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Øyestad kommune
View of the historic Øyestad Church
View of the historic Øyestad Church
Øyestad kommune is located in Aust-Agder
Øyestad kommune
Øyestad kommune
Location of the municipality
Øyestad kommune is located in Norway
Øyestad kommune
Øyestad kommune
Øyestad kommune (Norway)
Coordinates: 58°24′43″N 08°38′55″E / 58.41194°N 8.64861°E / 58.41194; 8.64861Coordinates: 58°24′43″N 08°38′55″E / 58.41194°N 8.64861°E / 58.41194; 8.64861
RegionSouthern Norway
DistrictØstre Agder
Municipality IDNO-0920
Adm. CenterBjorbekk
 • Total96 km2 (37 sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Created asFormannskapsdistrikt in 1838
Merged intoArendal in 1992

Øyestad is a former municipality in Aust-Agder county, Norway. The municipality existed from 1838 until 1992 when it was merged into the present-day municipality of Arendal. At the time of its dissolution, the 96-square-kilometre (37 sq mi) municipality of Øyestad encompassed most of the coastline between the towns of Grimstad and Arendal, along with the forested areas along the Nidelva river heading inland. Back in 1838, however, the municipality was far larger in size. The administrative centre was the village of Bjorbekk near the Bjorbekk Church.[1][2]


The prestegjeld of Øiestad was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). In 1846, the southern district of Øiestad (population: 2,806) was split off to form the new municipality of Fjære. The municipality was again split in 1850 when the northern district of Øiestad (population: 1,976) was separated to become the municipality of Froland. After that, Øiestad had 5,215 inhabitants. On 1 January 1875, an area of the neighboring town of Arendal (population: 52) was transferred to Øyestad. Then on 1 January 1881, the island of Hisøya ad the surrounding islands (population: 2,652) were separated to form the new municipality of Hisøy. This left Øiestad with a population of 4,474. In the early 1900s, the spelling of the name was changed to Øyestad. In 1936, an area of Øyestad (population: 33) was transferred to neighboring Moland municipality.

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1962, the uninhabited area of Salvestjønn was transferred from Øyestad to the neighboring municipality of Landvik. On 1 January 1992, there was another large municipal merger. Øyestad (population: 8,679) was merged with the municipalities of Hisøy (population: 4,026), Tromøy (population: 4,711), Moland (population: 8,148), and the town of Arendal (population: 12,478) to form a new, much larger municipality of Arendal.[3][4]


The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Øiestad farm (Old Norse: Øyjarsstaðir), since the first Øyestad Church was built there. The first element is the genitive case of the male name Øyjarr and the last element is staðir which means "homestead" or "farm".[5]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 19 April 1985. The arms are white and they show a wavy river flowing across them diagonally. The river represents the local river Nidelva that runs from the mountains into the fjord as it passes through the municipality. The river played an important role in the local economy.[6]

Øyestad Church[edit]

Øyestad Church (Øyestad kirke) is a medieval, Gothic nave church. The church built in stone with 300 seats. Dating is uncertain, but it is generally assumed that it was built around the year 1200. The congregation celebrated the church's 800th anniversary in 2000. Øyestad was formerly the main church for several parishes: Øyestad, Fjære, Grimstad, Froland, and Hisøy. The church was damaged by fire in 1900. The choir, sacristy, tower, altarpiece and pulpit were destroyed along with the paintings on the walls. The church was restored and rededicated in 1902. In 2008, the church underwent extensive restoration.[7]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ a b Thorsnæs, Geir, ed. (2015-12-28). "Øyestad". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  2. ^ Kiær, Anders Nicolai; Helland, Amund; Vibe, Johan; Strøm, Boye (1904). "Øiestad herred". Norges land og folk: Nedenes amt (in Norwegian). Norway: H. Aschehoug & Company. p. 317. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  3. ^ "Hjemmehørende folkemengde Aust-Agder 1801-1960" (in Norwegian). Registreringssentral for historiske data: University of Tromsø.
  4. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1905). Norske gaardnavne: Nedenes amt (in Norwegian) (8 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 105.
  6. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  7. ^ "Øyestad kirke". kulturminnesok. Retrieved 2016-10-01.

External links[edit]

  • Arendal travel guide from Wikivoyage