The Kristiansten Fortress is in Trondheim over looking the city. Built in the early 1680s, it was strategically placed on the east hill to protect the city from inland attacks, especially from the Swedes. In the Great Northern War, the fortress achieved it’s purpose in 1718. Just its mer presence deterred the Swedes.
Karl VII of Sweden initiated attacks in the south and sent an army to seize Trondheim. Both the Norwegian troops and countrymen held off the invasion. Kristiansten fortress was never overthrown. Winter came and the Swedish troops were unprepared. After the death of Karl VII of Sweden at Fredriksten fortress (shot in the head), the army in Trondheim retreated to Sweden, across the mountains and through the snow. Not many returned back to their homeland.
In 1816 the fortress was decommissioned. The King of Norway, Carl Johan, said the fortress was to be abandoned and left to the ‘ravishes of time’, however, it was turned into a fire watch for the city. During the occupation in WWII, Kristiansten Fortress was taken over by the Nazis. It was a place for execution of the Norwegian resistance. After the war the fortress became the official place of execution of national traitors and criminals of war as part of the ‘legal purge of Norway’. Out of the 45 that were condemned to death in Norway, 14 were executed at Kristiansten.
In 1997, Kriatiansten Fortress was turned into a museum. It is a good walk from the city centre up the hill, about 15mins. Just look up and head for the white building. Only when the flag is raised are the gates open for entrance. The cafe is only open during summer. The view of Trondheim is certainly worth the trip – over the city centre, Nidaros Cathedral, out to the fjord and Munkholmen.
The way that the buildings are carved into the landscape makes for an interesting walk through. A detailed history of events at Kristiansten fortress can be experienced through readings. You can be part of a group tour or go on a do-it-yourself tour. Sometimes special events are held on the grounds throughout the year.