The ferry stops. As soon as I get off the boat I encounter remains from the 18th century.
For those of you that might not know, The Fortified town was founded in 1567 by King Frederik II and is considered the best preserved fortified town in the Nordic Region. You can encounter its charms anywhere you look. It’s like you step in to another time and it feels really enchanting.
Walking down the road I notice the stark contrast between it’s old structures and modern technologies, such as cars. It feels like they are out of place up to a point.
Down the main street you can find plentiful of local shops selling memorabilia but also clothing and the like. All of them have a unique vibe to them, quite old-fashioned but nonetheless beautiful. It’s like everything blends in well and nothing seems to have disturbed the aging buildings much.
Vindebroen is a pedestrian and draw bridge that was completed in 1667. It’s quaint surroundings have the perfect habitat for geese whom are happily fed by passing pedestrians at regular intervals. It is very heartwarming seeing small children feeding them excitedly.
It is enticing how nature seems to dominate everything around the old areas of Fredrikstad. It feels like they didn’t want to disturb the remains from past. I feel like more towns and cities should take that approach when dealing with old settlements as unfortunately not many do.
After a short walk I decide to head over to Kongsten Fort, the city’s second fortress. It is situated 500 metres east of The Old Town and was built around 1680 and is set on the tiny cliff of Galgeberget.
My friends will know that I have an affinity for cemeteries, their charming surrounding and captivating stories always catch my attention. This little cemetery in Fredrikstad is so serene. It’s symmetrically laid tombstones and the heavenly environment feel like something surreal.
It takes about ten minutes to reach Kongsten Fort from Vindebroen Bridge yet during my walk there I’ve spotted maybe a maximum of five people walking down the streets. That’s something astonishing for a Saturday afternoon, but as I prefer quaint surroundings to busy streets I highly adore it.
The fortress was constructed according to the ancient Italian principles of fortification, with high bastions, hornworks, and redans that would provide protection from invading armies. Military strategists understood that, if captured, the small hill would provide an enemy with a raised platform for their artillery, greatly increasing the range of canon shot.
Eagerly, I take my drone out to explore the surroundings of this marvelous fortress. I want to see how it looks like from above.
The view is certainly breathtaking, a carefully laid out plethora of houses surrounding the old fortress.
After spending a good half an hour or so at the fortress I decide to head back to the newer part of the city, respectively the city centre. On my way back I find other remarkable places which seem stuck in time; I just can’t get enough of them.
This fortress town doesn’t cease to amaze me, the way it combines the old architecture with the new is just stunning. Everywhere I look I see pretty landscapes incorporating either old or new buildings or both. It’s just fascinating.
As I embark on the ferry I feel a bit saddened by the fact that I cannot spend more time in this stunning place.
Upon getting off the ferry I notice that the sunset is making its appearance. It’s only 4 PM and the sky begins to darken. I definitely didn’t have time to see every corner of this impressive city.
Witnessing the sunset in Fredrikstad, albeit without the sun making its appearance in the sky, is definitely one memory I’ll forever keep in my heart. Everything is just so calm and peaceful even if we are in the heart of the city. Even the traffic seems to be almost noiseless.
The amalgam of architectural styles just blends in with everything. The newer buildings seem to creep up the old ones without disturbing them strangely enough.
Heading into the main high street reminds me of Leiden with its beautiful streets, walkthroughs and rich history.
After a long walk through the city centre I slowly head back to the train station. The darkness almost set over Fredrikstad and it feels like my fairy tale has come to an end.
Even though my feet are hurting and my body is aching I would still walk throughout the night and explore more of this wonderful place, but unfortunately I have to catch my train and head back to Oslo.
Next Tuesday I will be continuing this series with my experience of Oslo. Stay tuned.