After incorporating another island community (Frei) in 2008 the population is now 22-23 thousand. The islands are connected by bridges and from the largest island (Frei) there is a 5.1 kilometers sub sea tunnel to the island Bergsøya, see bottom of page. From here there are two possible routes to the mainland: The Gjemnessundet bridge to the south side of the Tingvoll fjord and the pontoon bridge across Bergsøysundet to Aspøya and then a shorter bridge to the mainland on the north side of the Tingvoll fjord. In December 2009 a 5.7 kilometers sub sea tunnel south to Averøya was opened. This means another mainland connection on the Atlantic road.
The Clipfish Woman of Kristiansund, sculptor Tore Bjørn Skjølsvik (1992). Clipfish is salted cod (and some other species) originally sun-dried on the smooth rocks at the sea. ('Clip' stems from Danish-Norwegian 'klippe' meaning 'rock'.) The "clipfish women" – and the children – did most of the work on land – the men did the fishing. The clipfish story starts in the 1690s and the product was, and still is, exported to Spain, Portugal and other countries. This is the main reason Kristiansund prospered and grew. Now the fish is dried in drying houses elsewhere – not in Kristiansund. But they have a Clipfish museum and every summer a Clipfish festival.
Sundbåt ('sound boat'). These boats started connecting the islands in 1876 and this is claimed to be the world's oldest continued public transport system. Although the islands are now connected by bridges and the number of boat passengers is far lower than it once was, the boats are still operating. In the background the Nordlandet church built 1912/14. There are few old buildings in Kristiansund because during the German invasion in April 1940 a large fraction of the town was destroyed by bombing – hunting for the fleeing King and Government.
The lower end of Kaibakken, the street that runs down to the quay(s) ('kai'), indeed the heart of Kristiansund. Behind the cars a 'sound boat' may be seen, and in front of it the keen-eyed ones may see the Clipfish Woman. Beyond the harbor the bridge Nordsundbrua.
The Kirklandet church built 1964, architect Odd Østby. It is situated close to a main street, Langveien ('Long-road'!), running south to the main harbor. At this street south of the church are several small parks and north of the church also the park and recreation area 'Vanndamman' (below).
Inside the Kirklandet church. Daylight is entering through the colored windows above the altar. Here the altar is not in the traditional east end, but rather in the north-north-west end of the church.
The manhole covers depict the clipfish woman, the 'sound boats', and the Kirklandet church. It also shows the year (1742) when King Christian VI permitted the place to become a town with the name Christiansund, later changed to the Norwegian spelling Kristiansund.
Before the place became a town the name was Fosen (also Fosna, Fossund). 'Fosen' meant 'the hiding place', in this case probably '... from wind and waves', i.e. 'safe harbor'. However, there is a similar Norwegian word, written 'foss(en)' that means (the) waterfall. In his letter of permit King Christian VI described the coat of arms for the new town. The King in Copenhagen obviously knew enough Norwegian to understand that "fos(s)en" meant "the waterfall"(!), therefore the coat of arms looks like the one below: A waterfall with three salmons on their way up. Well, this is a small island and there has never been a proper waterfall here. But when the map doesn't fit the landscape the obvious idea is to change the landscape. The depicted arrangement was made for the town's 250th anniversary.
"The end of the journey (Holocaust)". Sculpture in memory of the 18 Jews from Kristiansund that were killed in Auschwitz during World War II. The artist (2003) is Tore Bjørn Skjølsvik.
In the park (Nerparken) down the road (Langveien) from the Kirklandet Church stands the bronze sculpture "Young girl with a bird" by Arne Durban (1956). As for the roses, we sometimes get the impression that this town is trying to compete with the neighbor town Molde, "the town of roses".
Sculpture above the Swan Pond, "Peeing Boy" (1972) by Tore Bjørn Skjølsvik. The Swan Pond, close to the town center, was once a water reservoir.
Leafing old birch at Vanndamman (the 'Water-Ponds').
In the 1800s the town needed more freshwater and in a long depression close to the town center these water reservoirs were constructed, mainly in the years 1860–1912. In addition to the Swan Pond there are three longer ponds in a row, and there was an intricate "gutter" system for collecting rainwater. By 1914 they had built a sub sea water pipeline from the larger island Frei and Vanndamman became a park and a recreation area. (Since 1979 the town has got its tap water from the mainland.)
One of the ducts channeling the rainwater into the ponds. Here it is combined with a footpath.
Festiviteten, the town's house of culture since 1914. There are art exhibitions, concerts, theater, opera ... Since 1928 they have arranged an opera week, now every February.
One of the Norwegian Coastal Express (Hurtigruten) ships departing Kristiansund under the Sørsundet bridge. It is sailing from Bergen to Kirkenes near the Russian border in 6–7 days. In any harbor in-between there is one departure northwards and southwards every day. This used to be the main transport facility along the coast, but now it serves mainly as a tourist cruise, at least during the summer.
This is still a safe harbor. For fishing boats, transport vessels, and in later years supply ships for the offshore petroleum industry as shown here. Since the previous picture was taken this quay has been rebuilt; the side propellers of the supply ships had washed away the fundament of the old quay.
Map of Kristiansund and its surroundings.
It's simplified and inaccurate. Only the main roads are shown.