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Eastern Norway Oslofjord Fredrikstad

The Fortress Town - The Old Town

  • Kirkegaten 31B, Fredrikstad
  • +47 69304600
  •  /  km From You

The best preserved fortress town in the Nordic countries consists of buildings from the 18th century and and a fortification with walls and moats from the 17th century.

Fredrikstad's historic Old Town is a dynamic quarter of the city. In addition to the historic buildings, you will find several small shops with designer goods, arts and crafts, furniture, food and curiosities.


Fredrikstad City Museum with its historic city exhibition is also located here, and the flea market every Saturday on the town square is well worth a visit! The Old Town is also home to many galleries and a number of cosy restaurants and cafés.

The Fortified town was founded in 1567 by King Frederik II, and is today considered the best preserved fortified town in Northern Europe. Fredrikstad’s history starts, oddly enough, with the fall of the neighbouring town of Borg. This historic town was razed to the ground by the Swedish army, during The Great Nordic War, and soon afterwards, King Frederik II decided to build a completely new city, by the Glomma estuary. On a well-protected riverbank where one could easily keep an eye on suspicious movements on the horizon, as well as improving the citizens’ living conditions.


Just across the river, at Isegran, the Earl of Borgarsyssel, Alv Erlingsson, had a small fortified keep here at the end of the thirteenth century. In the 16th century, it was decided to reinforce the ramparts of the Old Town, under strict guidance of the Dutch Quartermaster General, Willem Coucheron. During the same time, the new fortress in Halden was being built. In 1814, the Old Town was attacked by the Swedish Crown Prince Carl Bernadotte, at a very vulnerable time. It took the Swedes only a few hours to take full control, and the town surrendered.


In 2002, the Østfold Regiment was disbanded; 350 years of military presence in the fortress town came to an end. 58 of the town’s buildings were in 2008 conserved by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural heritage. Northern Europe’s best preserved Fortified town, is thriving with history, shops, galleries and cafes

  • Last Updated:
  • Source: Visit Fredrikstad & Hvaler
Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS
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