Historical and old photos of Drammen, Buskerud
Rock carvings at Åskollen and Austad are 6000 to 7000 years old, and are the first signs of human activity in the area. The largest rock carving at Åskollen depicts a moose.
Drammen originally consisted of three small seaports: Bragernes (on the northern side of the Drammenselva river) and Strømsø and Tangen (both on the southern side of the river). For trade purposes, small seaports were placed under market towns. Despite their geographical proximity, Bragernes was placed under Christiania and Strømsø under Tønsberg. For this reason, cooperation between the adjacent seaport towns was almost impossible.
In 1662, a merger was proposed to unite Strømsø and Bragernes to form a market town with the name Frederiksstrøm. The proposal was rejected by Frederick III of Denmark. Bragernes received limited market town rights in 1715, and merged with Strømsø to gain status as a single city on 19 June 1811.
Its geographical location made the city favorable for seafaring, shipbuilding, log driving, timber trade. During the 19th century, paper and pulp industries were developed. Large parts of the city were ruined in the great fire of 12–13 July 1866, which led to the reconstruction of the city centre, including the characteristic town square and Bragernes church. The Drammen Line (Drammenbanen ) opened in 1872 providing rail service between Drammen and Oslo.
In 1909, Drammen got the first trolleybus system in Scandinavia, the Drammen trolleybus. The lines ran until 1967. For many years the centre of Drammen suffered from heavy traffic. In 1970, Drammen Bridge with two lanes on European route E18 was built (expanded to four lanes in 2006) and in 1999 the opening of the Bragernes tunnel (Bragernestunnelen) diverted additional traffic away from the centre of the city.
In recent years, the city centre has seen the introduction of new housing, shopping facilities, restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as a public pathway along the Drammenselva river.
In 2011, Drammen observed its 200th anniversary with many citywide jubilee celebrations. Drammen's district heating system was upgraded to use water-sourced heat pumps, drawing on local fjord water, to support population growth in the city.