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Facts About Skien

Skien [²?e??n] ( listen) is a city and municipality in Telemark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Grenland. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Skien. Skien is also the administrative centre of Telemark county.
Skien is one of Norway's oldest cities, with an urban history dating back to the Middle Ages, and received privileges as a market town in 1358. From the 15th century, the city was governed by a 12-member council. The modern municipality of Skien was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The rural municipalities of Gjerpen and Solum were merged into the municipality of Skien on 1 January 1964.
The conurbation of Porsgrunn/Skien is reckoned by Statistics Norway to be the seventh largest urban area in Norway, straddling an area of three municipalities: Skien municipality (about 62% of the population), Porsgrunn (30%), and Bamble (8%). This area is home to more than 100,000 people.
Skien was historically Norway's most important port town for shipping timber and one of Norway's leading commercial cities with extensive contact with neighbouring countries, particularly Denmark. The city was the birthplace of playwright Henrik Ibsen, and many of his famous dramas are set in places reminiscent of 19th-century Skien.