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Kongsvinger Fortress, Kongsvinger, Norway - Photo: Nasjonale festningsverk
Kongsvinger Fortress, Kongsvinger, Norway Photo: Nasjonale festningsverk

Kongsvinger Fortress

The Kongsvinger Fortress is located in Kongsvinger, near the Swedish border. Order a guided tour for groups in advance.

Opening times

The fortifications are open every day, all year.
The Museum is open from 17 May until 31 August, 11:00 – 16:00. Closed during the winter season. 

How to get there

Take the E6 Highway to Kløfta. Turn off at Riksvei 2 and stay on this for about 60 kilometres to Kongsvinger. Follow the signs to the fortress. The car park is in front of the new military school building.

Guided tours of Kongsvinger Fortress

The Friends of Kongsvinger Fortress conduct guided tours for small and large groups throughout the year. The Friends of the Fortress have experienced guides who will take bookings through the whole year. A one-hour guided tour of the fortress costs NOK 650.  Advance booking only.  

For further information and booking of guided tours:
Contact the Friends of the Fortress on
(+47) 900 39 230, or send an 
e-mail to bjorn@festningsvenn.no

Kongsvinger Fortress Museum

The Kongsvinger Fortress Museum is situated in the old food storehouse, which dates back to 1682. There are four exhibitions. The museum is run by the Friends of Kongsvinger Fortress.

The main exhibition shows the history of the Defence since the Viking Age until the present day, and was opened by HM King Olav V in 1982.  World WarII has been given a local perspective, based on the activities of the military resistance cell MILORG D-12. Several of the objects on display were donated by those who participated in the resistance against the German occupation. The post-war period and the establishment of the National Guard are also prominently featured.    

"The Good Helpers" exhibition was opened by HRH Crown Prince Haakon in 2002. It describes the activities of the so-called ‘border guides’. During World War II there was a lot of traffic across the border to Sweden, with guides helping people flee from Nazi persecution and couriers carrying important dispatches to the free world. The exhibition shows the impacts of the war on local communities along the border.  

In the picture gallery on the second floor there is an exhibition of photographs entitled "From the Border Patrol", depicting life in the day of the Norwegian cessation from the Union with Sweden in 1905. The photos relate the way of life, tension and drama in and around Kongsvinger Fortress at the time.  

Ole Boger worked as a caretaker and handyman at the Fortress until his death in 1946. He spent his spare time creating small and larger artworks. There is a small exhibition dedicated to his works, which show his versatility as an artist working in a wide range of materials; from wood to ivory and granite.  

The Museum is open from 17 May until 31 August, 11:00 –16:00. Closed in winter.

Function rooms for hire

The history and location of Kongsvinger Fortress acts as a perfect backdrop for training courses, conferences, meetings and private parties. The Gyldenborg military school building has up-to-date and efficient meeting facilities. There is also a canteen. 

Gyldenborg was built in year 2000, and is situated in the outer fortifications (outside the walls of the fortress). The building was awarded the Defence’s prize for good architecture, and is named for the very first fortifications on Traastad Bierg, which were erected in 1673.

Large parking lot outside the building. Parking is free. 

For booking and information:
Phone: (+47) 62 81 77 77 from 10:00 – 18:00 during the week. 
You can also send an email to: reserver@gyldenborg.no

The dining hall is open to the public between 10:30 and 18:00 all days including weekends. The hall is open for lunch, dinner and a la carte meals, and also serves lighter snacks such as breadrolls and cakes.  

Function rooms in the historical grounds of the inner fortifications

The historical buildings in the inner fortifications of Kongsvinger Fortress provides a unique setting for courses and private parties.

Vinger Hotell is one of the organisers of events inside the fortress’s grounds, facilitating courses, meetings, conferences, parties, accommodation and catering, as well as cultural events, experiences and activities.

Renewed use of historic buildings
Vinger Hotell & Spa has the use of three buildings inside the fortress, as well as two casemates in the wall. 

Historic buildings such as the old barracks which were built in 1702, also known as "The Slavery" by the convicts who were sentenced there to hard labour, along with the newer Barracks building and the Commandant’s Residence, are now used as accommodation for visitors and course participants.  

"The Slavery" is one of the banqueting halls, and an excellent location for festive dinners. It is also a very attractive venue for courses and conferences. 

The Commander's residence also houses the King’s Room, a fantastic dining hall. There is also a VIP bedroom. 

There is overnight accommodation in the Barracks. 

The casemates are mostly used for dinners. 

To book courses and other events, please contact the Vinger Hotell on telephone no. (+47) 62 88 81 80. booking@vinger.no


Kongsvinger Fortress has never been under siege or conquered. Even so, the fortress has held a position of high strategic importance for the defence of southern Norway. Today the attractive fortress is open to the public, offering guided tours, visits to the museum, food and drink and accommodation.  

As one of the few, easily passable overland routes between Sweden and Norway in the distant past, the road from Värmland through Eda and Magnor and on to the capital of Christiania was of major importance. To the military it was seen as a vitally important route of advance, and it was therefore included in many plans for the national defence. 

In 1673-74 the first fortifications were built on the present site of Kongsvinger Fortress. These mainly consisted of a rectangular stone tower, protected by an outer wall and surrounded by a dry moat. This was known as the Vinger bastion. 

Following the Gyldenløve feud (1675–79) a number of new fortifications were built along the coast and on the border with Sweden. In 1681 King Christian V approved the plans for Kongsvinger Fortress, which had been drawn up by quartermaster-general Johan Caspar von Cicignon. The old Vinger bastion served as the starting point for the new fortress. Building was commenced in 1681 and the construction work was completed in 1689. Among the buildings from that period, the commander’s residence and the bakery are still standing.  

The fortress had its greatest significance in the period 1808 – 1814. When the kingdom of Denmark-Norway found itself once more in conflict with Sweden during the Napoleonic wars, there was renewed awareness that the fortress might be attacked. The fortifications of Kongsvinger also held a key role in the defence plans against Sweden in 1905. Due to the tensions that arose when Norway seceded from the Union with Sweden, the two new forts of Vardåsen and Gullbekkåsen were constructed near the fortress. From that time, they are usually called the Kongsvinger fortifications.

The Fortress of Kongsvinger represents a practically uninterrupted military tradition from the 1860s until the present day.


Guided Tours:
The Friends of Kongsvinger Fortress at (+47) 99 09 65 11

To book courses and events in the inner fortifications:
Vinger Hotell
Phone: (+47) 62 88 81 80.
Email: booking@vinger.no

Last updated:  2013-09-11
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Kongsvinger Fortress, Kongsvinger, Norway - Photo: Nasjonale festningsverk

Kongsvinger Fortress

The Kongsvinger Fortress is located in Kongsvinger, near the Swedish border. Order a guided tour for groups in advance.

Kongsvinger Fortress

Source: Visitnorway


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