Drammen the capital of Buskerud with a population of approximately 65.000 inhabitants. Drammen municipality covers a area of 137,5 km2. It is a fact that Drammen is the native town of the Line Aquavit. The city grew up around the Drammenselva river, and the river formed the basis of its proud history as a seaport. Today the river is once again an important element in the urban development plans for the city. The city centre lies at the end of a valley, on both sides of the Drammenselva river, and where the river meets the Drammensfjord. A town with a special atmosphere. Whether you visit here in connection with a conference or convention, for a sporting or musical event or as a tourist interested in culture and exciting adventures. Drammen have adopting the areas around the river to create recreatinal, cultural and residential areas. Drammen have now several kilometers (13 km) of walking trails along the riverside to enjoy.
Drammen is situated in a beautiful valley, on the shores of a wide, clean river abounding in fish. Bragernes (on the northern side of the Drammenselva river) and Strømsø (on the southern side of the Drammenselva river).
Bragernes is located on the northern side of the Drammenselva river and contains the famous town square Bragernes square (Bragernes Torg), the Tower Buildigs, the Drammen Theatre (Drammens Teater), Drammen park and most of the shopping and nightlife in Drammen. Also part of Bragernes are several surrounding residential areas, including Bragernes Strand, Øren, Underlia, Hotvet, Landfalløya, Toppenhaug, Strøtvet and Brakerøya.
Immediately north of Bragernes is the Bragernes Hill (Bragernesåsen), a large recreational woodland area with an extensive network of trails and paths, some with magnificent views of central Drammen.
Strømsø is located at the southern side of the Drammenselva river with it´s new square. Strømsø has sports facilities, retail, office, industry and schools. Most of Strømsø consists of residential areas. At Strømsø we find Drammen railway station, being a junction for Randsfjordbanen (connecting to Bergensbanen crossing the Hardangervidda), Sørlandsbanen (leading to Kristiansand and Stavanger) and Vestfoldbanen. The Airport Express Train brings you to / from Oslo Airport Gardermoen and start / ends in Drammen.
Drammen Harbor is situated at Strømsø and the main harbor for car and fruit import in Norway. Drammen shipyard (Drammen Slip og Verksted) is also located at Strømsø (Tangen).
The old industrial area of Strømsø has been remodeled and transformed into a Science Park (Papirbredden).
See Bragernes Torg and the Tower Buildigs, The Stock Enchange, over the City bridge to Strømsø Torg, see some popular recidental areas Union Brygge and Gyldeløve Brygge. Experience Drammens Theatre, see Gulskogen estate from 1804, a pearl among manors, featuring a rococco park with peacoks and guinea hens, canals and a love maze, Austad estate the empire building, the beautiful Park is open all year round.
Enjoy the view from Spiraltoppen, (Spiralen the roof of Drammen), and Haukås, visit the Open-Air Museum or the Konnerud Mines. Round Spiraltoppen runs a dense network of lit skitracks, marked paths to woodland lakes, cultural monuments and eating places. On the ridge below Spiraltoppen you can follow the old footpaths, built by citizens more than hundred years ago, and visit Åspavlijongen. The Hamborgstrøm Forest with 200-year-old trees has a rich flora and fauna. Take a cruise on the river or in the harbour and fjord, go fishing and swimming. In the centre of town, there is also a wonderful open-air pool with play tools for children.
A wilderness walk in Kjøsterudjuvet gorge is another great attraction among the many that Drammen has to offer. Cross-country skiers will find unique opportunities on both sides of town. More than 100 kilometres of fine tracks await you. You can even enjoy splendid skiing by night if you follow the 42 kilometres of well-maintained lit tracks. If you prefer Alpine skiing and more speed, Haukåsløypa on the Strømsø side is the proper place, or else Aronsløypa on the Bragernes side.
For hundreds of years the banks of the Drammen River were characterised by river transport. Today the traditional industries have more or less disappeared, and many of the former factory sites are now being converted into residential areas Union Brygge and business parks. The area around Union has undergone the most extensive development work, including cultural arenas, small and innovative companies, a scince park, a new library and a built-up residential area. Between the Science Park (Papirbredden) and Drammen Park there is built a pedestrian bridge called Ypsilon (built by Ruukki Construction).
The former factory sites that lie a few hundred metres to the west of Strømsø town centre are also soon to be given a new lease of life. All of these will eventually blend together to form a combination of new and exciting architecture side by side with the venerable factory halls that have been adapted to meet modern demands for functionality by the enterprises involved.
Several bridges connect the Bragernes side and the Strømsø side. City Bridge, Ypsilon Bridge, Øvre Sund Bridge, Holmen Bridge, Holmen railway bridge, Landfalløya Bridge and E-18 Drammen Bridge (Motorway bridge).
