Tønsberg, the administrative center of the Norwegian county of Vestfold, is a small harbour town that has withstood the test of time. According to the Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241), the town has been in existence even before the Battle of Hafrsfjord, which occurred in 871. This makes Tønsberg the oldest town in Norway! After roaming around the city center, my husband and I headed towards the most famous landmark – the Castrum Tunsbergis, or Slottsfjellet (“Castle Mountain”).
The castle ruins sit on top of a hill, overlooking the fields, waterways and city center. It underwent many historical events, including fire and wars. The present tower, on the other hand, was built in 1888 as a memorial of the previous castle that was in place. On one of its sides was an inscription that says “871 – 1871
May the Town Which Stands on This Site Prosper for Another Thousand Years” (871-1871 Maa byen som paa tunet staar faa blomstre nye tusind — aar). Read more about the history and timeline of the Slottsfjell here.
Here are some wonderful photos we took as we went up the castle mountain.. or hill. 😉
We took the day trip in mid-February, so everything was covered in snow! Nevertheless, the place was just awesome! This was evident by the people doing some pre-nuptial photoshoot by the tower. As it was winter, we could only gaze at the tower from afar and a part of the ruins were protected. I guess there was a number of paths leading up the castle mountain, but the one we took required extra caution as the stairs were icy – slippery!
The excitement built up as we approached the Tønsberg festning (fortification) ruins!
Old cannons are also found in the fortification area.
I guess it is safe to say that the Castle Mountain is absolutely stunning and breath-taking in winter time! What more in summer? I would very much love to see the insides of the tower, but that would just be a bonus. Having the opportunity to take these gorgeous photos is more than enough!
If the photos above are not enough to entice you to go and visit Tønsberg in winter, then perhaps these ones will. At the foot of the hill is an open-air museum featuring traditional Norwegian houses from the middle ages. It is located behind the Slotssfjellmuseum, which I will write about in the next entry. 🙂
I super enjoyed the trip that I couldn’t stop myself from making a snow angel! 😀 How to make a snow angel?
This is all for now! Cheers to more day trips and to wonderful fortifications! 😉