Friday, September 23, 2011

On fortresses

I grew up in a city that once was constructed around a fortress. The fortress was meant to defend the citizens of Kongsvinger - and more important, perhaps, the rest of the country by securing the border - from Sweden. Built in the 17th century, the fortress served its purpose (it was never captured by any Swedes), but almost four centuries later it has now become obsolete in its original task. There isn't even a military presence there anymore (but shhh - don't tell the Swedes). Instead, the proud attraction is being rebuilt into a hotel and conference center. It will always be a fortress in the collective mind of the people living here, though, and it will always be the origo around which our city was built.

There's a crane sticking out of our fortress! Is it the Swedes?

At least the flag is still Norwegian

Really old windows

Really old door

When I was a kid they used to tell us those hooks were for hanging naughty children.
I think they may have been for hanging non-naughty lamps, actually. 

The crane and a soon-to-be hotel

Looks like the upgrade is needed

This might not mean anything to you, but I know this spot is supposed to have a cannon.
Now how will we defend the fortress?

Crane of doom?

There's a cannon. I think it's hiding...

Not too clear from the pic, but even this grand, old tree looked worn and forlorn.

Perhaps a general upgrade* of the area is called for? It's still pretty, though, in its slow demise:

*And by "upgrade" I don't mean update. The history in the walls and moldings of these houses could never be replaced.


Kelly said...

What a wonderful post!! I love being able to take a quick sightseeing tour in the comfort of my own home. :)

My favorite photo is the cannon hiding in the grass.

Jan Morrison said...

Mari - Halifax is built around a fortress too - The Citadel. It is on a hill in the centre of town and is now a museum. It looks like yours in many aspects. I love it, sometimes people get married in it, or have other ceremonies - my Buddhist gang had a coronation there a few years back and the Shambhala flag flew - VERY THRILLING! I'll find some pics and send them to you. How wonderful this post was. Thank you.

Hart Johnson said...

I hope they are careful with the restoration, as I think authentically restored stuff can be SO COOL. There is a fort in Michigan where the upper and lower peninsula's ALMOST connect, but as the gateway to Lake Michigan, it is one of the states oldest things--it had been completely buried, being made of wood it decayed and all, but they've restored it with archeologists and it's amazing.

Cold As Heaven said...

I visited that fortress many years ago >:)

Cold As Heaven

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