Akershus Fortress in Oslo

The Akershus Fortress has wonderful views overlooking the Oslofjord and the city harbor. Its location was chosen strategically to defend the city against invaders. Inside the fortress, there’s a peaceful green area perfect for a picnic. It’s also a great spot to watch the sunset.

The medieval castle was constructed in the 1300s by the King Haakon V. In the 17th century, under the reign of the King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway, it was rebuilt into a Renaissance castle to be used as a royal residence. During his reign, the city of Oslo was renamed to Christiania in his honour. It was only in 1925 that the city regained its original Norwegian name and it became Oslo again.

The Fortress have seen dark times. It served as a prison during the late 18th-19th centuries. Many prisoners died during their imprisonment. The fortress resisted all its foreign enemies except for the Nazis. During World War II, Nazi’s held the castle and ordered many executions there.

There’s a number of ghost histories related to the Fortress. During the middle ages, it was believed that animals buried alive would give protection. The story goes that the commander of the Akershus Fortress buried a dog alive in front of the Virgin Tower in order to turn the dog into a ghost. The ghost dog, called Malcanisen (which means “evil dog”), would then guard the tower against intruders. Legend tells that anyone approached by Malcanisen will suffer a horrible death within the following three months.

The Akershus Fortress remains an important military area in Norway until this day. Inside the fortress, there’s the Akershus Castle, the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and the Norway’s Resistance Museum. For more information about the Fortress go to their website.

Akershus Fortress in Oslo

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress in Oslo

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress in Oslo

Akershus Fortress

View from the Akershus Fortress in Oslo

View from the Akershus Fortress

Akershus Castle

I must confess that I’m a sucker for castles! I love to walk into a room and imagine how Kings and Queens used to live in medieval times. But if castles are not your thing, you can simply skip it and go for a pleasant walk in the Fortress or visit one of the museums.

The castle is full of ghost histories. There are many who say they’ve seen a woman going back to her chamber inside the Akershus Castle. The faceless woman emerges from the darkness dressed in a full-length robe. Her name is Mantelgeisten.

Entrance Gate for the Akershus Castle in Oslo

Entrance Gate for the Akershus Castle

Akershus Castle courtyard in Oslo

Akershus Castle courtyard

Akershus Castle courtyard in Oslo

Akershus Castle courtyard

Akershus Castle courtyard in Oslo

Akershus Castle courtyard

Souvenir shop inside Akershus Castle in Oslo

Souvenir shop inside Akershus Castle

Inside Akershus Castle in Oslo

Inside Akershus Castle

Passage to the dungeons inside Akershus Castle in Oslo

Passage to the dungeons inside Akershus Castle

Royal Mausoleum in Akershus Castle in Oslo

Royal Mausoleum in Akershus Castle

Akershus Castle church

Akershus Castle church

Inside Akershus Castle in Oslo

Inside Akershus Castle

Inside Akershus Castle in Oslo

Inside Akershus Castle

Inside Akershus Castle in Oslo

Inside Akershus Castle

The Hall of King Christian IV in Akershus Castle

The Hall of King Christian IV in Akershus Castle

King Christian IV Hall, inside Akershus Castle

King Christian IV Hall, inside Akershus Castle

Throne room in Akershus Castle in Oslo

Throne room in Akershus Castle

Guard at Akershus Castle in Oslo

Guard at Akershus Castle

By | 2017-09-09T11:47:48+00:00 August 21st, 2015|Categories: Oslo|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Libbie Bailey October 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    I am trying to find out information for family history. In reading this article it says the City was renamed Christiania – I have in my possession an original document of my grandfather when he completed training in the Kings Guard in 1903 which has the spelling as Kristiania. I am also trying to find out who was in charge of Akershus Castle in the time he was there. September 1903 – April 1903.

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