Kristiansten Fortress

Trondheim, Norway

Kristiansten Fortress was built to protect the city against attack from the east. Construction was finished in 1685. General Johan Caspar von Cicignon, who was chief inspector of kuks fortifications, was responsible for the new town plan of Trondheim after the great fire of 18 April 1681. He also made the plans for the construction of Kristiansten Fortress.

The fortress was built during the period from 1682 to 1684 and strengthened to a complete defence fortification in 1691 by building an advanced post Kristiandsands bastion in the east and in 1695 with the now vanished Møllenberg skanse by the river Nidelven. These fortifications were encircled by a continuous palisade and thereby connected to the fortified city. In 1750 the fortress was modernized with new bastions and casemates to protect against mortar artillery. Two new isolated defensive works were also built to the east - Grüners and Frølichs redutt - but they are hardly visible today.

The main building featured in the picture is the defensive tower - Donjonen - with artillery, quartering and stores was the centre of the defences. After decommissioning in 1816 it was location of the fire watch, and since 1997 as a museum.

In the final days of the Great Northern War, Karl (Charles) XII of Sweden initiated a second invasion of Norway in the fall of 1718. An army under General Carl Gustaf Armfeldt (or Armfelt) was sent into Trøndelag to seize Trondheim. Armfeldt advanced against Trondheim, which was defended by an army of 6,900 men under Vincens Budde. The Swedish forces were resisted both by Norwegian forces and by the people of the countryside, who bitterly recalled the previous Swedish occupation of Trøndelag. Provisions were not available, and the Norwegian winter set in. Although he reached the city and laid siege, the strength of Kristiansten Fortress and other fortifications was such that he chose to retreat toward Verdal. Karl XII issued a sharp rebuke and ordered Armfeldt to take Trondheim. Although Armfeldt's forces surrounded Trondheim, Budde's forces were able to keep him at bay. Camping in the open and poorly fed, many of Armfeldt's troops fell ill and his capable forces were reduced to 4,000 men. When Karl XII was killed in December by a bullet at Fredriksten Fortress, Armfeldt's forces retreated to Sweden. On their way back across the mountains, almost the entire army was lost, mostly because of snow, cold temperature and a strong blizzard; the retreat has been likened to Napoleon’s from Moscow for the severity of casualties.

The Norwegian war flag with the badge denoting the union with Sweden was hauled down on 9 June 1905, and the 'pure' war flag was hoisted instead, with full military honours and gun salutes for both flags. On 18 November 1905 a twenty-one gun salute was again fired from Kristiansten Fortress to proclaim the election of Prince Carl of Denmark as the new King of Norway under the name of Haakon VII of Norway. The flag of union with Sweden was hauled down and the Flag of Norway hoisted.

During German occupation of Norway in World War II the Nazis executed a number of Norwegian patriots at Kristiansten.The fortress was the official place of execution of convicted and condemned traitors and war criminals following the legal purge in Norway after World War II. The notorious Henry Rinnan was executed here on 1 February 1947, and nine of his followers afterwards, eight of them on the same day in 1947.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1681-1685
Category: Castles and fortifications in Norway

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Aarhus Old Town

The Old Town in Aarhus, Denmark (Den Gamle By), is an open-air town museum consisting of 75 historical buildings collected from 20 townships in all parts of the country. In 1914 the museum opened as the world's first open-air museum of its kind, concentrating on town culture rather than village culture, and to this day it remains one of just a few top rated Danish museums outside Copenhagen.

The museum buildings are organized into a small town of chiefly half-timbered structures originally erected between 1550 and the late 19th century in various parts of the country and later moved to Aarhus during the 20th century. In all there are some 27 rooms, chambers or kitchens, 34 workshops, 10 groceries or shops, 5 historical gardens, a post office, a customs office, a school and a theatre.

The town itself is the main attraction but most buildings are open for visitors; rooms are either decorated in the original historical style or organized into larger exhibits of which there are 5 regular with varying themes. There are several groceries, diners and workshops spread throughout the town with museum staff working in the roles of town figures i.e. merchant, blacksmith etc. adding to the illusion of a 'living' town.