ØSTFOLD ADVENTURE: From Northern Europe’s best preserved fortified town of Fredrikstad to Norway’s third oldest city of Sarpsborg (via Glomma)

Norway is divided into 19 counties (or fylker) and last summer, I had the chance to visit my 7th fylke, Østfold, particularly the old cities of Fredrikstad and Sarpsborg. My awesome bf arranged everything, and it came out as a surprise as he carefully planned the roadtrip, including a boat tour along Glomma/Glåma, Norway’s largest and longest river. The said minicruise down the Glomma river was experimental, and it was organized to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Sarpsborg and the 45oth anniversary of Fredrikstad. Cool, eh?

In the middle of the street is an orange cemented sofa and a real TV!
In the middle of the street is an orange cemented sofa and a real TV!

The city was founded and named after King Frederick II in 1567. Its center lies on the west bank of the river Glomma, while the fortified town is situated on the east. People can drive to the other side, but many prefer the short boat trip. Here are some of the things to see at the city center:

An art installation located at the riverside
An art installation located at the riverside
Frederikstad promenade
Frederikstad promenade
Frederikstad promenade
Frederikstad promenade, with the Sannesund bridge at a distance
Fredrikstad Library, built from 1922-1925, the biggest in Østfold
Fredrikstad Library, built from 1922-1925, the biggest in Østfold
Walking along river Glomma
Walking along river Glomma
Walking along river Glomma
Walking along river Glomma

Just before we reached the port where the boat crossing the river was docked, we saw a monument of Roald Amundsen, a native of Østfold. Amundsen is a popular Norwegian explorer who was first to reach the South Pole in 1911, and the North Pole in 1926!

Roald Amundsen's monument in Fredrikstad
Roald Amundsen’s monument in Fredrikstad
Crossing the river Glomma
Crossing the river Glomma

After the short boat trip across the river, we were awed to see Norway’s largest and most vulnerable fortress–the Frederiksten. It was built in the 1600s under King Frederick III’s command, after Norway lost the Bohuslän district and Bohus Fortress to Sweden. The fortification was filled with history, and several important building still stood there. Read more about the fortress here: Frederiksten. There are many activities being held in the old fortress, including Saturday flea markets, exhibitions, workshops, tours, ghost and historical trails, nature trails, and open theater performances. The list of activities can also be found on the link above. There are also museums to help better understand the purpose and history of the fortress.

Frederiksten
Frederiksten
Hvalfangermuseum (Whale hunting museum)
Hvalfangermuseum (Whale hunting museum)
King Frederick II, Kongenstorv (The King's Square)
King Frederick II, Kongenstorv (The King’s Square)
Flea market at Kongenstorv (The King's Square)
Flea market at Kongenstorv (The King’s Square)

Also found on the Old Fortress is the Østre Fredrikstad Kirke, the church where the first round of Norway’s first national election in 1814 was held.

Østre Fredrikstad kirke
Østre Fredrikstad kirke

When in Frederiksten, it is important not to miss the Fredrikstad Museum. The main building was built in 1903, and it houses permanent and temporary historical exhibitions. They also have an exhibition about the history of textile/clothing industry in the city and around the world called “Langåpent”.

At Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum, "Langåpent" exhibition
At Fredrikstad Museum, “Langåpent” exhibition
Going interactive, at Fredrikstad Museum
Going interactive — guess what’s in each hole, at Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum
Frederiksten, at Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum

Going back to the outside world, we followed the moat trails and did some Geocaching in the side. It was a lovely and perfect summer day!

Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten, the moat
Fredriksten, the moat
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Fredriksten
Chicken on the loose!
Chicken on the loose!
People practicing for a theater performance
People practicing for a theater performance

At 4pm, we took the ferry cruising along the Glomma river and stopping at Sarpsborg, the administrative seat/capital of the Østfold region. We were very lucky to catch the summer cruise, as it was experimental! Sarpsborg is the third oldest city in Norway, after Tønsberg and Nidaros. It was founded by the Viking King Olav Haraldsson, who is also the country’s patron saint, in 1016.

The boat that cruised the river Glomma in summer
Skjærhalden, the boat that cruised the river Glomma in summer
Cruising along the river Glomma
Cruising along the river Glomma
Cruising along the river Glomma
Cruising along the river Glomma
Cruising along the river Glomma
Cruising along the river Glomma
Cruising along the river Glomma
Cruising along the river Glomma
Cruising along the river Glomma
Cruising along the river Glomma

We didn’t spend much time in Sarpsborg, perhaps only a couple of hours. We were able to visit the Sarpsborg church, a neo-Gothic basilica built in the 1800s, and the Kulåsparken, the biggest and most popular park in Østfold. Many events are being held in the park like bunny races and concerts. An amphiteater, a playground, water fountains, drinking fountains, training paths, pavilions, and big fields. There’s also a cliff where visitors can get a nice view of the city! Read more about the park here: Kulåsparken.

Sarpsborg kirke
Sarpsborg kirke
Sarpsborg kirke
Sarpsborg kirke
Kulåsparken
Kulåsparken
Kulåsparken
Kulåsparken
Kulåsparken
Kulåsparken
Kulåsparken
Kulåsparken

There you go– the major sights of Østfold in one day! It was a beautiful summer day for both of us. Hoping to visit the rest of the Norwegian counties with my love! ❤ Cheers!

At Fredrikstad Museum
At Fredrikstad Museum
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