On this roadtrip, we visited spontaneously: 1) the Gamle Hvam Museum, an old manor farm from the 1700s, located in Nes 2) the never-been-conquered Kongsvinger fortress, erected in the 1680s, and 3) the Magnor Glassworks factory, established in 1896 and maker of high-end tableware and vases. Then, we crossed the border and drove all the way to Örebro, the 6th largest city in Sweden, before calling it a day.
Luckily, we were blessed with a sunny and clear weather during that October day in 2021. No traffic, and as it was pre-omicron, there was also no restrictions in crossing the border to Sweden. That weekend was memorable because we really drove far and Carl showed me the places where he spent his childhood. Yes, never been there before. Having a car really gave us more freedom. But that for another entry. On this one, I’ll just share the places we stopped by going to Örebro.
We drove northward, then east. The first attraction we saw and decided to explore was the old manor farm in the village of Hvam in Nes. It had closed for the season, but we still managed to look around and learn about it. Built in the 1700s, it served as home to rich farmers and had been privately owned until 1908. Today, it is owned by the government and operated as an open air museum, with the main building and an external gallery, agriculture and handicraft exhibitions, gardens and fower arrangements.
It would have been interesting to see the interior of the buildings. But I was not “new” to traditional farmhouses.
The farm houses were strategically located, slightly elevated and had a good overview of the fields. It made it easy to monitor the farmers and, well, intruders. Its size made it apparent for visitors that rich and mighty people owned it. For more than 1500 years, agriculture was practiced in the area. For more information and history, visit: https://mia.no/gamlehvam/museets-historie.
I could imagine how tedious it must be to maintain these buildings. We left the museum around noontime, and drove on to Kongsvinger. I had never been there, and it was pretty interesting to know that there was a fortress there. Kongsvinger can be loosely translated as “the king’s wings”, or a more logical translation “the king’s turns (like in a road)”, or may be, even, “the king’s swings”. We were pondering about that on the way.
Kongsvinger has a population of almost 18 000 (SSB, 2014). The traditional name in old documents was Königs Winger, and the second word referred to an old district name. So, nothing about wings or swings.
My first order of business was to buy some postcards, which I did at Kongssenteret (shopping center), located by the city bridge. Just like Drammen, the city has a promenade along the river Glomma.
The fortress was like an icon to the city, a popular landmark which is visited by thousands before covid-19 came. To be honest, I haven’t heard of it before the trip, so.. sorry. Anyway, the main purpose of the fortress was to defend Norway from Sweden. It wwas built under the instruction of the Danish King Christian V, and designed by the Quartermaster General Johan Caspar von Cicignon. Most of the buildings which still stand today are from the 17th and 18th centuries, build from granite and natural stone, and some from timber and brick. More information about the history of the Kongsvinger fortress here: https://www.forsvarsbygg.no/no/festningene/finn-din-festning/kongsvinger-festning/kongsvinger-fortress/historycultural-environment/. And here are some of the photos I’ve taken there.
I have now visited fortresses in Norway, all had a purpose of defending the country from invaders. I really hope and pray that they’d just remain a museum or a reminder of what happened in the past. I really hate wars, eventhough I haven’t been in one. I just really think that it’s foolish, and what’s more foolish is that some people/countries never learn.
Before crossing the border to Sweden, we came across the Magnor Glassverk or glassworks. It’s a factory established in 1896 and became popular for their high-end tableware and vases. It was amazing to see how they make vases by glassblowing!
So, you can learn about how it’s done during your visit, have a look at their amazing products, and/or enjoy a cup of coffee and fika (snacks). I was really close to buying a vase, but I realized that my husband and I don’t really have space for that, a.k.a. we’re not aesthetics people. We have a couple of glass vases for occasional bouquets, but other than that.. cheap vases and pots it is for us. We did buy two green glass straws though! They’re reusable. 🙂 Have a look at their products here: https://www.magnor.no/.
After that, we just drove and drove and drove.. had pizza for late lunch in Arvika.. until the trip led us to the Swedish city of Örebro at around 6pm!
I was excited to see what Örebro had to offer – of course, I knew of the castle and planned to visit it – but like, is there more? We were also pondering if we should visit Carl’s childhood home. More about that in the next entry. 🙂
ALL PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ON THIS BLOG ARE MINE.