About this soundHolmestrand  is a town and municipality in Vestfold in Vestfold og Telemark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Holmestrand. The town was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The neighboring rural municipality of Botne was merged into the municipality of Holmestrand on 1 January 1964. Sande municipality merged into Holmestrand on January 1, 2020. The municipality of Hof was merged into Holmestrand on January 1, 2018.[3]

Holmestrand kommune
Official logo of Holmestrand kommune
Vestfold og Telemark within
Holmestrand within Vestfold og Telemark
Holmestrand within Vestfold og Telemark
Coordinates: 59°29′43″N 10°14′55″E / 59.49528°N 10.24861°E / 59.49528; 10.24861Coordinates: 59°29′43″N 10°14′55″E / 59.49528°N 10.24861°E / 59.49528; 10.24861
CountyVestfold og Telemark
Administrative centreHolmestrand
 • Mayor (2020)Elin Gran Weggesrud (AP)
 • Total432.36 km2 (166.94 sq mi)
 • Land411.82 km2 (159.00 sq mi)
 • Total24,699
 • Density59.98/km2 (155.3/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-3802
Official language formNeutral[2]

The town lies by the Oslofjord and is built beside the water. It was granted municipal status in 1752, but had been a harbour for exporting of timber/lumber since around 1550. The municipality has developed inland in recent years, after the inclusion of Botne. It borders the Oslo Fjord in the east, Tønsberg in the south, and it shares a short border with Larvik in the south-west. It is bordered by Viken in the west and north.

Holmestrand is home to Vestfold County's largest lake, Eikeren. It is also Vestfjellet, which is the highest peak in the county.[4]


The Old Norse form of the name was Holmastrand. The first element is the genitive case of holmi which means "(rocky) hill" and the last element is strand which means "shore", "beach", or "strand".


The coat-of-arms is relatively modern, granted on 14 November 1898. The arms show a silver eagle holding a gold anchor in its left claw and a gold Rod of Asclepius 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 and symbolises the former health spa in Holmestrand that existed in the 18th and 19th centuries.[5][6]

Ethnic and foreign minorityEdit

Number of minorities (1st and 2nd generation) in Holmestrand by country of origin in 2017[7]
Ancestry Number
  Poland 226
  Lithuania 109
  Philippines 59
  Sweden 53
  Denmark 52
  Iraq 51
  Thailand 51
  Germany 48
  Eritrea 43
  Iceland 37
Holmestrand Church dates from 1674


Its islands include Langøya.[8]


The European route E18 through Vestfold goes to the west around downtown Holmestrand and secondary roads connect the city to this highway.

The railway line Vestfoldbanen runs through the centre of Holmestrand, and the city is served by the station Holmestrand Station.

Notable residentsEdit

Hans Hein Nysom, painting from 1860
Agathe Backer Grøndahl, 1870

International relationsEdit

Fjord på Holmestrand by Johan Christian Dahl (1843)

Twin towns — Sister citiesEdit

The following cities are twinned with Holmestrand:[10]


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
  2. ^ "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian). Lovdata.no.
  3. ^ https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/hof-og-holmestrand-soker-om-sammenslaing/id2468438/
  4. ^ https://snl.no/Holmestrand
  5. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  6. ^ "Holmestrand byvåpen" (in Norwegian). Holmestrand kommune. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  7. ^ "Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents". ssb.no. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  8. ^ Lokalpolitikerne visste ingenting om regjeringens Langøya-utredning
  9. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 05 February 2021
  10. ^ "Vennskapsbyer" (in Norwegian). Holmestrand kommune. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2009-01-13.

External linksEdit