Tønsberg Castle Ruins

Tønsberg, Norway

Dating in 871, Tønsberg is commonly believed to have been the oldest Norwegian town and one of the oldest recorded fortified locations in Norway. According to Snorri Sturluson, Tønsberg was founded before the Battle of Hafrsfjord under which King Harald I of Norway united Norway under his rule. Tønsberg was an important trading center and site of Haugathing, the Thing (assembly) for Vestfold and one of Norway's most important place for the proclamation of kings.In 1253, King Haakon Haakonson set up a castle, Tunsberghus, at the location of the modern Tønsberg municipality.

In 1503, after the Kalmar Union collapsed, Norwegian attempts to rebel were suppressed by Danish forces. Tunsberghus fortress was destroyed by Swedish soldiers and disloyal local peasants.

Only a few ruins of the fortress are now left. The modern-day tower (Slottsfjellet i Tønsberg) was raised in 1888 as a memorial of the historic fortress. The present tower was built during 1888 as a memorial of the historic fortress. In 1971, local authorities improved the insulation. At that time new plaques were mounted inside the tower. On the sides are the gilded signatures of two modern Kings of Norway: Haakon VII (1 August 1906) and Olav V (1 July 1958).

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 871 AD
Category: Ruins in Norway

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Wiktoria Kościelniak (2 years ago)
Lovely place. Worth seeing
Miroslav Chovanec (2 years ago)
Beautiful view. Nice place
Ole Magnus Karlsen (3 years ago)
Good for kids and adults. Commands an excellent view. Too bad its not bigger.
Laura Slendzokaitė (3 years ago)
Beautiful place to see all city from one place
Barbro Andersen (3 years ago)
Cool place with a lot of history and a nice view of the city.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.