Blaker Fortress

Blaker, Norway

Blaker Fortress is one of the Norwegian fortresses which were constructed in the period of intense competition among the Baltic powers (Denmark-Norway, Sweden, Russia, Poland and the German states) for northern supremacy. In 1675 Gyldenløve indicated an intent to construct a fortress in the Glomma river where Blaker (a former township in Akershus) lies as part of his general program of Norwegian fortification upgrades. His objective was a stronghold available both to serve as a safe defensive position when necessary and a location to station troops who could take the offensive against invaders when the opportunity availed itself.

Blaker Fortress saw action in 1718, when it was surrounded by the invading Swedish army, but the siege collapsed upon the death of Charles XII of Sweden in front of Fredriksten Fortress. From 1917 to 2003 it was a place for education of craftsmen, art teachers and designers. Today, the old fortress is used for offices, cultural creativity, happenings, weddings, parties, exhibitions, meeting, courses and conferences.Historical walks on the fortress, ghost walks, theater, discourses, salute with canon and rental of costumes from the 1700s and 1800s.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

Skansevegen 27, Blaker, Norway
See all sites in Blaker

Details

Founded: 1675
Category: Castles and fortifications in Norway

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Wenche Linnerud (2 years ago)
Hyggelig omgivelser og koselig julemarked
Trond Bøler (2 years ago)
Flott sted, mye historie i veggene.
Daniel Tønsberg (2 years ago)
Flott område. Litt dyrt for drikke under konserter..
Vibeke Meland (2 years ago)
Spennende og svært idyllisk sted av historisk betydning. Uteteater og marked om sommeren. Sjekk deres fb-side for info.
Anna Petrova (2 years ago)
The best place to vel eneste 17 mai when you live om Blaker. Beautiful old buildings, cafe with cosy atmosphere. This place was recommended me by old Norwegian lady, and she is right!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Saint Sophia Cathedral

The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.

The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.

The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.

There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).

The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.