Straddling the Glomma River in the traditional district of Glåmdal, Kongsvinger was established by Royal Charter in 1854. It’s dominated by a 17th-century fortress built to guard the ancient Vinger Royal Road, which connected Christiania (Oslo) with Värmland in Sweden. In addition to its atmospheric old town, Kongsvinger is home to several fine museums that detail the city’s cultural history.
Things to do in Kongsvinger
Begin your visit at the Kongsvinger Museum to learn about the people and events that have shaped the city. See how local residents lived 200 years ago while browsing the exhibits at the Gyldenborg building or visit the Aamodtgården’s period apartment. You can also wander through the old classrooms of the Skinnarbøl school.
A short stroll from the Gyldenborg is the Kongsvinger Fortress, which boasts a commanding position overlooking the Glomma River. Established in 1673, it was built to protect Christiania against foreign attack, particularly from Swedish forces. Learn about Norway’s tumultuous relationship with its neighbour at the on-site museum before exploring the beautifully preserved fortress buildings.
Another cultural attraction not to miss in Kongsvinger is the Kvinnemuseum, which is dedicated to showcasing the role of women in Norwegian society throughout history. It occupies a Swiss-inspired villa that dates back to 1857 and was the childhood home of the beloved Norwegian writer Dagny Juel. Her storied life is celebrated in one of the permanent exhibitions.
Getting around Kongsvinger
Kongsvinger is around an hour’s drive from Oslo Airport and is connected to the Norwegian capital by regular trains from the Kongsvinger railway station. Buses travel to towns and villages in the surrounding region while the centre of Kongsvinger is compact enough to explore on foot.