Photo. Sunset over the fortress, which was built 1663-1666.
Even in the winter the Fredrikstad Fortress is a lively place. On Sunday 8th January 2012 people where walking around the site enjoying the beautiful souroundings. The fortress is also known as the Old Town, Gamlebyen. Its considered to be one of the best preserved fortified cities of Northern Europe. Here it`s a lively urban community with shops, housing, business and industry and a flourishing cultural scene. People can go to markets, open-air restaurants, cafes, galleries, enjoy picnics or just taking a walking trip around the site. On Saturdays it`s possible to do shopping in the old town`s market place. Children can play in a playground where there are several kind of equipment. They can also play with goats. The goats are within a fence and their house is there too.
The fortress town consists of buildings from the 18th century and and a fortification with walls and moats from the 17th century. Fredrikstad City Museum with its historic city exhibition is also located here. The work on the fortifications was first led by William de Coucheron and later Johan Caspar von Cicignon. During the next 60 years, several fortifications at the Fredrikstad Fortress were built, including Isegran, Kongsten, and Cicignon.
|Photo. Sunset over the old fortified city called Gamlebyen. It was founded in 1567.
In 1735, a suburb on the western side of Glomma, Vestsiden, was founded. This part later grew faster than the old city, and became the dominant city centre. Most of the buildings in the old city burned down during a fire in 1764.
|Photo. The church in the old town in Fredrikstad.
Fredrikstad fortress was constructed between 1663-1666 by the officer Willem Coucheron and his son Anthony Coucheron following the order of the Dano-Norwegian King Frederick II. A temporary fortification had previously been built on the site during the Torstenson War (1644-1645) between Sweden and Denmark-Norway.
In 1716 the fortress was used by the naval hero Peder Tordenskjold when he attacked the Swedish fleet during the Battle of Dynekilen.
Swedish invasion 1814
The only time the fortress was attacked was during the Swedish-Norwegian War (1814). The fortress, under the command of Nils Christian Frederik Hals, capitulated on 4 August 1814.
Photo. The fortress was closed in 1903, but continued to serve as a garrison.
Fredrikstad fortress is unique in Norway by being the only fortress that is preserved as it was.
The fortress was abandoned in 1903, but the Gamlebyen (Old Town) continued to be a garrison town up to 2002. The remaining military installations in Fredrikstad were closed this year and today the fortress with its mix of old buildings and art exhibitions is very popular for visitors.
Stein Morten Lund, 15 January 2012
Read more about Fredrikstad on Norway Official Travel Guide.
The museum relates the history of Fredrikstad town up through the ages. The museum is located in the Tøihuset inside the fortress; a former military storage house dating back to 1776. In addition to the museum’s permanent exhibition on the town through the ages entitled "Changing times – the town remains", the museum comprises various special-topic and touring exhibitions throughout the year.
The museum shop carries a broad selection of literature, specialising on local history.
Monday – Friday: 09:00 - 16:00
Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 – 17:00
Conducted tours of the museum can be booked on: (+47) 69 30 44 78.