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Fredriksvern is Norway's first main naval base, built in Stavern from 1750 onwards. The original name was Fredriksvern Verft, named after king Frederik V. who reigned at that time.
Fredriksvern has played an important part in the development of Stavern as well as in Norwegian maritime history during the years, and the place has probably been a harbour since ancient times.
During the winter of 1748-49 king Frederik V. of Denmark-Norway ordered construction of a shipyard and a drydock in Norway, and in 1750 the first Norwegian naval base was constructed.
The naval station had strong fortification, moats and many buildings. Outside the moats Norway's first garrrison church was built. This rococo mastepiece was completed in 1756.
The commanding officer's lodge from 1751, the guardroom, two forges, the smith's house, a magazine, two provisional storehouses, the barge shed, the galley sheds and the gunpowder house are all still erect at the former naval base, and many tourists travel to Stavern each and every year to see these buildings.
Fredriksvern became the main base for the Royal Norwegian Navy when Norway and Denmark split in 1814. and continued to be an important naval base and remained active as an air force academy until 2002.
There are several arts galleries and small museums here and the area is filled with exciting activities all year round.