The town of Egersund was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). It was merged with the surrounding municipality of Eigersund January 1, 1965.
Egersund has one of the best natural harbours in Norway, and used to be the largest harbour in Norway when measured in quantity of fish brought in each year
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People have lived around the district of Egersund since the stone ages. Several places one can find ruins of settlements dating back to the age of migrations in Norway (400–600 BC). The name "Egersund" derives from the Norse name for the strait between Eigerøy and the mainland, which was called Eikundarsund. The name of Eigerøy (Norse: Eikund) comes from the rich deposits of oak trees (Eik = Norwegian for oak). The name is among the oldest placenames in Norway. It can already be found in the form Eikundarsund in the Norse saga of Olav the Holy, written by Icelandic author Snorri Sturlasson in the 13th century. From around the year 1000 Olav the Holy's fleet was here often. We can also find the name in texts and scaldic poems from Olav's saga.
There used to be a church here, the Church of St. Mary, mentioned in 1292 in a privilege of indulgence issued in Rome on February 5, 1292 by Pope Nicholas IV as Ecclesia beatæ Mariæ de Eikundarsund. It was the first church in Eikundarsund, and was the parish church of Maria parish. It is believed to have been located where the present church stands today. Old folklore from Egersund also says that before the Church of St. Mary, an altar where people sacrificed to the old Norse gods was placed here, but this has not been verified from any sources except old stories.
There was also a chapel, the chapel of St. Laurenti, mentioned in a letter issued on February 5 of 1308 as Ecclesia beati Laurentii de Eikundarsund, where Pope Clement V gives King Håkon V Magnusson extensive privileges concerning the king's 14 chapels (including the chapel of St. Laurenti), which was founded by himself or his father, King Magnus Lagabøte, and his grandfather, King Håkon Håkonson. Since these chapels often were built on the king's estates it is presumed to have been on grounds owned by the Husabø estate. An old tradition says it was located at what is now Strandgata 43, but the exact position is somewhat uncertain.
The first traces of settlement in the Stavanger region come from the days when the ice retreated after the last ice age ca. 10,000 years ago. A number of historians have argued convincingly that North-Jæren was an economic and military centre as far back as the 9th-10th century with the consolidation of the nation at the Battle of Hafrsfjord around 872. Stavanger grew into a centre of church administration and an important south-west coast market town around 1100–1300.
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|at The RICA Hotel in Stavanger on Crew Change|
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The city's history is a continuous alternation between economic booms and recessions. For long periods of time its most important industries have been shipping, shipbuilding, the fish canning industry and associated subcontractors.
In 1969, a new boom started as oil was first discovered in the North Sea.After much discussion, Stavanger was chosen to be the on-shore center for the oil industry on the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, and a period of hectic growth followed.