Since then the city of Drammen has spent substantial resources on developing attractive park areas along the riverside. Below Åssiden school is an impressive river park where people can go to take time out from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Hungry mallards, Canada geese and Mute swans are only too happy to congregate there and keep you company. The numbers of swans and geese have risen considerably lately.
The area between the City bridge and the Holmen bridge has also been developed into parkland, and is now known as Bragernes Riverside Park. 200 trees and thousands of perennials have been planted here in order to create a pleasant leisure area. The area where the river meets the fjord also now a fjord park. All in all, Drammen can boast three new park developments along the waterway.
In the west, close to Nedre Eiker, there is also a green lung – Sølfastøya, an island with a children´s playground and where Drammen Angling Club have their base. Walking and bicycle trails have been developed along both riverbanks, and run almost continuously through the city.
At the banks of the Drammen River lies Norway´s oldest brewery (since 1834), Aass Brewery and the house of the timber merchant Svend Haug (Losjeplassen). The timber merchant Svend Haug and his vife Thea´s house at Losjeplassen was build in stone. Svend Haug built Gildehallen in timber and gave it to his brother. Gildehallen is now owned by Aass Brewery. In 1890-92 Svend Haug build a country house in Krødsherad called Villa Fridheim. The house is one of the country´s largest and most special timberbuildings. From Drammen you can rent a car, make day trips in all directions and experience spectacular mountains, trolls and gorgeous scenes etc.
As early as the 15th century sailing ships from Europe would call at the harbours of Strømsø and Tangen to take in timber cargoes, which contributed to the development of trade and a comprehensive growth. It is the river and the timber log that formed the basis for the business development in Drammen. The timber came by the river from the big forest areas to the saw mills that were established in the Drammen district. The city has a good harbour and had once the nation´s largest fleet of sailing vessels.
A huge quantity of timber was sent from Drammen to England and the continent. Paper mills and other industries were gradually added, and Drammen transformed itself into a very significant industrial town. In recent years, the industrial structure has changed its character. With one exception, all the paper mills have been closed down. The same applies to the iron foundry, glass factory, shipbuilding, to mention but a few. The city instead got new types of business in electronics, graphic and nutritional industry.
The heart of the city is Bragernes Torg. Bragernes Torg provides the setting for numerous events, especially in summer when a colourful, fascinating market sells agricultural produce, flowers and plants. This square is the largest in Scandinavia and lined by several old, interesting buildings from the time after 1866, that is after the great fire had devastated the entire district.
If you stand by the river and look out over Bragernesåsen you will get a view of the city landscape, with the tower buildings and Bragernes Church in the middle. A recent addition to this view of the city is the lightweight awning that covers the outdoor stage during the summer. Ever since the great fire, Bragernes Torg has served as the natural gathering place in the city. People meet here to trade in vegetables, flowers, fruit and berries, and all of sorts of seasonal products.
The outdoor stage lends itself to all kinds of events, there is a small ice skating rink, and Bragernes Torg also serves as an arena for World Cup sprint competitions and other sporting activities. People sitting at sidewalk cafe´s and restaurants enjoying a coffe or a beer.
In the middle of Bragernes district is a cultural centre surrounding beautiful Drammens Theatre, the pride of Drammen. Drammen´s citizens cried bitterly when the theatre, which was built in 1870, burnt down in December 1993, and they rejoiced when it was reopened in February 1996. On a visit to the theatre you´ll understand why it receives so much attention and love. Drammens Theatre houses two auditoriums, a concert hall and a foyer which is also used for concerts and exhibitions.
CITY LIFE and ATMOSPHERE
Drammen has a long tradition as meeting place and commercial centre for a rich region. You will never be bored on a walk through Drammen. Starting from the two market squares, linked by a bridge (Ypsilon), you are bound to have a great day.
Drammen has several bridges and Øvre Sund bridge was open in 2011. The Øvre Sund area, the so-called Biedermeier district situated along Drammenselva, will be regulated by the municipality in order to restore this area´s character. The buildings there are from the 18th and 19th century, and contribute, as well as the river and the brewery, to give the city a special identity. One of the houses served as a maternity room, another one as an apothecary. Today, with its large and characteristic buildings, the Biedemeier district is a well-preserved residential area.
In central Drammen alone are 40 eating places, ranging from small cafes two elegant restaurants, whose menus will satisfy any needs, from simple dishes to Norwegian specialities and special menus from several countries.
You can listen to concerts and other entertainment on a walk across the square, or just sit down by St. Hallvard´s Fountain, a pretty specimen relating the history of the local saint. Jazz lovers will find out that Drammen is a little New Orleans. Drammen´s unique theatre has been rebuilt after a tragic fire, staging performances not to be found elsewhere, including matines throughout the summer season.
