Brevik og Kragerø

The coast of Telemark County stretches southwards from the outer Oslo Fjord. Two of its towns, Brevik and Kragerø, were early centers for the county’s timber trade. Vast forested areas, waterways and good harbors were the basis for their development. Timber trade and shipping are closely linked enterprises that dominated trade and industry until the late 1800s. Kragerø and Brevik are typical of the coastal towns in eastern and southern Norway.

Kragerø received a town charter in 1666, making it a markettown and giving its merchant citizens monopoly rights on trade, while Brevik gained a lesser town’s trading rights in 1680. Its merchants were required tobe legal citizens of Skien, a larger nearby market town. It did not become a full market town until 1845. The combination of export and import were of vital importance to the development of shipping. Denmark, France, Holland, Great Britain and Germany were important trading partner nations.