Kristiansand, the capital of the Norway's south, has approximately 77,000 inhabitants. The town celebrated its 350-year jubilee in 1991. Founded in the 17th century by King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway, the old part of the town brims with character. Its streets are strictly at right angles, called kvadraturen in Norwegian.
Take a guided walk through Posebyen,the oldest part of the city, which remained intact after a huge fire devastated much of Kristiansand in 1892. This quarter consists mainly of modest, white-painted, wooden houses built for the working class. These lovingly kept houses are very popular and in use today for residences, small businesses and shops.
Continue to Møvik to visit the Kristiansand Cannon Museum at the Vara Battery. Following the German invasion of Norway in the spring of 1940, construction of a large number of artillery installations began along the coast, including the Vara Battery. A similar installation was constructed in Denmark's Jutland and together they were meant to guard the Skagerak Ocean between the two countries and the shipping lane to Kattegat and the Baltic.
After World War II and into the 1950s, the fort played a significant role in Norwegian coastal defense. The battery is now operated as a military history museum and houses the only completely intact 38-cm gun remaining in the world. The Kruppcannon, one of the largest ever built, weighs 337 tons and boasts a range of 35 miles. The tour also includes a visit to the bunkers beneath the cannon with interesting exhibits.