Should you be art hunting, to enjoy it or maybe to buy an exclusive piece of art, Drammen Art Society (Kunstforening) runs a first-class gallery where special exhibitions take place throughout the year. Several other galleries welcome visitors, and the shops offer a wide selection of goods Drammen is an "airy" town, with parks, qreen areas and a lot of flowers. The open air pools at Marienlyst Sport Centre attract both young and old during the summer.
Papirbredden, a unique environment of knowledge offering University College education, R&D activities, Library, knowledge-based companies and innovation partners. The-state-of-the-art library covers three floors, all with easy access. The Library offers everything from children´s books, literature of all kinds to the latest research databases. To give users the broadest possible range of library services, three libraries have joined forces: The City Library of Drammen, The County Library of Buskerud County and Buskerud College Library. The students can enjoy themselves in first-class practice-rooms, auditoriums and labs. Papirbredden comprises three different university colleges: Buskerud University College, BI Drammen - the Norwegian School of management and Telemark University College. In addition, the Papirbredden Career Centre is on the ground floor.
CITY OF CULTURE
Several celebrated names were born in Drammen: Authors, painters, musicians singers, actors and interpreters of other forms of culture. A lot of their works are on view, and first class art can be enjoyed at Drammen Art Society, Drammen Museum or one of the manor houses. Looking for paintings, you will find more than 500 works showing 200 years of development in Norwegian painting. Drammen have two rock carvings fields at Åskollen and Skogerveien which is approximately 6000 years old.
Gulskogen estate from 1804, a pearl among manors, featuring a rococco park with peacoks and guinea hens, canals and a love maze. The collection at Gulskogen Gård home of the artist Peder Nicolai Arbo (1831-1892). He is above all noted for "Åsgardsreien", a dramatic motif based on a Norwegian folk legend. The Art Society shows, among many other items, Norway´s largest selection of the eminent portraits painted by Drammen artist Hans Heyerdahl (1857-1913).
Austad estate the empire building, the beautiful Park is open all year round. The impressive empire building was erected by Peder von Cappelen in 1803 - 13. The garden room has a unusual wallpaper with landscape scenes. Several celebrated names were born in Drammen: Authors, painters, musicians singers, actors and interpreters of other forms of culture.
There are ample opportunities to catch various species of fish in the fjord up to the mouth of the river. The river itself is also a fine place to fish. One of the best places and the most popular area is the stretch up to Hokksund and Hellefossen, with a large sale of angling cards during the season.
THE RIVER FESTIVAL
The River Festival takes place every year (August) in Drammen. The festival features concerts, fun fair, dragon boats, raft racing and bathtub rowing. More than 100 different events take place during the River Festival.
An exciting feature of central Drammen, the city´s face on the river has been created. First of all, two restaurants (Skutebrygga and Bølgen&Moi), a fishing pier, a cruise pier and a yacht harbour are established. It is recommended to take a boat tour on the river and the fjord. River safaris are organised in summer by the fjord boat M/S Drammen. Groups can book tours on the fjord on board a wonderful 117-year-old galeas, the "Christiane" owned by the sea scouts.
For those interested in history and exciting old things, Drammen has a lot to show. Drammens Museum, Buskerud County Museum is centrally situated in the city. Here you will find a lot of interesting items and valuable historic exhibits. Located at Marienlyst from around 1770. Regional Museum and Gallery for Buskerud is a traditional and medium sized summer residence with an intact inner garden. The main building is a hall way building. Drammen formerly was the largest sailing vessel harbour in Norway and the Maritime Department of Drammen Museum contains a large collection of sailingship pictures.
Known for its snowy winters, Konnerud is used as a recreational area for the people living in Drammen who loves skiing in the well preparated tracks leeding deep into the forests. Konnerud Idrettslag is one of the largest sports clubs in Norway. Since 2004 the club has arranged World Cup Sprint in cross-country skiing in the center of Drammen. Around a small mountain on Konnerud, Konnerudkollen, there where found many expensive quality metals and minerals like silver, copper and lead. In the middle 1730´s, action was finally taken to mine these minerals. Mining holes are still found all over Konnerud, however tightly guarded by high fences.
Bragernes Church erected in new gothic style and located in the heights towards the hill. It was consecrated on 12 July 1871. Its well known altarpiece withe the Resurrection by Adolph Tidemand has been copied in around 70 churches in Norway. The beautiful carillon was donated by former Drammen citizens on the occasion of the town anniversary in 1961. It has 35 bells.
