Akershus Fortress (Akershus Festning) is a castle from the medieval times, located in the city centre by the Oslo Fjord. It is a popular attraction to many visitors, and the fortresses’ history makes us understand why.
It was built by King Haakon V in the late 1290s to protect the city of Oslo. The need for a stronger defensive emerged after an attack in 1287, which is why they decided to build the castle. Since then, it has been used by the military, surviving all sieges, until the 1800s when the military use of the fortress ended. From here on forward, the usage of the Akershus Fortress has a little bit of everything; from prison to a national archive. From the 1900s up until the 1960s, the fortress went through restoration work. Today, it’s used for official events and dinner parties for the foreign heads of state and dignitaries. It’s however open daily for the public to visit, until 9PM. In the eastern part of Akershus Fortress you’ll find the headquarters of Norwegian Ministry of Defence and Defence Staff Norway.