Last Sunday I had a trip to Fredrikstad Old Town. Fredrikstad is a city in Østfold and just one and a half hour drive from Oslo. It is founded and named after King Frederik II of Denmark and the later stad means city. Fredrikstad is a cosy city and homes the best and prettiest preserved fortress town in Scandinavia. It is called in norwegian as Gamlebyen which means old fortified town. This is a much visited sight that was once an important trading center.
The Old Town was built in 1663 primarily for trading but then became a military enclave. If you will see this little place from above, it has a star shaped fortress system, with wide water-filled moats, deep earth walls and river Glomma at the end. It was built according to the old Dutch-system. No wonder while I was walking, I feel like the place was similar to the canals in Netherlands.
The great atmosphere of this Old Town is surrounded by old traditional houses, narrow cobblestone streets and drawbridges. The perimeter walls is surrounded by real cannons which will give you historical aspect of the place. Inside the town people can visit the Fredrikstad Museum, the Glass Hut, art galleries, the Cathedral and The Art Center Bastion 5. Fredrikstad Gamlebyen is picturesque with its narrow streets and alleys, 17-th century buildings, colorful houses and unique shops, mostly secondhand stores, and cozy cafes, where both locals and tourists meet. Many locals actually live inside the Old Town, which I think give the place authenticity from other touristic place.
The Old Town is worth a visit for a day trip. The length of walking around is just approximately 2 km and you can see everything in one and a half hours time. Norwegians usually described Fredrikstad as a warm city. The reason is it’s the most sunny geographical area in Norway. For a sunny Sunday, relaxing under the sun and just enjoying the ambience of this little town is the best thing I did last weekend. This place is truly a gem of Norway.
Most pictures were taken by my Colombian friend Camila Vela and some are from my iphone.