Lillesand

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Location
58°14'48"N
008°19'00"E
Country
 Norway
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Description

Lillesand (Urban East Norwegian: [ˈlɪ̂lːəsɑn] (listen)) is municipality in Agder county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Sørlandet. The administrative center of the municipality is the town of Lillesand. Some of the larger villages in Lillesand municipality include Åkerøyhamn, Brekkestø, Gamle Hellesund, Helldal, Høvåg, Ribe, Skottevik, Trøe, Ulvøysund, and Vesterhus. The 190-square-kilometre (73 sq mi) municipality is the 306th largest by area out of the 356 municipalities in Norway. Lillesand is the 102nd most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 11,074. The municipality's population density is 61.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (159/sq mi) and its population has increased by 17% over the previous 10-year period.

General information

The town of Lillesand was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt law). During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1962, the following areas were merged into a new, larger municipality of Lillesand: the town of Lillesand (population: 1,041) the rural municipality of Høvåg (population: 1,330) the rural municipality of Vestre Moland (population: 2,454) the Gitmarkgårdene area of Eide municipality (population: 22)

Name

The Old Norse form of the name was just Sandr which means "sand beach". The first element lille which means "little" was added after the founding of Kristiansand in 1641 to distinguish it from the greater and more important town nearby.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms was granted on 11 September 1987. The arms show three silver anchors on a blue background. The anchor was chosen to symbolize the connection that the municipality has with the sea and there are three of them to symbolize the three smaller municipalities that were merged in 1964 to form the present municipality.

History

Sanden, which consisted of the small area near the harbor, was the original name for the municipality of Lillesand. Lillesand is built on the ancient estate of Lofthus. Christian Jensen Lofthuus was captured on his Lofthus estate around 1780. In 1821, when Lillesand became a privileged port, it had a population of only 300 and had nine shipyards. By 1895 the merchant fleet was 95 vessels strong. But the death of the sailing ship caused severe economic difficulties for Lillesand. Sailing ships had been inexpensive and could be built from local timber. Steamers were built of steel, were expensive and required more capital than locals could muster. Shipyards were closed. Many of the residents emigrated from there to the United States. Lillesand remained a fishing village, though even this area suffered when the herring left the coast. The Saltholmen Lighthouse, located on an island off Lillesand, is a nineteenth century lighthouse with a slate roof and a concrete tower for the light. It operated as a manned lighthouse from 1882 to 1952. Saltholmen (lit. "Salty Islet") is named after the salt extraction industry once there, established by Hans Nielsen Hauge. The Lillesand-Flaksvandbanen operated between Lillesand and Flaksvann from 1896 to 1953. ORP Orzeł, a Polish submarine, sank the German troopship Rio de Janeiro on 8 April 1940 off Lillesand. Rio de Janeiro was on its way to take part in the initial landings of Operation Weserübung the next day, the invasion of Norway.

Geography

Lillesand is bordered in the north by Birkenes municipality, to the east by Grimstad municipality and to the south by Kristiansand municipality. The lake Østre Grimevann is a large lake in the northern part of the municipality and the river Tovdalselva runs through the municipality, too. The Blindleia is an inland waterway that starts in Gamle Hellesund in Høvåg near Kristiansand in southern Norway, and continues past Lillesand. It is a salt water passage protected from the open sea by the offshore archipelago. The island of Justøy lies just south of the town of Lillesand, along the Blindleia. The Kvåsefjorden lies along the southwestern border of Lillesand municipality. Navigation through the Blindleia passage requires attention to detail, but is not difficult as there are no tides, and very little current. The minimal tidal change in the skerries is due to its geographical location; the tidal flow that comes in from the Atlantic Ocean splits on the British Isles. One tidal stream goes through the English Channel, while the other goes around the north of the British Isles. The stream of the English Channel reaches the coast of Norway before the wave traveling around the British Islands. These two tidal "waves" are completely out of phase when they meet here, neutralizing the tidal effect.
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