From Academic Kids

Kongsberg (lit. The King's Mountain) is a municipality and town in the county of Buskerud, Norway. Including the surrounding rural districts, the administrative area is 792 km². The town was founded in 1624 under the name Konings Bierg by Danish/Norwegian king Christian IV as a mining community (see below), and was granted its royal charter of trade—amounting to official township—in 1802.

Kongsberg kommune
Missing image

County Buskerud
Municipality NO-0604
Administrative centre Kongsberg
Mayor (2005) Vidar Lande (Ap)
Official language form Bokmål
 - Total
 - Land
 - Percentage
Ranked 138
792 km²
753 km²
0.24 %
 - Total (2004)
 - Percentage
 - Change (10 years)
 - Density
Ranked 39
0.51 %
8.9 %
Coordinates Template:Coor dm

Data from Statistics Norway (http://www.ssb.no/english/municipalities/0604)

The neighbouring municipalities of Kongsberg are Flesberg to the north, Øvre Eiker and Hof to the west, Lardal, Siljan and Skien to the south, and Sauherad and Notodden to the east. Of these, the two first lie in Buskerud county like Kongsberg, while Hof and Lardal lie in Vestfold, and the others lie in Telemark. Main highways are the E134, crossing Kongsberg east-west (and connected to the E18 to Oslo), and National Highway no. 40 (Riksvei 40), going north-south.

Kongsberg is particularly known for its old silver mines, from which roughly 1350 metric tons of silver was extracted between the discovery of silver ore in 1623, and the last year of mining, in 1957. In 1814, following several hard years, mining was complemented by defence industry, the latter gradually evolving into many other kinds of high-tech activities as well, and dominating the town's employment.

In 1987 however, the state-owned Kongsberg Vaabenfabrik (KV) (lit.: Kongsberg Weapons Factory) suffered a major financial crisis as well as accusations of breaching the Cocom rules by selling sensitive technology to the Soviet bloc. As a result the company was split into several smaller units and partly sold to private investors. Today, the separate firms still thrive as one of Norway's main high-tech industrial clusters, centering on defence & maritime company Kongsberg Gruppen.

Kongsberg is also home to the Mint of Norway (Det Norske Myntverket), which exclusively makes Norwegian coins. It was established in 1686, and was renamed from the Royal Norwegian Mint (Den Kongelige Mynt) in 2004 after having been sold to private investors (the Mint of Finland and Norwegian company Samlerhuset) in 2003.

The town is known for many great ski jumpers. Birger Ruud and his two brothers, as well as many other townsmen, won numerous medals in Winter Olympics and other international championships in the 1930s and 40s. Their medals and equipment can be seen at the Kongsberg Skiing Museum which is co-located with the Norwegian Mining Museum (Norsk Bergverksmuseum) in central Kongsberg.

Since 1964, Kongsberg has hosted Kongsberg Jazzfestival, an annual international jazz festival. Heavily sponsored by the local industry, prominent world acts such as BB King, Diana Krall, Ornette Coleman, Joshua Redman and John Scofield have played at the festival in recent years.

Kongsberg is also the hometown of composers and pianists Christian Sinding and Halfdan Cleve, as well as pianist Håkon Austbø.

External links

Municipalities of Buskerud Missing image
Buskerud coat of arms

Drammen | Flesberg | Flå | Gol | Hemsedal | Hol | Hole | Hurum | Kongsberg | Krødsherad | Lier | Modum | Nedre Eiker | Nes | Nore og Uvdal | Ringerike | Rollag | Røyken | Sigdal | Øvre Eiker | Ål


nl:Kongsberg no:Kongsberg


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