A practical working church including a bright, open church hall, an office wing and big and small meeting rooms where young and old gather for variorus activites. The church is situated on high ground with a free view of Drammen and the Fjord. Open on weekdays 10 am - 12 noon.
Konnerud Church is designed by architect Hanstein. Consecrated in 1858. Altarpiece painted by Niels Dahl, Christiania. Open by arrangement.
KONNERUD NEW CHURCH
Konnerud New Church is a modern working church, consecrated in October 1996. Open by arrangement.
Skoger Church is designed by architect C. Agthe neo-Gothic style. Consecrated in 1885. Open by arrangement.
SKOGER OLD CHURCH
Skoger Old Church is a medieval church built 1150-1200. Open by arrangement with Skoger historielag (historical society).
Strømsgodset Church is designed by architect Chr. Grosch, built in 1843. The altarpiece "The Resurrection" was painted by Axel Ender. There is service every Sunday and holiday.
Strømsø Church is the largest wooden church in town with 920 seats, was consecrated on 6. May 1667. It was raised on the initiative of Daniel Knoff, the "town father" who is buried in the splendidly restored crypt under the church. The altarpiece, depicting the institution of the Sacrament, is a work form 1667 by the Netherlands painter Karel van Mander. The candles in the wonderful chandeliers from Lubeck are lit on chruch festival days. Open Monday-Friday 10 am - 12 noon, the crypts 12 - 1 pm.
Tangen Church is comprises two main parts: a three-aisled basilica from 1854 (architect H. E. Schirmer) and an addition from 1992 (T. Fossen). The church has a high, spired west tower.
Åssiden Church was built in 1967. Altar decoration by Finn Kristensen. Open Monday - Friday 10 am - 12 noon.
TO DRIVE A ELECTRIC CAR IN NORWAY
Among the existing government incentives, all-electric cars are exempt in Norway from the annual road tax, all public parking fees, and toll payments as well as being able to use bus lanes.
Charging points in Drammen at the moment is 92.
Charging points can be found on street parking, at taxi stands, in parking lots, at places of employment, hotels, airports, shopping centers, convenience shops, fast food restaurants, coffeehouses etc., as well as in driveways and garages.
With open-air pools for young and old, Drammensbadet is an excellent alternative on a fine summer day. You can dive and have fun in the chutes and several play devices. Why not combine a wonderful swim with a tour of the neightbourhood? On one side, Bragernes, is Landfalltjern, on the other side, Strømsø, you will find Stordammen. Both of these fine lakes can be reached by car or, for exercise, on foot.
Beaches along the Drammen River are: Bragernes Strand, Holmennokken, Åssiden elvepark, Gropa, Sølvfastøya, Sota Fjordpark, Nøstodden, Fjordparken, Gilhusodden and Drammensbadet an excellent alternative on a fine summer day.
Drammensbadet offers a 50-metre pool, diving pool, children´s pool and padding pool, all heated to 26. Water chutes, play tools, beach volley field, saunas, shop, sunbathing in parklike setting. Open 31. May - 15. August.
Drammenshallen is one of the most up-to-date and versatile multi-purpose halls in Norway today. Modernised to fulfil all needs and requirements. It is very flexible and can be used for sport, concerts, congresses, courses and conferences, trade fairs, motor shows et cetra. The flexibility of its capacity makes it possible to accommodate from 1.000 to 8.000 persons. Drammenshallen is centrally located.
Drammen Racecourse is situated about 5 km from central Drammen in the direction of Kongsberg. It is one of ten permanent betting courses in Norway. Trotting races have a long tradition in Drammen region, and the course on Åssiden was established in 1955. Tuesday is racing day in Drammen. Trotting races take place on 33 Tuesdays a year, beginning at 6 pm. V75 races are held on five racing days, mostly on Saturdays, and on these days races begin at 1.30 pm. To experience speed, excitement and horses at close range, and maybe make a few extra kroner, Drammen Racecourse is the perfect place to go.
More than 100 km of cross-country ski tracks, 42 km of illuminated ski tracks in the Drammen hills, an eldorado for all kinds of winter sports, including Drammen Skicenter and Drammen Slalåmclub alpine ski lifts within the borders of Drammen, with skiing equipment for hire, including snowboards.
Fishing possibilities are good in Drammesfjorden.
The Drammen river from is one of the best salmon rivers in the country, where more than 40 species of fish have been registered. The season for salmon fishing stretches from May to September / October. A rich variety of activities are available, including good trout fishing in rivers and lakes.
Drammen Golfclub located in Skoger a 18-hole Golf Course is situated just 12 minutes drive from central Drammen.
Kjekstad Golf Club a 18-hole Golf Course located in Røyken just 20 minutes drive from central Drammen.