Wake up this morning a little later than usual and head out for Akershus Fortress, during the transit ride we notice most of the shops are closed and there is very little activity on the streets and this is a weekday. When we arrive at the fortress we start to notice signs in windows and on doors that say this is a Holiday – Ascension Day. This Christian holiday, 39 days after Easter, commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven. Well at least the fortress will be open but not for a few hours, so we walk around the grounds to get a feel of the place. So this is a lesson to always check for national holidays when on a trip, luckily the sites we want to visit today were all open.
When the doors open we enter a 1300AD castle remodeled to the Renaissance style in the first half of the 17th century. This was the residence of Danish-Norwegian Kings and includes the original gloomy dungeons (prison) and majestic halls. Today it is used for official functions, has a church open to the public, home of the Armed Forces Museum showcasing Norwegian military history from medieval times to the years after World War II and it’s the grounds are still in use as a military area. Invading army’s never overtook this fortress until 1940’s when the government evacuated to escape the Nazi occupation.
A very worth while visit as the grounds, church, Military Museum and the self-guided tour through inside the castle is very interesting, especially with the audio guide that is included with the admission fee.