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Kristiansund officially awarded township status in 1742, is a city and municipality on the northwestern coast of Norway, in the Nordmøre district of county Møre og Romsdal.
Kristiansund was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The island and municipality of Grip was merged with Kristiansund January 1, 1964. The island and municipality of Frei will be merged with Kristiansund January 1, 2008.


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The name

The city is named after the Danish-Norwegian king Christian VI in 1742. The last element is sund 'strait, sound'. The old name of the town/village (originally the island Kirklandet) was Fosna or Fosen - from Norse fólgsn f 'hiding place' (here 'hidden port'). It was also often named Lille Fosen ('the small Fosen') to distinguish it from the island Storfosen ('the big Fosen') in Ørland.
Until 1877 the name was written Christianssund, in the period 1877-1888 Kristianssund, from 1889 on Kristiansund.
Before the introduction of postal codes in Norway in 1968 it was easy to confuse the name Kristiansund with Kristiansand in the south. It was therefore obligatory to always add an N (for north) to Kristiansund, and an S (for south) to Kristiansand.


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The city borders islands/municipalities Smøla to the northeast, Tustna to the east, Frei[1] to the south, and Averøy to the SW. In the NW, there's nothing but the Norwegian Sea, besides the small island Grip.


City parts and structure

Kristiansund is built on four islands, where Nordlandet ("North Land"), humorously called Marokko ("Morocco"), is the largest, and the site of the local airport, Kvernberget (IATA code: KSU). Gomalandet and Kirk(e)landet[3] ("Church Land"), second and third in size, are considered separate "lands" (islands) even though they are connected. The smallest island is Innlandet ("Innermost Land"; humorously, "Tahiti").
Kristiansund is one of the most densely populated cities of Norway, having what is arguably the country's most urban small city center, due to the relatively small size of the islands on which it is built and the very constricted central harbour/town area of Kirkelandet.


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Copyright © 2007, Hanspeter Hochuli, Ennetburgen, Switzerland
last updated:  20.07.2007