is a city and municipality
Municipalities of Norway
Norway is divided into 19 administrative regions, called counties , and 430 municipalities...

 in Vestfold
is a county in Norway, bordering Buskerud and Telemark. The county administration is in Tønsberg.Vestfold is located west of the Oslofjord, as the name indicates. It includes many smaller, but well-known towns in Norway, such as Larvik, Sandefjord, Tønsberg and Horten. The river Numedalslågen runs...

Counties of Norway
Norway is divided into 19 administrative regions, called counties . The counties form the primary first-level subdivisions of Norway and are further divided into 430 municipalities...

, Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Holmestrad. The city was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt
Formannskapsdistrikt was the name for a Norwegian local self-government districts put into force in 1838. This system of municipality was created in a bill approved by the Storting and signed into law by King Carl Johan on 14 January 1837...

). The neighboring rural municipality of Botne
Botne is a former municipality in Vestfold county, Norway.The parish of Botne was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 . According to the 1835 census the municipality had a population of 1,600. In 1942 a part of Botne with 148 inhabitants was moved to Holmestrand, and in 1947 a part with 8...

 was merged into the municipality of Holmestrand on 1 January 1964.

The city lies by the Oslofjord
The Oslofjord is a bay in the south-east of Norway, stretching from an imaginary line between the Torbjørnskjær and Færder lighthouses and down to Langesund in the south to Oslo in the north....

 and is built beside the water. It was granted city status
Town privileges
Town privileges or city rights were important features of European towns during most of the second millennium.Judicially, a town was distinguished from the surrounding land by means of a charter from the ruling monarch that defined its privileges and laws. Common privileges were related to trading...

 in 1752, but had been a harbor
A harbor or harbour , or haven, is a place where ships, boats, and barges can seek shelter from stormy weather, or else are stored for future use. Harbors can be natural or artificial...

 for exporting of timber/lumber
Lumber or timber is wood in any of its stages from felling through readiness for use as structural material for construction, or wood pulp for paper production....

 since around 1550. The city has developed inland in recent years, after the inclusion of Botne.


The Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 form of the name was Holmastrand. The first element is the genitive case
Genitive case
In grammar, genitive is the grammatical case that marks a noun as modifying another noun...

 of holmi which means "(rocky) hill
A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. Hills often have a distinct summit, although in areas with scarp/dip topography a hill may refer to a particular section of flat terrain without a massive summit A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. Hills...

" and the last element is strand which means "shore
A shore or shoreline is the fringe of land at the edge of a large body of water, such as an ocean, sea, or lake. In Physical Oceanography a shore is the wider fringe that is geologically modified by the action of the body of water past and present, while the beach is at the edge of the shore,...

", "beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

", or "strand".


The coat-of-arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 is relatively modern, granted on 14 November 1898. The arms show a silver eagle
Eagles are members of the bird family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in...

 holding a gold anchor
An anchor is a device, normally made of metal, that is used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the vessel from drifting due to wind or current. The word derives from Latin ancora, which itself comes from the Greek ἄγκυρα .Anchors can either be temporary or permanent...

 in its left claw and a gold Rod of Asclepius
Rod of Asclepius
The rod of Asclepius , also known as the asklepian, is an ancient symbol associated with astrology, the Greek god Asclepius, and with medicine and healing. It consists of a serpent entwined around a staff. The name of the symbol derives from its early and widespread association with Asclepius, the...

 in its right claw all on a red background. The eagle in the arms is derived from the arms of the merchant Johan Heinrich Tordenskiold, who, in 1819, donated all his fortune to build a school in Holmestrand. The eagle also gave its name to the main ship of the merchant, which is shown on the breast-shield, the White Eagle. The anchor symbolises the importance of Holmestrand as a harbour town. The snake on the Rod of Asclepius is the symbol of medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 and symbolises the former health spa
The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are...

 in Holmestrand that existed in the 18th and 19th centuries.


The European route E18
European route E18
European route E18 runs from Craigavon in the United Kingdom to Saint Petersburg in Russia, passing through Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It is about 1,890 km in length.-United Kingdom:...

 through Vestfold goes to the west around downtown Holmestrand and secondary roads connect the city to this highway.

