The harsh and poetic charm of Norway, made popular by the Scandinavian epics, is manifested in the majestic architecture of the old castles in Norway. He stands as a true symbol of the courage and fearless spirit of this country.
The area is covered with a thick layer of snow, the sun’s warmth is rarely felt, and the castles seem to glow in the spectacular landscape. These real-life fairy tale castles will transport you straight to a mystical universe.
Best castles to visit in Norway
Ranging from the 13th century to the forts built in the early 20th century, castles are worth a visit when visiting this country. You can visit the most beautiful castles of Norway and explore their stunning architecture. Here are some:
1. Akershus Castle
It is a medieval castle located in the city center of Oslo. Construction of the palace began in the late 13th century and continued until the 14th century. Initially, it served as a prison for law breakers, but after Swedish attacks, it became a fortress. Akershus Castle or Akershus Fortress is still a military district. While visiting the palace you can see its royal tombs, reception rooms and banquet halls.
The palace is open to the public daily till 9 pm but is closed during special events and public holidays.
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2. Gamlehaugen Castle
Gammelhaugen Castle is located in Berge and was built in the year 1901 in the architectural style of a Scottish castle. In 1927, Norwegian royalty acquired this castle when they visited this beautiful city. Many parts of this palace are open for exploration.
The castle resembles a classic fairy tale castle, with the gardens of Gamlehaugen making it even more charming. Since this castle is one of the most famous castles in Europe, Berge is a special Schengen destination.
3. Sverresborg Castle Ruins
During the civil war in Norway, Sverresborg was the location of several battles. The castle fell into the hands of the Baglers and was ruined. However, it was rebuilt by Haakon Jarl. The site was re-fortified by King Haakon Haakonsson in 1248 after being damaged in a fire. The medieval castle survived until the mid-16th century but then fell into ruins.
It is believed that the fort, built in the late 1100s, had an interior of wood and outer walls of stone. It is located only 250 meters northeast of Bergenhus Fortress. It was built on the orders of King Sverre Sigurdsson. The property is still in service to the Norwegian Army for office administration, but is also open for public tours.
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4. Royal Residence, Bergen
The royal residence of Bergen was built in the 13th century for King Haakon Haakonsson. Built adjacent to the Rosencrantz Tower, the Renaissance masterpiece has been expanded several times. This impressive fort is open to the public throughout the year.
In 1261, Haakon Hall was built for the Norwegian king Haakon Haakonsson. Tourists are allowed to climb to the roof, where they can enjoy wonderful views of the city. Other parts of the castle, such as the dungeons, have more sightseeing options.
5. Bergenhus Fort
Charming Scandinavian castle from the 16th century overlooking the entrance to Bergen Harbor. Wander over the walled ruins of Sverresborg to a citadel built around 1660 on the remains of an ancient castle from the 12th century.
While visiting this fort, you must spend a few hours in the famous museum of Bergenhus Fort which displays the service of women and several defense groups during the German invasions. It is open to the public from 6:30 am to 11 am
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6. Oscarshall Castle
Oscarshall Castle, located on Oslo’s Frognerkillen Fjord, was the residence of the Norwegian royal family from 1863 to the 1990s. Oscarshall was built between 1847 and 1852 by the Danish architect Johan Henrik Nebelong, as commissioned by King Oscar I. It has been under the king since 1863. It is one of the most prominent national monuments and is considered one of the neo-Gothic gems in Norway.
The space consists of the main building, a park leading towards the water and an open arcade.
The palace is open to the public during the summer and is closed on national and religious events.
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7. Steenvikholm Castle
Built by Olav Engelbrektsson, the last Catholic Archbishop of Norway, between 1525 and 1532, the castle has been heavily fortified since its construction. The fortress covers almost half the land of the rocky island making it the largest foundation ever built in the Norwegian Middle Ages.
Since 1993 every year in August a midnight opera organized by the Steinvikholm Musiktheater has been held here. This opera highlights the life and sufferings of the archbishop.
You can reach the palace via a wooden bridge or by boat.
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8. Fredrickston Fort
Frederiksten Fortress is located in Halden, Norway. Construction of the fort began in 1661 and took 40 years to complete. The castle was blockaded by Swedish forces, ending the alliance of Norway and Sweden. It is a famous tourist spot which offers a picturesque view of Haldane. It also has a museum. It is better to visit this palace in summer.
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This is a carefully curated list of the best castles in Norway. Although there is so much to see in this magnificent country, these places highlight both the culture and grandeur of the country. Thus, be sure to include them in your Norway tour itinerary.
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