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Sandefjord kommune
Coat of arms of Sandefjord kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Sandefjord kommune
Vestfold within
Sandefjord within Vestfold
Sandefjord within Vestfold
Country Norway
County Vestfold
Administrative centre Sandefjord
 • Mayor (2004) Bjørn Ole Gleditsch (H)
 • Total 121 km2 (47 sq mi)
 • Land 119 km2 (46 sq mi)
Area rank 370 in Norway
Population (2014)
 • Total 44,929
 • Rank 16 in Norway
 • Density 338.8/km2 (877/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 11.5 %
Demonym(s) Sandefjording[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-0706
Official language form Bokmål
Website .no.kommune.sandefjordwww
Data from Statistics Norway

    is a city and municipality in Vestfold county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Sandefjord. The municipality of Sandefjord was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The rural municipality of Sandar was merged into the municipality of Sandefjord on 1 January 1968.

The city is known for its rich Viking history and the prosperous whaling industry, which made Sandefjord the richest city in Norway. Today it has built up the third-largest merchant fleet in Norway.[2][3]


  • General information 1
    • Name 1.1
    • Coat-of-arms 1.2
  • History 2
    • Gokstad viking ship 2.1
    • Health resort 2.2
    • Whaling and ships 2.3
  • Geography 3
    • Townscape 3.1
    • Climate 3.2
  • Politics and government 4
  • Economy 5
  • Transportation 6
  • Culture and sports 7
  • Notable residents 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

General information


The name originally belonged to the fjord (now called the Sandefjordsfjord). The first element is the genitive case of the name of the parish and former municipality of Sandar.[4]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 9 May 1914. The Viking ship symbolizes the famous Gokstad ship, that was found near Sandefjord in 1880, one of the best preserved Vikings ships known. The whale symbolizes the fact that in the late 19th and early 20th century, Sandefjord was a main home port for whalers operating in the southern oceans.[5]


Gokstad viking ship

One of the most important remains from the Viking age was found at the grave site Gokstadhaugen in Sandefjord. The Gokstad ship was excavated by Nicolay Nicolaysen and is now in the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. The Viking, an exact replica of the Gokstad ship, crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Bergen to be exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago during 1893. A replica of Gokstad ship, called Gaia currently has Sandefjord as home port. Other known replicas include the Munin, (a half scale replica) located in Vancouver, Canada.

Health resort

Sandefjord was formerly a famous health resort, with various kinds of baths for health improvement. Amongst these were salt water sea baths, mud and sulfur baths. Visitors included royalty, a prime minister, and some of Norway’s foremost cultural personalities. Around 50,000 people, mostly Norwegians, visited the bath from 1837 to 1939. Today the bath's building has been restored and now hosts cultural events and various activities.

Whaling and ships

The whaling monument

From 1850, a number of ships from Sandefjord were whaling and sealing in the Arctic Ocean and along the coast of Finnmark. The first whaling expedition from Sandefjord to the Antarctic Ocean was sent in 1905. Towards the end of the 1920s, Sandefjord had a fleet of 15 factory ships and more than 90 whalers. In 1954, more than 2,800 men from the district were hired as crew on the whalers, but from the mid-1950s whaling was gradually reduced. The number of southbound expeditions rapidly decreased during the 1960s, and the 1967/68 season became the last for Sandefjord. The shipping industry was gradually readjusted from whaling to other ship types during this period. The local Framnæs Mekaniske Værksted and Jotun Group Private Ltd. had major roles in this business.

Today, the memories from this important period of the city's history are kept alive through the whaling museum (Hvalfangstmuseet). This museum is the only museum in Europe specializing in whales and the history of whaling. The history of the whalers can also be explored at the Museum's Wharf with a visit aboard the whale-catcher Southern Actor.

Sandefjord also has shipping traditions from tall sailing ships and steam ships. The full rigged sailing ship Christian Radich, three-masted barquentine Endurance, whale catcher Jason and Viking ship replica Viking were a few of the many ships built by Framnæs Mekaniske Værksted.


The bridge to Natholmen.

