Fredrikstad fortress was constructed between 1663-1666 by the officer Willem Coucheron and his son Anthony Coucheron following the order of the Dano-Norwegian King Frederick II. A temporary fortification had previously been built on the site during the Torstenson War (1644-1645) between Sweden and Denmark-Norway.
The first commander was appointed 6 January 1662; he was Lieutenant Colonel Johan Eberhard Speckhan. Besides the fortress the prison works was also under the supervision of the commander of Fredrikstad fortress. In 1716 the fortress was used by the naval hero Peder Tordenskjold when he attacked the Swedish fleet during the Battle of Dynekilen.
The only time the fortress were attacked was during the Swedish-Norwegian War (1814). The fortress, under the command of Nils Christian Frederik Hals, capitulated on 4 August 1814. The fortress was closed in 1903, but continued to serve as a garrison. Fredrikstad fortress is unique in Norway by being the only fortress that is preserved as it was. The remaining military installations in Fredrikstad were closed in 2002 and today the fortress with its mix of old buildings and art exhibitions is very popular for visitors.
The fortifications in Fredrikstad include Kongsten fort, Isegran fort, Cicignon fort, Huth fort, Akerøya fort and Slevik battery.References:
The Château de Fougères is an impressive castle with curtain wall and 13 towers. It had three different enclosures, first for defensive purposes, second for day to day usages in peacetime and for safety of the surrounding populations in times of siege, the last enclosure was where the keep was situated.
The first wooden fort was built by the House of Amboise in the 11th century. It was destroyed in 1166 after it was besieged and taken by King Henry II of England. It was immediately rebuilt by Raoul II Baron de Fougères. Fougères was not involved in the Hundred Years' War until 1449 when the castle was taken by surprise by an English mercenary. In 1488 the French troops won the castle back after a siege and the castle lost its military role.
In the late 18th century the castle was turned into a prison. The owner in this period was the Baron Pommereul. In the 19th century the outer ward became an immense landscaped garden. A museum was established in the Mélusine Tower. During the Industrial Revolution, a shoe factory set up shop in the castle grounds.
The City of Fougères took ownership of the Château in 1892. It had been a listed Historical Monument since 1862. A major campaign was launched to clean up the castle walls. While the castle had retained many of its original features, some of the curtain walls needed to be cleared and certain sections required major repairs. The changes made in the 18th century were "reversed," and the castle was finally open to visitors. The first campaign of archaeological excavations, conducted in 1925, unearthed the ruins of the manor house.
Since then, the Château de Fougères has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors every year. The castle's excellent state of conservation, and the historical interest of its architecture, make Fougères an invaluable window onto the Middle Ages. From great lords to simple builders, generations of inhabitants have left their mark on these walls.