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Halden in Norway Halden municipality coat of arms


642,3 km2

Halden Local Directory

Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Halden

Halden muncipality has approximately 28.100 inhabitants and covers a area of 642,3 km2. In Halden the past and the present go hand in hand. There are traces of settlements in the Halden area that date back more than 8000 years. The town is also known as the empire town because of its buildings in the French Empire style which flourished in Norway in the first half of the 19th century.

The most prominent of these buildings are Rød Herregård (a well-preserved country manor) and the Immanuel Church. Fredriksten Fortress is the most conspicuous part of the town´s scenery where it looms proudly above the town and gives Halden its characteristic appearance.

The fjord runs along the Swedish border from the Singlefjord and the idyllic Hvaler islands to the village of Berby in the Enningdal valley. The outermost stretch is called the Ringdalsfjord, but from the point where it makes a sharp bend and further south, it is called the Iddefjord. The fjord has an abundant variety of fish species, and bathing is a popular attraction in the summer. This part of the fjord that runs along the border to Halden has been called eastern Norway´s only west coast fjord. It is narrow and idyllic with surprising, steep natural formations on both sides.

If you sail up the middle of the fjord, you have the national boundary right under your keel. To starboard is Sweden and to port is Norway! The Iddefjord has also witnessed the clamour of historical events. In times of war, strong fortifications were built atop the steep sides of the fjord. Remains of these fortifications can still be seen today. The border fjord has also been the scene of substantial naval battles between Norwegians and Swedes. Halden´s forests are a good place for orienteering, hiking, canoeing, boating, fishing, and gymnastics are also popular sports amongst Halden´s population.

Outdoor concerts are frequently held at the fortress while the local churches, pubs, and student union are regular venues for indoor concerts. Musicians recorded by the Hitsville and Athletic Sound studios in the Halden region.

The city´s intimate theatre hosts frequent plays by national and local theatre groups, and occasionally serves as a concert hall.

Halden festivals include a food and wooden boat festival (Halden Day) in July, a croquet festival (August), the Bom-Kræsj-Bang cultural festival (April), and the Down on the Farm country/roots festival. The famous pub "Siste Reis" neighbouring the train station has been voted among the ten best pubs in Europe!


The first defensive installations in Halden were constructed in 1643 - 45. On 28 July 1660 King Fredrik III of Denmark issued a royal declaration ordering that a stronger fortress be built here near the new border to Sweden and that it be named Fredriksten fortress. The fortress was constructed on two parallel ridges. On the north ridge the walls extend from the Dronningens bastion at the west end to Prince Christian's bastion at the east. The south ridge is fortified with Prins Georgs bastion and the main Overkongen bastion on the hill's highest point. Between these two ridges lies the citadel with a number of interesting old buildings. Beyond the citadel the Borgerskansen faces west, overlooking the town from the hillside. In addition there are three outlying fortifications facing south and east: Gyldenløve, Stortårnet and Overberget.

There are a number of monuments at Fredriksten, including one that marks the spot where the Swedish King Karl Xll was shot during the siege of 1718. There are also several museums at the fortress with extensive collections of historical military and civilian objects Fredriksten is an imposing structure with a total wall surface of 2.000 m2. Exploring its ramparts and bastions, storehouses, powderhouses and deep, mysterious passageways is an unforgettable experience. The fortress, which has been preserved as if it were a park, is a picturesque and idyllic spot.


Rød Herregård is one of the best preserved manor house in Norway. The property features well-preserved buildings, a baroque garden and an English landscape garden. The buildings have their oldest origins of the late 1600's, but were largely built during the last half of the 1700s. The manor house and estate complex was owned by the Tanker family through three generations, from 1733 to 1829. In 1961, two foundations were established to maintain the historic property. Rød Manor Foundation (Stiftelsen Rød Herregård) is responsible for the manor house, buildings and gardens. Ankerske Foundation Collections (Stiftelsen De Ankerske Samlinger) is responsible for the contents and the rich archives related to the property.


Svinesund is mentioned many times in the Norse sagas of Snorre Sturlason. The old author of the sagas was fascinated by the land between Svinesund and the Göta River - the former Ranarike district - that was so hotly contested by Norwegian and Swedish kings until the Norwegian king St. Olav brought it under his domain. With its location along an age-old international and royal highway, Svinesund was a well known ferry crossing.

The Norwegian king Sigurd I Magnusson (Sigurd the Crusader) crossed here when he rode all in a single day the way from Konghelle in Sweden to Store Dal near Skjeberg in Norway - a distance of well over 200 km - and took Borghild, the farmer's daughter there, as his mistress. Later the Danish kings passed through here on the rare occasions when they visited Norway. During the period of union with Sweden, the Swedish Bernadotte kings also crossed here with large wagons pulled by big teams of horses To this day Svinesund remains the most important road leading into Norway.


The New Svinesund Bridge (2005) is a highway bridge across the Iddefjord at Svinesund. The total length of the bridge is 704 metres. The main span of the bridge between abutments is approximately 247 metres (810 ft) and consists of a single ordinary reinforced concrete arch which carries two steel box-girder bridge decks, one on either side of the arch.


This is a vital link between Norway and Sweden. This elegant span, with its handsome profile stretching 67 meters above the Ringdalsfjord, is Northern Europe's highest bridge. The Svinesund bridge was opened with much pomp on 15 June 1946 by the Norwegian king and the Swedish crown prince. During the summer months, 15.000 vehicles cross the Svinesund bridge each day.


This is a former postal station and customs building for the ferry crossing to Sweden, and is located at the water's edge right next to the Svinesund bridge. At one time this post office was the largest in the whole country, handling all mail going in and out of Norway. The beautiful, white painted building that stands there today was built in 1830, but some parts of it date back to the 18th century.


This park was laid out about a hundred years ago on grounds that were previously occupied by the Nordsiden churchyard and Christian´s Church. The lovely old bandstand was completed in 1879. The bandstand is often used in the summer by, amongst others, the military band. The monument in the park was created by the sculpter Dyre Vaa. It was raised in 1939 in gratitude to the composers F.A. Reissiger and Oscar Borg for their efforts to promote the local musical life in Halden.


Many fine small homes from the first half of the 19th century lie at the foot of the fortress hill. Especially appealing is Festningsgata, which on many occasions has been called "Norway's most beautiful street". The old sea captains' homes' in Sørhalden bear witness to the time when Halden was one of the country's most important shipping towns.


The fjord has an abundant variety of fish species, and is a popular attraction in the summer.


Halden Golfclub is a golf course with 18 holes and a variation of difficulties. The course lies close to Fredriksten Fortress, approximately 2 km from Halden Center. The fortress, which has been preserved as if it were a park, is a picturesque and idyllic spot.