Here I live, and I feel privileged to live here, next to Northern Europe’s best-preserved fortified town. Gamlebyen, as we call old town Fredrikstad.
Founded in 1567 by the Danish king Frederick II, this is Norway’s first renaissance town. And it has a strategic location in the delta of Glomma — Norway’s largest river. Not far away from the Oslo fjord, too. Or Sweden, for that sake.
As an author of articles and fiction books, this environment is a gold mine. Hence, I often stroll along these ancient walls. This is an oasis for many artists, and the town has a few galleries and cafes, which are well worth a visit.
Thick walls of rocks and bricks, dark, narrow gateways, moats, and wooden bridges – once a robust defence system from the past, built after Dutch standards.
Fun with literature
Since I am an author, I could not resist taking a picture of this funny little thing. Next time, I ensure that it contains at least one of my fiction novels. Perhaps the Sea Lion, where some of the action takes place in this town. During the Napoleonic wars in the 1800s.
I do not know precisely what the person meant by this sign. Maybe not to take things too seriously. Humour is nonsense, it says.
Art galleries and cafes
These old military buildings serve today as art galleries and restaurants. Under normal circumstances, there would be many people here. Sometimes even with musicians entertaining. But this photo was taken in early May when the situation was influenced by the covid-19 restrictions.
Here you can apparently dress like a royal. Kong Fredriks damer, says the sign. King Frederick’s Ladies. Hmm, quite impressive.
A statue of King Frederick II, throning high on his pedestal, amid the town square, with a proud expression on his face. That old Dane! We owe him some gratitude and respect, I guess.
If you get enough of all that old stuff, there’s an easy escape through gates on the riverside. The modern Centre lies on the other side, just a short ferry trip away.
The best thing about these ferries is that they are free. They take you right into the modern world in just a few minutes.
But I have only shown you a glimpse. There’s so much more.
Thank you so much, and please subscribe if you will join me on another trip.