|Although Fredrikstad is the fifth largest city in Norway it’s not a particularly large city so has a friendly, small town feel. Founded in 1567 by the Danish king, King Frederick II, the city is named after him, and was built as a replacement for the town of Sarpsborg which was burnt to the ground. The site for Fredrikstad was decided upon as it was a better location than Sarpsborg had had. Despite being built as the former town’s replacement, many of the original residents of Sarpsborg stayed in the area and actually rebuilt the original town on its same site, resulting in two nearby towns.
The Old Town
The Old Town is on the east side of the River Glomma and is accepted by many to be the best preserved fortified town in Northern Europe. When they began building the newer town on the opposite side of the river it became more popular and grew faster than the original old town. The old town also suffered a great fire in 1764 when many of the original buildings were burnt down, however Fredrikstad Fortress still remains and is the oldest remaining building in the town today.
Fredrikstad Fortress was built between 1663 and 1666 and was in use right up until 1902 as a fort and then until 2002 as a garrison. The fortress is now a popular tourist attraction and includes within the fortification five individual forts and a battery.
Fredrikstad is an attractive city with its riverside location and visitors can take advantage of walks alongside the river where you can stop with a picnic, or make use of the numerous bars and restaurants that are all especially popular during the summer. This is a great place to come and mingle with the locals as you enjoy a beer in one of the gardens or patios on the riverside.