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 Viking era
 Oseberg ship

In this saga on King Harald Hårfagre, Snorre Sturlason writes that the town of Tønsberg was in existence before the battle of Hafrsfjord, which is dated 872. It is becouse of this that the town´s 1000 years jubilee was celebrated in 1871, and 1100 years jubilee in 1971. The archaeological excavations underneath the premonstratensis monastery ruins in 1987-88 revealed several Viking graves which have confirmed the age of the town. Nature itself made perfect conditions for a settlement here at the narrow sound between Nøtterøy and the mainland.

Vestfolds royal family stems from the Ynlingætten, which dominated in the 9th century. The big grave mounds in Borre National Park and the finds of Gokstad ship and Oseberg ship, prove that this branch of the royal family lived in luxurious conditions. When he devided his kingdom, King Harald Hårfagre appointed his son Bjørn to rule in Vestfold. King Bjørn Farman spent most of his time in Tønsberg, residing at the court at Sæheimr. It is said that he traded with many countries, and to a great extent has influenced the growth of the town. Tønsberg was always a kings town, sometimes carrying out the functions of the capital.

Tønsberg, founded in the Viking-Ages, is Norway´s oldest town (celebrating it´s 1125-year jubilee in 1996). The world renowned Oseberg ship which was found just north of Tønsberg centre bears proof of this.

Castle Hill a 63 metres high cliff with steep sides dominates the town. Castle Hill was besieged by King Sverre in 1201 - 1202, the longest in Norway´s history.

Tønsberg is Vestfold´s county town and commercial centre. Tønsberg Harbour, have several restaurants and the landing stage. There is a large variety of shops, several hotels an active cultural life and exellent possibilities for sport and recreation.

 more video Vestfold Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Tønsberg  Tønsberg