RoadTrip #15: A day tour to Fredriksten Fortress (Norway’s biggest and most important border fortress) and Strømfoss Mill (a national museum for mills)

We ticked off two kommunes on this roadtrip which happened in October 2021 – Halden and Aremark. In Halden, we visited the Fredriksten Fortress, which was built in the 17th century. It is the largest and most important fortress, since it is strategically located by the border and had defended Norway many times from the Swedish forces. It was also where the Swedish King Charles XII died during the siege of 1718. The Strømfoss Mill in Aremark, on the other hand, is a typical mill which was operational from 1897 to 1966. It has its own power station- Eventually, it became a national museum for mills.

First roadtrip of October 2021

We left home pretty late that day, around 11:30 am, and arrived in Halden around 1:30 pm. The weather was pretty cloudy, and by the time we reached Halden, it started to drizzle. One thing I know about Halden, formerly known as Fredrikshald, is that it is home to one of Norway’s highest-security jails. The jail is dubbed as the most human prison in the world. Norway believes in rehabilitating criminals, that’s why. Halden Prison was also shown on the documentary “Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons” Season 3 Episode 4.

We didn’t visit the prison that day though. (Thankfully?) We were there to see the big Fredriksten festning.

Welcome to Fredriksten fortress
If the walls could speak..
Cobbled paths
Take a peek inside the doors?

If you peek inside the doors shown on the picture above, you’d see flooded grounds, dark, damp and just creepy. The farthest door has stairs, which leads to a scary.. I don’t know, because as we were walking up, there was a creepy sound effect, probably used for some kind of a scary tour into the depths of the fortress? We ran out (or I did), and cursed in Swedish, and swore not to look back.

The location of the fortress gives amazing views of the city!

Perfect startegic location to watch out for intruders
..which I hope we will never have to use ever, again.
Miles and miles away
This would be a perfect location for a proposal, don’t you think?
It’s like a Lego-land..

According to, the fortress was decommissioned as operational in 1905. Then, it became headquarters to military schools and staff units, until the last school shut down in 2005. Today, the fortress is a popular tourist destination and cultural arena. Learn more about the history of Fredriksten here:

More cannons
Just breathtaking
A friendly reminder
Where to hide?
This one’s huge
The Battery Commander’s position, located on a hilltop

The fortress is big and one could use a whole day there. We also saw a cloud-making factory. Joke 😉 It’s a paper factory, owned by Norske Skog Saugbrugs.

Norske Skog Saugbrugs papirfabrikk

When I worked in a nursing home, the elderly would often watch tv in the evening and they would tune in to a tv show where people sit on the grass and there were performers singing. The show is called Allsang på grensen. I learned during the trip that it is actually filmed in Halden, by the fortress.

Right here. Super cool!

It started to rain when we left Halden at around 2:50 pm. Our next destination is Aremark, a small kommune or municipality established in 1838. When I searched for attractions there, what came up were nature cabins, lakes, forests, and a Mill. So, we decided to give the Mill a look before calling it a day.

Leaving Halden
Hello, Aremark!
Driving through Aremark
Narrow roads that seemed endless

There’s nothing much said about the Mill, except for the information that I already gave at the beginning of this entry. I liked the autumn vibe, and the rushing water of the river beside it was a refreshing sight. The Mill, which is now a national museum, was closed that day, so we didn’t get to see what they’re exhibiting about.

Strømsfoss Mølle Gallery and Museum
Autumn vibe!
Would be interesting to see the interior, but maybe another time?
Strømsfoss, which powered the Mill when it was operational
Impressive current
Naming your boat Thor — why not, coconut?

After Aremark, we decided to take a quick shopping errand in Töcksfors, Sweden, since we were already by the border. It was already past 6 pm when we made our way home. Then it rained hard. Then it was pitch-dark. As in, no road lights.. in Norway. Only reflex posts and your own headlights. It was creepy. But we made it, and we were home past 8pm.

Driving home
Pitch-dark, if not for the car’s headlights

This is all for yet another experience-enriching roadtrip! Cheers to more in the next entries. #spreadloveandpositivevibes



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