps extract warmth from ice cold water". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  16. Statistics Norway (1 January 2006). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality".
  17. "About the preservation of the Øvre Sund area".
  18. "CEU ECTP - The 7th European Urban and Regional Planning Awards 2008". Ceu-ectp.eu. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  19. "World Weather Information Service – Bergen". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  20. "BERGEN - FLORIDA Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  21. Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. "Øvre Sund Bru". bridgeinfo.net. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  23. Tor Wisting. "Drammenbanen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  24. Tor Wisting. "Drammenbanen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  25. "Velkommen || Drammens Museum". Drammens.museum.no. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  26. Porter, Darin; Prince, Danforth (2005). Frommer's Norway. John Wiley & Sons. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-764-59810-4.
  27. "City of Drammen". OsloRegion.org. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
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