I decided to walk from my hotel to the Akershus Fortress which has park-like grounds and excellent views of the city! Surely not to be missed! It was enjoyable walking and just enjoying the medieval atmosphere.
This medieval fortress was built by King Hakon V sometime in 1300. It was renovated by Christian IV into a Renaissance palace in the 17th century. Its chapel is still used for royal events, and the crypts of Kings Hakon VII and Olav V lie beneath it. In the crazy days of WWII, the Nazis used Akershus as a prison and execution grounds. Today, one can also enter the Norwegian Resistance Museum to better understand the turbulent history of Norway.
Free entry into the fortress is either through a gate at the end of Akersgata or over a drawbridge at the southern end of Kirkegata. The grounds are open 6 am to 9 pm; after 6 pm, you must use the Kirkegata entrance. There are also 45 min guided tours mid Jun-mid Aug M-F 1000, 1200, 1400, 1600 Sat-Sun 1200, 1400, 1600, off season no tours.
Akershus Fortress is a nice place to start the sightseeing of Oslo. This medieval castle dates from late 13th Century when Oslo was the royal throne of King Håkon V who started the building of Akersborgen, which later became Akershus Castle. In the 16th century this royal residence developed into a renaissance fortress and castle.
It is situated on a hill overlooking the Oslo harbour and if it's not some special occasion for the Royal Family (when it is closed) the entrance is free. You can stroll through the castle halls, church, Royal mausoleum and banquetting halls. There are also free guiding tours available.
Definitely the best part for me were the open grounds of the fortress that offer peace and shade in the center of the large city as well as magnificent views of the harbour.
After a big fire in 1624, King Christian IV decided to relocate the town to the area below the protective walls of Akershus Fortress. Wooden buildings were forbidden making place to compulsory brick-built buildings in order to prevent the recurrence of a devastating urban fire. The king named the town after himself: Christiania.
This central district of Oslo is known as The Quadrangle (Kvadraturen). It is bordered by the Akershus Castle and the Cathedral, Øvre Vollgate and Skippergaten and corresponds to the street system of King Christian IV’s renaissance town.
There is a large scale model of Christiania in Høymagasinet at Akerhus Fortress, accompanied by a video presentation (in Norwegian and in English) presenting Oslo’s dramatic history - not to be missed. Entrance is free, and presentations start every hour.
Situated right above the Oslo harbour Akershus fortress has many lawns and parks ideal for a short rest in the middle of the city. There will be cars running right below you through the Festningstunnelen and busy people doing their frantic shopping or having quick lunch accross the harbour in the Aker Brygge area.
It is also possible that the large cruise ships will be docked right here and it is an unusual sight to be at the same level as their 12th deck - waving to the passengers.
Take your time, (you can also bring your sandwich and drink) and sit here for a while and watch what's going on between the harbour, the Aker Brygge and the City Hall. F.D. Roosevelt is doing this for the past several decades. (At least his monument does).
Oslo Castle dominates the city when viewed from the Harbor. It was originally built in 1299 as a castle but it's modern look is due to an upgrade to a Renaissance palace in the 17th century when the city was rebuilt after a fire.
... check out the Akershus Fortress. From the walls around the fort you can look down on all the boats and ships in the harbour below. But be careful if you've got small children with you - there's no fence or other barrier and it's a steep drop.
When you've had enough of the views there are several museums in the grounds of the fortress: the Royal Castle, located in the centre of the fortress; Norwegian Armed Forces Museum, which shows the development of Norwegian Armed Forces dating from the Viking Ages to the present; and the Prison Museum, which was used for detaining resistance prisoners sentenced to death under the German occupation of Norway in the Second World War. There's also a cafe in the grounds, with tables outside by a pretty pool, and there are lots of grassy spots to sit and relax after (or during) a hard day's sightseeing.
The Fortress is open daily from 06.00 to 21.00 and there's no charge to go in.
Akerhus Fortress (Akerhus Festning) was used to protect Oslo from sea attacks. Some of the medieval buildings date back to the 13th century.
Around 1697 parts of the fortress were rebuilt into a renaissance castle. Its location on a small hill offers panoramic views of Oslo's harbour and Aker Brygge.
The Akerhus Fortress is situated in the harbour of Oslo, just east of the Town Hall. The trams #10 and #12 stop at "Christiania Torv", which is the nearest tram stop for Akerhus Fortress.
This fortress, which dates back to 1299, was built on a small peninsula and protected the harbour. In medieval times this castle was the home of the Norwegian king. You find an exhibition with exponents from the history of the fortress and you can watch the change of the guards at 1:30 p.m.
It was originally a medieval fortress built in 1299, but was later rebuilt to a renessansecastle before it was expanded to an armed fortress in 1592.
In summer there are guided tours on the areas around the fortress, and also inside the castle. Inside the fortress are many different museums, and everyday at 13.30 you can see the changing of guards.
From the fortress is a great view of the fjord with it's many islands, and to Aker Brygge and the harbour. The grassy hill outside the fortress is a nice place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
Akershus fortress was established in 1299 by Haakon B Magnuson
Through most of its time Akershus has had a role as a prison. From old publications we read about the knight Guttorm Gaste who escaped from a "dark tower". From the middle of the 1600 century they started practicing jail and the phenomenon "slavery" came into being. They were used as workers to maintain the fortress. And of course they lived a miserable life.
Some of the famous prisoners here are Ole Høyland and the thief Gjest Baardsen who spent his 18 years here and wrote a biography
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