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Panorama of Egersund town center
|• Total||6.5 km2 (2.5 sq mi)|
|Population (2014)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Egersund has one of the best natural harbours in Norway, and used to be the largest harbour in Norway when measured in quantity of fish brought in each year (surpassed by Ålesund during 2006). Several internationally known companies have divisions here, like Navico (earlier Robertson autopilots) and Jeppesen Norway formerly C-MAP Norway (producer of electronic sea-maps). In addition, the Aker Solutions corporation owns and runs a large installation here which specializes in the building of parts for oil platforms. Most of the industry is related to the sea and to boats.
People have lived around the district of Egersund since the stone ages. Several places one can find ruins of settlements dating back to the age of migrations in Norway (400–600 BC). The name "Egersund" derives from the Norse name for the strait between Eigerøy and the mainland, which was called Eikundarsund. The name of Eigerøy (Norse: Eikund) comes from the rich deposits of oak trees (Eik = Norwegian for oak). The name is among the oldest placenames in Norway. It can already be found in the form Eikundarsund in the Norse saga of Olav the Holy, written by Icelandic author Snorri Sturlasson in the 13th century. From around the year 1000 Olav the Holy's fleet was here often. We can also find the name in texts and scaldic poems from Olav's saga.
There used to be a church here, the Church of St. Mary, mentioned in 1292 in a privilege of indulgence issued in Rome on February 5, 1292 by Pope Nicholas IV as Ecclesia beatæ Mariæ de Eikundarsund. It was the first church in Eikundarsund, and was the parish church of Maria parish. It is believed to have been located where the present church stands today. Old folklore from Egersund also says that before the Church of St. Mary, an altar where people sacrificed to the old Norse gods was placed here, but this has not been verified from any sources except old stories.
There was also a chapel, the chapel of St. Laurenti, mentioned in a letter issued on February 5 of 1308 as Ecclesia beati Laurentii de Eikundarsund, where Pope Clement V gives King Håkon V Magnusson extensive privileges concerning the king's 14 chapels (including the chapel of St. Laurenti), which was founded by himself or his father, King Magnus Lagabøte, and his grandfather, King Håkon Håkonson. Since these chapels often were built on the king's estates it is presumed to have been on grounds owned by the Husabø estate. An old tradition says it was located at what is now Strandgata 43, but the exact position is somewhat uncertain.
- In 1623 the old church (probably the Church of St. Mary) was demolished and a new church was erected. This wooden still stands today.
- July 18, 1798, Egersund township founded, with its own Customs office.
- 1843 Fire destroys two thirds of the town, allowing a major redesign of streets.
- 1847 Johan Feyer founds A/S Egersunds Fayancefabriks Co., which becomes the town's major employer until closing in 1979. Collectors now are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for the former factory's products.
- July 7, 1859 another major fire.
- October 20, 1862 the last major town fire, since town planners finally understood wooden structures' vulnerability and reconstructed using extra wide streets to prevent fires from spreading.
- 1878 the railway between Egersund and Stavanger opens
- 1905 Egersund became the first town in Rogaland county to get electrical lighting.
- April 9, 1940, Germans invade Norway and occupy Egersund during World War II. Egersund had strategic importance because of its good harbour, as well as because and the telegraph line between Norway and England was situated there. The Germans built large camps in the area.
- Egersund has good connections by road to Stavanger and Kristiansand, via European route E39. There is also a more scenic coastal highway number 44.
- There is an hourly train connections northwards to Stavanger, while express and regional trains run southwards towards Kristiansand and Oslo.
- Søra Eigerøy
Points of interest
- Dalane Folkemuseum: Museum of antiquities and history of Egersund.
- Egersund Fayancemuseum: Museum of the glazed earthenware and porcelain made by Egersund Fayancefabrik from 1847 till 1979.
- «Stoplesteinan». A rather unknown attraction, since it has not been embraced by the local tourist bureau. «Stoplesteinan» is a smaller «Stonehenge», i.e. a stone circle. It is more than a thousand years old, and believed by some to be almost 2000 years old. Who built it and why, is unknown. The stone circle is situated directly above Skårabrekkå just outside downtown Egersund.
- Central Egersund houses some of the best preserved wood buildings in Norway. They are built in late Empire style, and most of the buildings are protected by law.
Famous people from Egersund
- Øystein Aarseth (1968–1993) Lead Guitarist and founder of pioneering Black Metal band Mayhem.
- Peter C. Assersen (1839–1906), Rear Admiral in the United States Navy
- Johan Lædre Bjørdal, Footballer.
- Anna Bugge (1862–1928), feminist and Swedish diplomat in Geneva (Switzerland)
- Elizabeth Fedde (1850-1921), deaconness, hospital founder, honored on the Lutheran Church calendar
- Ingvar Hovland (1954-), songwriter, play writer and poet.
- Albert Henry Iversen (1899–1971), Priscilla Presley's grandfather
- Gunnar Kvassheim, Politician.
- Kaare Tronitz Refsland, writer.
- Bengt Sæternes, Former footballer.
- Kai Ove Stokkeland, Captain at Bryne Footballteam.
- Jørgen Tengesdal, Former footballer.
- Jacob Thorkelson, Member of the United States House of Representatives.
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