The fortress is a medieval castle built to protect Oslo, the capital of Norway. Construction spanned 700 years, and this icon of Oslo has seen its share of significant and salacious figures come and go.
Since the 13th Century, the fortress has been used for varying purposes: a prison, a parliamentary hub, a military museum and a mausoleum for Norway’s royal family.
The sea-flanking side has been strategically important, allowing defenders to fend off many sieges. Walk along the fjord and imagine what it was like to attack this part of the castle. The walk also allows visitors to marvel at the immensity of the fortress block and get a breath of fresh air.
The Akerselva River and its lush ecological surroundings are very much considered the “green lung” of the city, and many traces of its once vital role in Norway’s industrial past have long since evaporated.
Tracing the gently winding waterways, spotting frozen falls and walking the woodland trails are wonderful ways to spend an afternoon. But if you’re in need of refreshment, you don your trunks and dive right in. Though the lakes here may be chilly, you’ll feel reinvigorated when you emerge.
Though the thought of visiting the Fetsund Lenser lumber museum may not strike you as the most exhilarating activity, you’d be doing yourself a great disservice to miss out on this unique experience. Get up close and personal with an ancient industry and learn the secrets of the trade. The museum café serves delicious local delicacies.
Walk across the mighty Glomma, Norway’s largest and longest river, on a boardwalk made from the same wood that surrounds you. With the Nordre Øyeren Nature Reserve nearby, there are opportunities for adventure at every turn.
Almost everything about this serene fishing village looks as though it has been pulled from a storybook. From the absurdly dramatic fiery sunsets – for which the town is renowned – to the otherworldly floating ice in the harbor, this is old-school Norway. Don’t miss out on the culinary and cultural offerings, including the lutefisk.
The nearby islet of Oscarsborg, just a short boat ride away, has a year-round Christmas exhibit that’s sure to delight. A quick trip to Santa’s Post Office should ensure that everyone gets a little something in their stocking.
As the only settlement in all of Scandinavia with its defensive walls intact, the Old Town of Fredrikstad certainly warrants an excursion. As you might expect, the rich red buildings lean firmly toward the fortified, but the architecture is by no means stern or austere, making perusal of the local shops a very pleasant experience.
Walk along the ramparts for a bird’s eye view or visit one of the offbeat museums –Football, Whaling and Humor.