Hegra Fortress. This name has a special sound, not only in Stjørdal and Trøndelag, but even in Europe. A symbol of power of resistance and bravery. This fortress´ heroic fight against the German occupation force in April-May 1940 ingnited a spark of hope and will-power in the occupied nations.
The 200 defenders, among them one woman, stood their ground against waves of land– and air attacks from the Germans for 25 days. The iron heel of the Wermacht got a starching pain, and many German soldiers lost their lives on the steep slopes.
Major Hans Reidar Holtermann led the brave resistance force. On the morning of May 5th he made the decision that caused him an inner conflict. He had to raise the white flag. To go on fighting was impossible. The lack of food and provisions was precarious. In all Southern Norway resistance had come to an end, and the fortress was an isolated island in a sea of occupants. The last bulwark in the region.
The story of Hegra Fortress is kept alive. The fortification, raised high upon the hill above the centre of Hegra, has become a national monument. A permanent exhibition of pictures, weapons and equipment gives a vivid picture of the war scene that took place in the trenches and on the gun sites.
The history of the fortress also gives us an insight into the history of the nation. The old fortress was built to defend us against an enemy coming from the east – the arch-enemy throughout the centuries – Sweden. In 1910 the fortification was finished, with its canons pointing eastwards. But the union was dissolved without din of battle. Years passed without any conflict with our brothers on the eastern side of the border, and in 1926 the fortress was formally dismantled. Then many years passed until the artillery got its ordeal.
At the outbreak of war 1940 Hegra Fortress was armoured with, among other things, two 7,5 cm and four 10,5 cm canons. Hurriedly the canons were traversed from east to west, now pointing towards the warriors of the master race.
Hegra Fortress today: Guided tours, museum, souvenirs, café, facilities for conferences up to 40 persons.