The two peninsulas called Østerøya ("Eastern Island") and Vesterøya ("Western Island") contribute to a total coastline of 146 kilometres (91 mi), and form the Sandefjordsfjord and Mefjord. The coastline offers a wide variety of sandy beaches, skerries, and islets (116 in total), along with bays and sloping rocks.

Of Sandefjord's total area, 37.7 square kilometres (14.6 sq mi) is agricultural and 36.2 square kilometres (14.0 sq mi) is forest. Neighbouring towns are Tønsberg and Larvik. A small part of Sandefjord (the Himberg farm) is lying as an exclave inside the borders of the municipality of Larvik.


The elementary school Byskolen in city centre.

Sandefjord has a good selection of restaurants and cafés. According to the renowned restaurant guide, Salt & Pepper, Sandefjord holds what is possibly Norway’s best gourmet restaurant which is located in a modern building near the harbour. Also located at the harbour, is the fishmonger well known for the excellent quality of its goods and delicacies. Sandefjord has a charming city centre, consisting of a mixture of old and modern buildings and a wide selection of shops.

The whaling monument is located at the end of the city’s main street, Jernbanealléen, in the harbour area. Nearby is a restaurant called Kokeriet, one of the relatively few places where whale meat is regularly served.


A snowy day in Sandefjord. Dec. 15, 2012.

The climate of all of Norway is extremely affected by the Gulf Stream. This means that the climate, the summers especially, are warmer than in other regions at the same latitude, i.e. the State of Alaska or Siberia.[6][7] Sandefjord has a relatively humid semi-arid continental climate with warm summers, no dry season, and relatively much perception year long. During the colder season, which is from the end of November until early March, there is a 56 percent average chance that perception will be observed during a given day. The likelihood of snow falling is highest in late January, and the season in which it is likely to snow fall spans from early November until early April. The coldest day of the year in Sandefjord is February 4, with an average low temperature of 22°F and average high of only 31°F.[8]

Politics and government

Sandefjord is a stronghold for the Conservative Party.[9] In the Norwegian local elections of 2011, 47,9 % of voters voted for the Conservative Party. The right-wing parties received a total of 70.4% of the vote in Sandefjord, compared to 51.2% nation-wide.[10][11] The current mayor, Bjørn Ole Gleditsch, was elected in 2004 with the support of the Progress Party. Gleditsch is the wealthiest mayor to ever be elected in Norway.[12][13]


Sandefjord is home to the international airport Torp Airport, paint producer Jotun, the brewery Grans Bryggeri, the chocolate factory Hval Sjokoladefabrikk, the engineering company Ramboll Oil & Gas, as well as three of Norway's largest online shops,,, and


Esso Sandefjord

The city is served by frequent intercity trains to Oslo and onwards to Oslo Airport. The local international airport Sandefjord Airport, Torp is located in the municipality. It is reached with a free shuttle bus from Sandefjord Airport Station on the Vestfoldbanen.

The ferries Bohus and Color Viking connect the town to Strömstad in Sweden.

European route E18 traverses the municipality.

Culture and sports

The local football club, Sandefjord Fotball, plays in the Tippeligaen (Norwegian Premier League) . Sandefjord handball won the men's Premier League in 2005-06. Marius Bakken is successful as a middle distance runner. Other local sports clubs include IL Runar and Sandefjord TIF.

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^  
  5. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  6. ^ Berezin, Henrik (2011). Norway Travel Adventures. Hunter Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781588437068.
  7. ^ Great Britain. Hydrographic Dept. (1880). The Norway Pilot, Part 2. J. D. Potter. Page 8.
  8. ^ "Average Weather For Sandefjord, Norway". WeatherSpark. Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

  • Municipal fact sheet from Statistics Norway
  • Sandefjord Municipality Website
  • Vestfold travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Sandefjord travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Whaling Museum
  • Sandefjord Public Library (Norwegian)
  • The local history society "Gamle Sandefjord" - "Old Sandefjord" (Norwegian)
  • A local history society dedicated to the erstwhile municipality of Sandar - Sandar Historielag i Sandefjord (Norwegian)
  • A biographical dictionary of the population of the town of Sandefjord in 1801, in Norwegian
  • A blog-format collection of potted biographies of people in Sandefjord who turn up in the sources as of 1762 as well as occasional articles based on that material, mostly in Norwegian.
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