History - The Fortified Town - Fredrikstad and Hvaler - Visit Østfold


The Fortified town was founded in 1567 by King Frederik II, and is today considered the best preserved fortified town in Nordic Region.

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.

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.


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