7 Interesting Facts about Akershus Castle in Oslo

Akershus CastleThe Akershus Castle in Oslo has played a very important role in the history of Norway’s capital Oslo by becoming one of the most significant defensive fortresses in Norway and warding off numerous hostile invasions. The strategical bay location of the fortress made Akershus Castle a major military and trade point.

The Akershus Castle in Oslo is almost always on the sightseeing itinerary included in many Norway travel packages.

Let’s take a look at 7 interesting facts about Akershus Castle in Oslo that helped shape its history throughout the centuries:

1. The Akershus Castle was initially built sometime in the 13th century under the orders of King Hakon of Norway as a defense fortress to protect the capital of Norway from multiple Swedish invasions. It was later fully renovated in the style or a standard Renaissance Castle at the beginning of the 17th century.

2. The Akershus Castle lived through its first battle in 1308 when it was surrounded by the army of Swedish duke Erik who later became a King of Sweden.

3. The Akershus Castle also served as prison facility that hosted many legendary criminals of Norwegian history particularly Gjest Baardsen and Ole Høiland. The fortress also became a dungeon for political prisoners of the early socialist movement in Norway.

4. All male participants of the famous Kautokeino rebellion that took place in 1852 were imprisoned in the cells of the Akershus Castle and later died there with the exception of Lars Haeta who became famous for his first translation of the Bible into the Sami language.

5. No foreign enemy was able to capture the Akershus Castle throughout the centuries of its military history. This record was broken in 1940 when the fortress was surrendered without combat to Nazi forces and remained under German occupation up to 1945.

6. Akershus Castle became an execution place for 8 Norwegian traitors found guilty for war crimes at the end of WWII. This act is considered rather symbolic since so many Nazi opposition members were being killed at the fortress throughout WWII. Currently there’s a very extensive museum displaying memorabilia and objects pertaining to the large Nazi opposition movement in Norway during WWII.

7. Up to this day Akershus Castle possesses significant military importance by being Norwegian Ministry of Defense and Defense Staff Norway headquarters. The popular Norwegian Armed Forces museum is also located on the grounds of the fortress.

If you would like to visit the Akershus Castle along with other famous Norway’s attractions, read our other articles that will provide reviews for the best hotels in Oslo and also places to book inexpensive flights to Oslo.