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Bamble is a municipality in Vestfold og Telemark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Grenland. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Langesund.

General information


The Old Norse form of the name was Bamblar (a plural form). The name could be related to the word bembel m 'belly' (used in the meaning 'round hill/mountain'). The name was written "Bamle" in the period 1889–1917.See also the name Bømlo.


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 12 December 1986. The arms show a gold-colored ship's wheel on a blue background. The arms are nearly identical to the former arms of Stathelle, which along with Langesund was merged with the municipality of Bamble on 1 January 1964. Sailing and fishing have always been of great importance for the area, and a ship's wheel was thus an appropriate symbol.


The municipality of Bamble was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The lading place of Stathelle was separated from the municipality of Bamble in 1851. On 1 January 1964, the municipality of Bamble was merged with the neighboring municipalities of Stathelle and Langesund. The new municipality was named Bamble, the administrative centre was Langesund, and the coat-of-arms of Stathelle were used for the new municipality.Bamble, lying at the southern tip of the Kongsberg-Bamble geological formation, also has a unique geology that has been extensively researched by geologists such as W. C. Brøgger. It exhibits a high grade gneiss terrane characterized by metasomatism. As such there have been many mines operating in the area, most notably the Ødegården Verk apatite mines and the nickel mines in Nystein. Bamble Church (Bamble kirke) is located at E18 south of Grenland Bridge. It is a wooden cruciform church which was built in 1845. The church is located next to the ruins of Olav Church which dated to around 1145.

Twin towns – sister cities

Bamble is twinned with: Akranes, Iceland Närpes, Finland Tønder, Denmark Västervik, Sweden

Notable people

Marcus Olaus Bockman (1849 in Langesund – 1942) a Norwegian-American Lutheran theologian in Minnesota Marie Høeg (1866 in Langesund – 1949) a Norwegian photographer and suffragist William Houlder Zachariasen (1906 in Langesund – 1979) Norwegian-American physicist, pioneering specialist in X-ray crystallography and the structure of glass in Chicago Arne Selberg (1910 in Langesund – 1989) a civil engineer, designed suspension bridges Sigmund Selberg (1910–1994) a mathematician, worked on the distribution of prime numbers Atle Selberg (1917 in Langesund – 2007) a mathematician, worked on analytic number theory Kjell Bohlin (1928–2011) a Norwegian politician, Mayor of Bamble 1971 to 1981 Turid Thomassen (born 1965 in Stathelle) leader of the Norwegian Red party 2010 to 2012 Sverre Gjørvad (born 1966 in Stathelle) a Norwegian jazz musician (drums) and composer Odd Ivar Solvold (born 1969 in Bamble) a chef, restaurateur and author of cook books Jørn Lier Horst (born 1970 in Bamble) author of crime fiction and former Police officer Kenneth Nilsen (born 1994 in Bamble), stage name K-391, music producer


Thor Thorvaldsen (1909 in Bamble – 1987) a Norwegian sailor and twice Olympic champion Jan Halvor Halvorsen (born 1963 in Bamble) former footballer with 250 club caps and 5 for Norway Ella Gjømle Berg (born 1979 in Stathelle) a cross-country skier
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