Kragerø kommune

Coat of arms

Telemark within

Kragerø within Telemark
Coordinates: 58°53′13″N 9°20′49″E / 58.88694°N 9.34694°E / 58.88694; 9.34694Coordinates: 58°53′13″N 9°20′49″E / 58.88694°N 9.34694°E / 58.88694; 9.34694
Country Norway
County Telemark
District Vestmar
Administrative centre Kragerø
  Mayor (2007) Kåre Preben Hegland (H)
  Total 307.4 km2 (118.7 sq mi)
  Land 289 km2 (112 sq mi)
Area rank 272 in Norway
Population (2007)
  Total 10,505
  Rank 96 in Norway
  Density 37/km2 (100/sq mi)
  Change (10 years) -3.2 %
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-0815
Official language form Neutral
Data from Statistics Norway

 Kragerø  is a town and municipality in Telemark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Vestmar. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Kragerø. The city of Kragerø lies furthest south in the county of Telemark.

The London-based newspaper The Independent, published an article on Kragerø stating that "When Norwegians want to get away from it all they head for Kragero. Forests, fjords and islands await them at the place where Edvard Munch found peace and relaxation."[1] The population of Kragerø quadruples during its summer months due to high tourism. Edvard Munch fell in love with Kragerø in his time, and called it "The Pearl of the Coastal Towns" (Perlen blandt kystbyene). In 2002, The Independent published an article on the region's coastline saying that "It may not have many sandy beaches, but the coast of Norway offers sophistication and stunning scenery."[2] The town of Kragerø is characterized by clear, blue water and beautiful views.

General information


The Norse form of the name was Krákarey. The first element is (probably) the genitiv of kráka 'crow', the last element is ey 'island'. Kragerø is a Danish form of the name, established in the 17th Century.

For a similar name see Kråkerøy.


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 28 January 1938. The arms are black with a silver galley in the center. Kragerø received town privileges in 1666, but was dependent on Skien until 1842. The town used a seal which was identical to that of Skien. The galley in the arms is derived from the fact that since 1666, Kragerø had to supply a galley with five guns to the King.[3]


The town of Kragerø was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). In the days of the sailing ships, Kragerø was one of Norway's largest port cities. The rural municipalities of Sannidal and Skåtøy were merged into the municipality of Kragerø on 1 January 1960. The municipality now includes 495 islands, islets, and skerries along with 4,000 leisure houses. There are also 190 freshwater lakes in the municipality.

1694 murder

On 17 August 1694 Christian Hansen Ernst was killed at present-day Knivstikkersmauet ("knife stabber alley").[4] He was an employee of the postal service, and a former servant Ulrik Fredrik Gyldenløve, and one of few Africans of the time living in Norway, whose identity is known.[4]


Øya in Kragerø seen from the town. (Photo:Ståle Kristoffersen)

Kragerø is the southernmost municipality in Telemark. To the southwest, it borders the municipality of Risør (in Aust-Agder county); to the west is Gjerstad (also in Aust-Agder county); to the northwest is Drangedal; and to the northeast is Bamble. Kragerø is popular among Norwegians (as well as foreigners) as a vacation destination during the summer, when the population swells considerably (approx. 250% increase).


Villages in Kragerø include Helle, Sannidal, Skåtøy, Stråholmen, Jomfruland, and Portør.

Notable residents

Kragerø church

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

The following cities are twinned with Kragerø:[5]


  1. "Norway's seaside special". London: The Independent. 2004-04-24. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
  2. Mulholland, Siobhan (2002-07-27). "Is this the coolest Riviera?". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
  3. Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2009-01-17.
  4. 1 2 Gunnar Kagge (2014-09-08). "Historien om den lille gutten i skapet". Aftenposten. p. 14.
  5. "Nordiske vennskapsbysamarbeidet" (in Norwegian). Kragerø kommune. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
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