Halden - The peaceful town below the fortification
Visit Halden in the summer and you are sure to have a pleasant experience and a fantastic view of the charming walled village. Halden is a tranquil and exciting festival town. It hosts many different festivals such as the Harbor Boat Festival, amcar, food festival, summer concerts at the castle, summer dance and other cultural events and sports events throughout the summer.
Topographically Halden separates itself slightly from the other towns of Østfold because it is located inside a fjord and that it has a more hilly terrain and greater heights of hills and foothills surrounding the city. Fredriksten fortress forms a beautiful design and is part of Halden's identity. In earlier times, Halden was Norway's defenses stronghold against the Swedes.
Halden has, like the other towns along the coast Østfold, a thriving boating and cozy harbors amongst the great maritime atmosphere. Tista River divides the city where it flows as a beautiful channel and ends into Iddefjorden. On both sides of the channel, it is pleasant urban environment with some of the most beautiful empire squares, modern shopping centers, specialty shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants. The town is so small that one can easily walk from one end to the other. Ample parking makes inner cities easily accessible.
Rød Herregård(Rød Manor) is located just outside downtown streets along the access road on the west side of town. Rød Herregård in Halden is one of the largest and best preserved hobby farm sites in Norway. The main building most likely has parts from the 1600s, but there were significant renovations and expansions done during the 1700s. Rød Herregård has large gardens, where you’ll ba able to see Jacob Coning’s Painting of Fredrikshald (Halden) from 1699. Baroque garden was developed in the 1700s, including an elegant garden pavilion (1756), terraces, ponds and alleys. An English landscape garden surrounds the baroque garden. Besides the romantic paths and beautiful views of Iddefjorden, the garden offers classic items like a bear cave, cannon battery, and graveyard. There is also a café and an art gallery here.
A visit to the Rød Herregård (Rød Manor) is highly recommended. Open: May to September. Guided tour.
The border fjord with two names
For those who have your own boat, you should take a holiday day trip up Ringdalsfjord / Iddefjord. From the fjord outlet of the Oslo Fjord and Hvaler archipelago, and almost up to Halden city, is named the bay Ringdalsfjord. From there, the fjord makes a “kink” and further south is called Iddefjord. The fjord is deep and well-marked, and on both sides of the fairway, you are constantly reminded that you are in Swedish and Norwegian territory through border markings on the rocks. You’ll find great fishing in the fjord. The 100 meter high steep valleys on both sides of the fjord makes you feel a real "fjord sense" of sailing here. There are many great holiday properties "where no one would believe that anyone could live" on both sides of the fjord / border, which explains why the fjord is so alive. When you arrive in Halden, you’ll have sailed almost 40% of the total length of the fjord. Halden boasts one of the most modern marinas in Norway, with the King's Wharf deep into the harbor. It is located only 40 meters from the market. A little further out, you can moor two pontoons on either side of the pier. The service building at the marina is at the western pier and offers all amenities. The entrance to the harbor, which sits in pollen, is narrow but well-marked over on the east side of Sauøya.
The majestic Fredriksten fortress
Frediksten fortress is well-placed on a hill section of the city, and is dominant for both the running and the approach to Halden. Fortress is one of the most visited tourist attractions, and it is not too surprising considering that the whole fortress is intact and that it is incredibly beautiful inside the castle area with a great view of Halden, as well as the fact that the fortress is an important part of Norway’s history.
Access to the fortress is well marked for running, and you can drive right up to the fortress where there is a large parking lot. There is also a short walkway from Halden city and up to the fortress.
By making peace in Roskilde in 1658, Norway had to cede Bohuslen to Sweden. This entailed that Halden became the new border, which required a much stronger fortification of the city and the new border. Construction of permanent facilities on Fortress began in 1661, and the fortress was a crucial part of our defenses from 1660 until 1814.
The fortress was besieged six times, but never taken. The Swedish King Karl XII died by the fortress on the 11th of December 1718 during the Swedish effort to take the fortress.
From 1814 until 1905, when Norway was in union with Sweden, the fort's main purpose and meaning was unclear. In 1905 the union was abandoned and the fortress disarmed. It was decided that it should be preserved as a national monument.