The railway
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 line Vestfoldbanen runs through the centre of Holmestrand, and the city is served by the station Holmestrand Station
Holmestrand Station
Holmestrand Station is a railway station on Vestfoldbanen located in the town of Holmestrand in Vestfold, Norway.The station was opened in 1881 with the opening of the railway line. It is located 86.09 km from Oslo Central Station...


Notable residents

  • Harriet Backer
    Harriet Backer
    Harriet Backer was a Norwegian painter who achieved recognition in her own time and was a pioneer among female artists both in the Nordic countries and in Europe generally...

     (1845–1932), painter
  • Agathe Backer Grøndahl
    Agathe Backer Grøndahl
    Agathe Backer-Grøndahl was a Norwegian pianist and composer.She was born in Holmestrand, but in 1857 moved with her family to Oslo, where she studied with Otto Winther-Hjelm, Halfdan Kjerulf and Ludvig Mathias Lindeman. From 1865 she studied in Berlin, where she won fame with her interpretation of...

     (1847–1907), composer
  • Nils Kjær
    Nils Kjær
    Nils Kjær was a Norwegian playwright, short story writer, essayist, literary critic and theatre critic.-Personal life:Kjær was born in Holmestrand as the son of Nils Henrik Kjær and Christine Smestad...

     (1870–1924), author

Twin towns — Sister cities

The following cities are twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with Holmestrand: Arsuk
Arsuk is a village in the Sermersooq municipality in southwestern Greenland. It had 156 inhabitants in 2010. The name of the settlement means the beloved place in the Greenlandic language...

, Sermersooq
Sermersooq is a new municipality in Greenland, operational from 1 January 2009. It is home to Nuuk , the capital of Greenland, and is the most populous municipality in the country, with 21,232 inhabitants as of January 2010...

, Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 Åland Islands
Åland Islands
The Åland Islands form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. They are situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and form an autonomous, demilitarised, monolingually Swedish-speaking region of Finland...

, Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

Eiði is a large village located on the north-west tip of Eysturoy, Faroe Islands Its name means isthmus in the Faroese language. The town has a population of 669In the center of the village there is a large stone church from 1881...

, Eysturoy
Eysturoy means East island and is the second-largest of the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, both in size and population. It is separated by a narrow sound from the main island of Streymoy. Eysturoy is extremely rugged, with some 66 separate mountain peaks, including Slættaratindur, the...

, Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

 Herning, Region Midtjylland
Region Midtjylland
Central Denmark Region or Central Jutland Region is an administrative region of Denmark established on January 1, 2007 as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform, which replaced the traditional counties with five larger regions. At the same time, smaller municipalities were merged into larger...

, Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

Husby, Germany
Husby is a municipality in the district of Schleswig-Flensburg, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany....

, Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Kangasala is a municipality in Finland, next to Tampere. It was founded in 1865. The municipality has a population of and covers an area of of which is water. The population density is ....

, Western Finland
Western Finland
Western Finland was a province of Finland from 1997 to 2010. It bordered the provinces of Oulu, Eastern Finland and Southern Finland. It also bordered the Gulf of Bothnia towards Åland.- History :...

, Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

Siglufjörður is a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland.Population in January 2011 was 1,206 but the town has been shrinking in size since the 1950s when the town reached its peak with 3,000 inhabitants....

, Eyjafjörður
Eyjafjörður is the longest fjord in central northern Iceland. It is located in the second most populous region of Iceland.-Physical geography:...

, Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

Vänersborg Municipality
Vänersborg Municipality is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the city of Vänersborg.The present municipality was created during the local government reform in the early 1970s...

, Västra Götaland County
Västra Götaland County
Västra Götaland County is a county or län on the western coast of Sweden.The county is the second largest of Sweden's counties and it is subdivided into 49 municipalities . Its population of 1,550,000 amounts to 17% of Sweden's population...

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

External links

  • Municipal fact sheet from Statistics Norway
    Statistics Norway
    Statistics Norway is the Norwegian statistics bureau. It was established in 1876.Relying on a staff of about 1,000, Statistics Norway publish about 1,000 new statistical releases every year on its web site. All releases are published both in Norwegian and English...

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