Giert Tørrisson Giertsen Nedenes (1772-1825)

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After the Mandal river changed its direction some time in the late 1600s, the area between the town and Hobdeheia remained an open sand bank. While the wind howled, a sand storm blew over streets and houses and caused great despair among the inhabitants.

Towards the end of the 1700s Magistrate Friederich Friederichsen started planting pine and larch trees west of Skrivergården towards Kallhammeren. After his death, his son-in-law Giert Tørrisson Giertsen Nedenes continued his work at a larger scale. Giert Tørrisson Giertsen was the richest merchant in Mandal and his businesses covered many areas. He had the capital, energy, and vision needed to continue the tree planting. He has remained the founder of Furulunden. “He planted the trees to the benefit of his descendants,” was written on his column.

The inhabitants of Mandal realized the significance of this, and continued the work. In the first half of the 1900s more than 100 000 trees were planted, mostly by primary school pupils.

Today Furulunden lies as a protective belt between the town and the sea. It is unique that we have such a forest in the vicinity of the town. Furulunden is nearby, with lots of paths and a beach for every wind.

HAVE A NICE TRIP!

English translation: Kirsti Birkeland og Liv Smith

Svartbakken

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The Risøbank area was opened to the public after the state bought the area from the Salvesen family i 1969. Forestation was started in the late 1800s.

Furulunden – the Risøbank area has a network of paths and woodland roads. The topography makes access fairly simple, also for the disabled.

The Risøbank area is renowned for its beautiful beaches, but here, as in the rest of Furulunden, you can experience varied nature, teeming with birds. There is also a permanent flock of roe-deer.

Families with small children will take great pleasure in visiting the playgrounds in Furulunden. At Lillebanken the playground is in water. At Rundingen playground children can experience excitement in a safe environment.

You can find safe barbecues at Rundingen, Lillebanken and Verksletta.

Also worth a visit is the summer residence of Lord Salvesen at Risøbank.

The residence, which is now owned by the community, is used for diverse purposes, and has impressive buildings with a greenhouse and an English-style park.

English translation: Kirsti Birkeland og Liv Smith

Piren

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Mandalselva is one of the 10 best salmon rivers in Norway. The river is the southernmost in Norway and ends in Mandal. The river runs along Rv455 through Mandalen (the valley of Åseral, Marnardal and Mandal).

In the old days salmon fishing was part of the household, and the owners along the river had and have particular rights to fishing.
On the east side of the river Østerland Fiskeri had their rights. Laksestigene or Tjell as they are called, were used with closing nets for salmon. A guard sat in the Tjell looking for salmon which from that height was visible against the light river bed. When the call came: "salmon in the river", the closing net was thrown out from a rowing boat, and the salmon was caught.

Through the years many people are left with just small parts of the fishery, since original rights have been distributed to descendants through inheritance. Today there is no fishing with closing net in the mouth of the river.

RYVINGEN FYRSTASJON LIES TO THE EAST OF THE FJORD

The lighthouse is the southernmost in Norway and lies in Mandal municipality. The first lighthouse was built in 1867, and a new one in 1897. When the light was lit, it was the second strongest lighthouse in the world. The light was thirteen times stronger than today's. The fishermen along the coast were afraid that fish and seabirds would disappear from Skagerrak when the light was lit. The tower is 22,5 metres high, and the lighthouse has been automized since 2002. It is possible to spend the night at the lighthouse the whole year.

HATTHOLMEN FYR

The lighthouse was built in 1867, and had manning up to 1984 when it was automized. May 6 1991 Mandal Kystlag took over the running and maintenance of the lighthouse. The lighthouse was built at the same time as Ryvingen lighthouse and has a functional and visual connection to it. The lighthouse is built of wood and is a one and a half floor dwelling with an attached lightroom. The lighthouse has a lens from 1931. It was rebuilt for solar energy in 1985. The construction comprises an outhouse, hen house, machine house and an aerial cableway, stairs and bridge, in addition to a boathouse and landing. The area was adjusted to the lighthouse master and his family, and there is a garden on the islet. During the summer months it is possible to stay overnight on the lighthouse.

English translation: Kirsti Birkeland og Liv Smith

Lysthuset

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The building was raised in the mid 1800s. Originally it was a popular resort for the Wattne family who owned Furulunden.

The local council bought Furulunden from Wattne in 1893. The following year the music pavilion was given as a gift to the people of Mandal. For many years this was an excursion spot in summer. Concerts were arranged here, and you could buy food and drinks. This is now where people gather after the parade on May 17th.

