Today, I went to Fredriksten fortress in Halden (a small town in Norway, right by the border to Sweden). Mostly because it’s a great place to get some exercise, with its steep hills and long stairs. But also, there’s so much history, and it’s a charming and interesting place.
Back in the day, the fortress was an important piece in wars between Norway and Sweden. The building was started in 1661 after several attacks by Sweden, which made King Frederick III of Denmark, who was also the King of Norway at the time, realize that a new fortress was very much needed. King Charles XII of Sweden eventually took his last breath at Fredriksten in 1718. There were more battles after that as well. After 1905 the fortress has not been used for such purposes. Today, the Norway/Sweden relationship is very good – just a little friendly competitiveness in sports and such, and silly jokes on each other’s behalf. Like many other neighboring countries do.
Today, Fredriksten is being used as a venue for various concerts and other events, such as the rock/metal festival Tons of Rock, opera performances and various exhibitions. There’s also cafés and restaurants, a golf course, a hotel and a camping area.
If you’re ever in the area, I absolutely recommend to check out this fortress. You won’t regret it. Don’t forget to bring good shoes, though!