A rather desultory war between Sweden and Denmark-Norway, often called the Hannibal War, resulted from 1643 to 1645. Vinger was the staging area for several minor Norwegian invasions into Sweden as this final episode of the Thirty Years' War was completed. The most important consequence of this war was that the royal governor identified the need for fortifications at Kongsvinger (then Vinger) and elsewhere along the border and initiated a tax for the purpose. Since there was great discontent, this tax burden was lifted in 1646 by Christian IV of Denmark and Norway; as a result no fortification construction was begun at that time.
In 1673, Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve wrote that construction was underway on a defensive structure on top of a hill. Once completed, it would dominate the river and the existing sconce by the ferry crossing. This structure was called Vinger Sconce or Gyldenborg and was a precursor to Kongsvinger Fortress. It was never attacked during the Scanian War, which broke out in 1675, but it did fire its cannons against a Swedish reconnaissance unit. An attack was launched from Vinger in February 1679, but it was unable to penetrate deep into Sweden due to insufficient artillery.
Following the war, fortifications were improved along the border toward Sweden. Plans were made for a star-shaped fortress and construction began in 1682 on the site of the old Vinger Sconce. The new fortress was named Königs Winger, which has since become Kongsvinger, both meaning King's Vinger. Today, Øvrebyen, the old Kongsvinger uptown area around the fortress is dominated by wooden buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, laid out in the typical right angle square plan - by architect Major General Johan Caspar von Cicignon - popular in this period.
In 1709, during the Great Northern War, Norway was mobilized and by the end of October 1709, 1,500 men were stationed at Kongsvinger. When in 1716 it became apparent that the Charles XII of Sweden intended to invade, three fortresses along the Swedish border were again extensively manned: Kongsvinger Fortress, Basmo Fortress and Fredriksten Fortress. The attack fell on Basmo and Kongsvinger was bypassed.
Although a significant part of the Norwegian border fortification during several wars with Sweden, Kongsvinger never saw attack. The closest offensive occurred in 1808 during the Napoleonic Wars, when a Swedish column advanced against the fortress of Kongsvinger. They reached the Glomma River after a victory at Lier on 18 April, but did not cross the river and invest the fortress. On 10 March 1809 an interim armistice was signed at Kongsvinger.
In 1905, when the union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved, a neutral zone was established in which all fortifications were to be demolished. Kongsvinger lay just outside of this zone and the fortification survived.Nazi Germany invaded Norway on 9 April 1940. Although not invested, Norwegian fortresses fell under German control. In August 1942 a school providing four-week course in political ideology opened for the Germanske SS Norge at Kongsvinger Fortress. Several classes graduated there.References:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.