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Ibsen-museet i Grimstad
Ibsen-museet i Grimstad.
Photo: Gerd Corrigan
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Welcome to the town of poets

Grimstad has been arena for two important contributions to world literature: the playwright Henrik Ibsen and the novelist and Nobel Laureate, Knut Hamsun. Both writers are vividly present in Grimstad to this day, and several attractions are linked to their life and work in the small town. Experience Terje Vigen at the pub, taste the recreation of Hamsun’s 7-course meal served at the Nobel Banquet in 1920, follow in their footsteps through the narrow alleyways and over the many hilltops in Grimstad, and get to know the authors better.  
The Ibsen-museum in Grimstad

The Ibsen-museum in Grimstad

Where Ibsen became Ibsen

The young Henrik Ibsen came to Grimstad on board the cargo ship “Lykkens Prøve” (The Test of Luck), either during fall 1843 or in the new year of 1844. He was going to work as an apprentice for the apothecary Reimann. Six years later, in 1850, he left Grimstad as a writer of his first play, Catilina. What was it that shaped Ibsen into who he was, and what did his time spent in Grimstad look like? Get to know Ibsen’s Grimstad!

Hamsun – farmer and author

Author Knut Hamsun moved to the farm Nørholm with his family in 1918. In 1920 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for the book Growth of the Soil. The prize money came in handy with the renovations of the farm, which eventually became what we call a model farm. Hamsun published several books during his time in Grimstad. His last book got published after he was convicted of treason during World War II, and was called On Overgrown Paths. In the book, he describes the period from the arrest until his Supreme Court sentencing and his secret walks across the many hills of Grimstad while under house arrest. Hamsun died in 1952 and his urn is buried at Nørholm. Get to know Hamsun’s Grimstad!

Southern Norway’s literature festival; The Ibsen & Hamsun Days

During the festival, the town of poets offer varies activities and events such as; theatre, movies, literary seminars, debates, lectures, concerts, readings, exhibitions, walks and guided tours. With Ibsen and Hamsun as cornerstones, the festival is likely to accommodate paradoxes, contradictions and diversity as well as enlightenment and entertainment. The festival takes place in August every year in the town of poets, Grimstad.

Experience Grimstad, the town of poets, with a guide

Bring your family, friends or good colleagues on a literary experience in Grimstad. In collaboration with Grimstad bys museer (The museums of Grimstad), and other local tourism workers, we can offer an exciting selection of experiences in Ibsen and Hamsun’s town.

Read more about Grimstad

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