Welcome to the opera fortress Fredriksten.
In 1999, Østfold county municipality chose Fredriksten fortress to be the symbol of the millennium and this increased the fortress’s importance as a cultural arena and meeting place. Today, it is Østfold’s largest and most important outdoor cultural arena, and every year Fredriksten is visited by more than 300,000 people. In addition to the open air opera there are several other events such as:”Allsang på Grensen”, car exhibitions, a food festival and Christmas markets. The glorious story that sits in the walls gives the arena a unique atmosphere.
Fredriksten was built after the arena called Båhuslen was lost to the Swedes in 1658. There was a need for a new strong border fortress, and for almost 250 years Fredriksten has protected the border to the south. Fredriksten’s importance in the formation of Norway as his own state can hardly be overestimated. The fortress has been the site of some of the most dramatic and bloody events in Norwegian history and is therefore an important national cultural monument. In 1718, the Swedish king Charles XII was defeated in front of the fortress walls. Fredriksten has been under attack many times, but never conquered in battle. As the locals says with pride: “Often besieged, never defeated!”
The fortress shares its glorious history with its residents of Halden, and the locals feel a strong ownership of the fortress. Fredriksten’s large arenas provide space for large popular events and for quiet walking in the special surroundings. And families and children bring their sledges and enjoy the slopes as soon as the first snow has fallen.
The fortress is still owned by the Ministry of Defense and it is a military honorary building, which means that it has its own commandant and that a salute is fired on solemn occasions.
Today the fortress has a modern hotel, camping site, several restaurants and banqueting rooms. The area offers many kilometers of walkways, nature trail, fortress trail and playground. In the inner fortress there is a museum, tourist office and free audio and light display every night.
Fredriksten is the perfect setting for outdoor opera and the historic surroundings greatly contribute to giving the audience a unique and spectacular experience. But Fredriksten has a lot to offer in addition to opera and we recommend that you come again and that you experience all that the fortress can offer.