The Fortifications of Værdal can be reached through an exciting trail through the historical landscape, past the frothing rapids of the river, lush vegetation and steep rocks. The tour includes a visit to the Southern and Northern Galleries.
The two rock galleries known as the Northern and Southern Galleries make up the main part of the fortifications at Værdal. The installations consist of two tunnels on either side of the valley, separated by the river Inna.
The Northern Gallery consists of a 90-metre long hall cut into the rock in a straight line, equipped with sites for two cannons and five machine guns.
The Southern Gallery has a mountain hall of the same length, but on more levels, and with two 90 degree bends. This gallery contains two gun sites and five machine gun sites.
In the summer, the southern gallery is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. There are refreshments and souvenirs for sale. For the rest of the year visits need to be booked. For reservations and information, please contact Eventus Verdal Arrangement on phone number +47 92 21 11 97.
The main fortress is open on Saturdays and Sundays in July and August.
Guided tours can be booked for groups.
How to get there
The fortifications are located by the river Inna in the municipality of Verdal. The fortress is situated 25 kilometres from the centre of Verdal and the E6 highway. Take the RV 72 road towards Sweden.
The purpose of the fortifications
The fortifications were intended as a first line of defence in the event of an attack on Norway. This would give the army time to mobilize and deploy the rest of the forces. The Southern Gallery was to cover the road and land to the east towards the Stormoen farm. The gallery was equipped with one "rapid-firing" cannon, a Schneider-Canet 75 mm, and two Hotchkiss 65 mm calibre machine guns. The Northern Gallery was initially equipped with four machine guns, and in 1913 two 84 mm cannon were installed in the gallery.
The relationship with our neighbour to the east continued to be rather strained after the dissolution of the Union with Sweden in 1905. This is why the fortifications in Stjørdal and Værdal were constructed in the period 1908 – 1913.
Following the dissolution of the union with Sweden, Norway had to abandon the fortifications on the border to the south of Kongsvinger. After 1905 the armaments from these fortresses were redeployed for the defence of mid-Norway, necessitating the construction of the fortifications of Stjørdalen and Værdalen. Work commenced in the beginning of 1909 and the installations were completed in 1911.
Rehabilitation and reopening
From the early 1990s, extensive work has been put in by volunteers to make the fortifications accessible to the public. The Northern Gallery was reopened in July 1996. In the summer of 2005 the Southern Gallery was also opened to the public, as the last of the installations inside the fortifications of Værdal.