This administrative and commercial centre was built on a group of seven islands intersected by a network of canals. The canals have since been filled, but the Venice of the North (another one!) has retained some of its charm, especially around the old port (Pollen) and in the Tyholmen neighbourhood. A few imposing timber houses hint at the vitality of the commercial port of Arendal. Built in 1815 in Empire style, the superb wooden building that has housed the town hall (Rådhus) since 1844 is further proof of this prosperity.