About Kristiansand

Kristiansand (formerly Christianssand) is a city, municipality and the county capital of Vest-Agder county in Southern Norway. Kristiansand municipality is the 5th largest in Norway with a population of 82,562 as of 1 April 2011. The Kristiansand urban area, entirely located in the municipality, had a population of 67,547 on 1 January 2009, and is thus the 8th largest urban area in Norway. In addition, the Statistics Norway (no:Statistisk Sentralbyr�) counts that there are 4 other densely populated areas in the municipality: Sk�levik (Flekker�y) with a population of 2,635, Strai (Torridal) with a population of 1,332, Justvik with a population of 1,613 and Tveit with a population of 1,390 citizens (January 2009).

The city was named after its founder King Christian IV in 1641. The last element sand refers to the sandy headland the city was built on (see also Lillesand).

The name was written "Christian(s)sand" (for "Christians sand" � meaning en:[King] "Christian's Sand") until 1877 � then, according to an official spelling reform (that changed ch to k), the form was changed to "Kristianssand". (See also the names Kristiansund and Kristiania that were affected by the same reform.) The name was again changed to its present form Kristiansand in 1889.

In 2012, the city's mayor, Arvid Grundekj�n, proposed that the city be renamed Christianssand, arguing that "Kristiansand" is grammatically meaningless and that Christianssand stands for tradition.

The arms were granted on 8 December 1909 and are based on the oldest seal of the city, dating from 1643. In 1643 King Christian IV (of Denmark and Norway) granted the young city the right to use a seal with the Norwegian lion and the Royal crown. The crown indicates that the city was founded by the king. As the species of tree is not properly described, there are several images known with differently shaped trees. A second seal, from 1658, shows a tree with leaves and what looks like pine cones