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History

We are looking forward to sharing
our love for this place with you.​

Lars & Signe-Marit Rise,
family and owner-managed

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Chronology

  1. Welcome to Langesund Bad. It is the historical name that has been in use since 1898. Right now we are also called Perlen Pensjonat - as a little gimmick. Jørn Lier Horst has named the hotel Perlen Pensjonat in the CLUE series - a series of thirteen crime books for children that have now been made into a film - filmed in these premises last year. The film is now in cinemas across the country.
     

  2. It was pharmacist Fred Hegge who took the initiative to have Langesund Bad built and shipowner Gunnar Knudsen from Borgestad farm between Skien and Porsgrunn - was an important source of funding. Hegge gave a speech at a public meeting in Langesund in April 1897 and said: Langesund must become a tourist town! Then we must have a medical spa. And one year and two months later, Langesund Bad was fully built with a restaurant with some hotel rooms on the second floor and three bathhouses down by the sea, the women's bath, the men's bath and the communal bath. The spa offered:
    Treatment room with bathtub, massage bench and attendants trained at Sandefjord's baths. On the menu it said:
    Gytjebad NOK 1.50, Furunålbad NOK 1.50 - with service it cost NOK. 4.50, treatment with seaweed and kelp, salt, lye, glass jellyfish and burnt jellyfish! Lye was offered to ladies who had forgotten and sat too long in the sun and started to look like the peasant class, - they got brown in the skin - then the only thing to do was to bet on getting back the nice pale skin color by getting treatment with lye. The jellyfish was offered
     

  3. Some of Norway's most famous people have spent a lot of time at Langesund Bad. Gunnar Knudsen knew some of the richest industrial families in Norway who came here for a wellness holiday, but he also knew artists, writers, musicians, composers and actors. The actors at the National Theater were allowed to come here for free in return for performing for the guests in the evening. Both Hauk Aabel, Alfred Maurstad and Joachim Holst-Jensen came here for many years in a row. Fritjof Nansen bought skis and sleds at Langesund Ski - og trevarefabrikk and has written his own story about his stay at Langesund Bad in the summer of 1904. It was so successful with the purchase of equipment here that he later brought Roald Amundsen here so that he also bought into skis and sledges for his expedition to the South Pole. Knut Hamsun lived at Langesund Bad for many summers in a row and wrote his own short story about Langesund. A book about Edvard Munch's life at Langesund Bad was published five years ago - and here it is told about his friendship with art critic Jappe Nilsen in Dagbladet here at Badet. Munch painted him in full figure - a picture that is now part of the National Gallery's permanent collection - and Munch subsequently received very good criticism from Jappe Nilsen in Dagbladet. The royal family - King Haakon, Queen Maud and Crown Prince Olav also visited here - presumably in connection with their visit to the Knudsen family at Borgestad farm.
     

  4. In 1917 Fred Hegge sold Langesund Bad to the Seveland family who decided to rebuild the facility in 1919. It was decided to convert the restaurant into a hotel and a new building had to be set up with a restaurant, lounges and function rooms. It was built where we stand now and was called the Society. This was just one year after the Spanish flu and it was therefore decided to build separate buildings - for infection control reasons.
     

  5. 31 January 1926 marked the end of the dance school and the party ended with the entire building burning down. It was rebuilt in four and a half months and this building – the Societeten – named after the target group that was addressed to Kristiania – was completed on 15 June 1926.
     

  6. But the misfortune was not over for the Seveland family: in December 1929, a giant wave came in from the sea - a seven-year-old boy stood outside on the deck here and saw a wall of a wave - which raised the water level violently up along the rock face. All three bathhouses were lifted up by the wave and thrown ashore. That was the end of the bathhouses.
     

  7. The crash of the New York Stock Exchange in October 1929 - two months earlier - made the next decade - the hard thirties - very difficult.
     

  8. Then came the Second World War and 150 German soldiers and officers occupied Langesund Bad - and used the hotel as their headquarters during the war. They built Tangen fort in this period
     

  9. In 1945, Langesund Bad was bought by the Norwegian Baptist Association and was largely run as a summer boarding house. My husband grew up here from the 60s onwards because his parents were employed as a managing couple here.
     

  10. In 2005 we bought the property and have been running it ever since - now with year-round operation as a hotel - and conference centre.