Forest

At the beginning of the 1800s an extensive forestation was started by Giert Tørrisson Giertsen Nedenes. The planting of trees in such coherent areas had never been seen in this country. The sales contract with the local community stated that the area should be treated as a forest. This was done to prevent neglect and deforestation.

This is probably one of the reasons why we in this area can see some of the oldest trees. They are pine and larch trees up to 200 years old. Some of the larch trees are 35 metres high. This is quite unusual in Norway.

Unfortunately a hurricane made great damages in 1969. A large belt from Bankebroa to Speilen was flattened. Altogether more than 6000 trees fell in the Furulunden/Risøbank area.

English translation: Kirsti Birkeland og Liv Smith

German fortifications (1940 – 1945)

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During the war the Germans built many fortifications along the Norwegian coast. Mandal had several fortresses, the largest at Landehobde just west of the town. There were also constructions in Furulunden. The most extensive were an air runway and a hangar at the Vestnes fields. In Furulunden there were several fortifications. These are documented and marked on the map.

Remains of German occupation:

  1. Kallhammerodden – here are two positions – machine guns with trenches.
  2. Prestheia – a simple stand for machine guns built in rock.
  3. Bankebukta – a trench was built through a small plateau towards Bankebukta.
  4. Between Sandbergs hei, Lysthuset, and Bankebukta the Germans built barracks.
  5. Sandbergs hei – a shelter was built in the hillside. The shelter went straight through the hill.
  6. Bunker at Bankebroa – a concrete construction with relatively thick walls and roof. At the bridgehead a mobile cannon of smaller calibre was stationed.
  7. Svineholmen – at the far end five small bunkers were raised and concrete platforms were built for artillery.
  8. Verksbrygga – Spidsboheia – protection for sentry at the path towards the hill. At Spidsbo there was a bunker partly in rock with the entry roofed over in concrete. This was destroyed after the war.
  9. The hill between Spidsbo and Kanelstranda – at Spidsbo there was a bunker partly in the rock, but with roof and walls over the exit in concrete. Trenches and artillery stands were built in the area.
  10. The hill between Kanelstranda and Stumpestranda – a bunker was built partly in rock, partly with walls and roof in concrete. There were made protection for gun posts and built trenches up to the artillery.
  11. Stumpestranda towards Stumpeodden – trenches were built here towards the artillery in the area.
  12. The arbour of Lord Salvesen – from the lower end of the arbour trenches were built towards Lordestranda.
  13. Loshola – below the path, just before the top of the plateau of the Loshola there was a foundation for artillery.
  14. Bestemor/Sjøsandveien – west of the road there is a concrete bunker below the sand.

All buildings at Risøbank were confiscated by the Germans. Large parts of the area towards the sea were full of mines, and there were many barbed wire fences. After the war altogether 2551 mines were removed from the area.

English translation: Kirsti Birkeland og Liv Smith

Verksletta Risøbank

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The two brothers Johan Theodor Salvesen (1820 – 1865) and Salve Christian Fredrik Salvesen (1827 – 1911) emigrated from Mandal to Scotland. Theodor settled down in Grangemouth in 1843, and Christian in Leith in 1851.

Here they laid the foundation for extensive businesses throughout the world, among others in shipping and whaling. In the 1850s the Scottish chemist James Young developed a method of extracting lamp oil, so-called kerosene, from Scottish gas coal. In a time of increasing demand for bright light, the Salvesen brothers saw the possibility of producing lamp oil by the Young method also in Norway. They decided to start a factory in Mandal. An area at Risøbank was purchased and in the spring of 1862 "Paraffin Olie Co" (POC) was established. In 1864 the factory comprised 24 buildings and quais at Risøbank, and in 1866 more than 120 men were employed at the factory. As a consequence of the factory the neighbourhood "Støkkan" emerged.

During the first four years more than 1 million litres of lamp oil was produced, which was sold throughout the country, all the way to Finnmark. As a result of this, "Risøbank", the world's first tanker, was built. Furthermore, lubricating oil, paraffin wax, turpentine, pit coal tar, and fertilizer were produced. More than 100 000 paraffin lamps were made. Due to failing trade conditions and increasing competition with imported lamp oil, POC, the first factory to refine mineral oil in Norway, had to close down in 1872. During the following years the factory was demolished.

After the industrial adventure was over in Mandal, Risøbank was inherited by Christian Salvesen's son, Edward, in 1900. The Salvesen family still has its worldwide businesses.

English translation: Kirsti Birkeland og Liv Smith