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Halden and Svinesund form the gateway to Norway, strategically placed between beautiful skerries on one side and large forests and lakes on the other. Oslo is situated just under two hours to the north, with Gothenburg about the same distance to the south.
If you are going to Gothenburg you can now cross Svinesund by the new and modern bridge with the Ringdals fjord deep below. With its area of 640 square kilometres there is no other municipality in Østfold which can compare with Halden’s opportunities for outdoor experiences. The wide reaching area can offer forest and fjord, mountains and plains, inland waterways, islands, hunting grounds and miles of marked paths and walkways. Northern Europes’s highest locks – the Brekke locks – are an experience you are unlikely to forget quickly as you work your way up the Halden inland waterway.
Today, Halden is a modern town with a central position in the country’s history. It was therefore natural that Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson should mention it – Fredrikshald – in Norway’s national anthem. Fredriksten fortress, Østfold’s millenium site, and with a central role in the celebrations of the dissolution of the union with Sweden in 1905, stands as a monument to the Norwegian will to defend itself during times of unrest. Today the fortress is one of the town’s most important and much visited tourist attractions.
Approximately 200000 tourists visit the fortress each summer where its walls, bastions, armaments, amunition tower, dark secret passageways and museums tell the story of the town. Fredriksten fortress also has an inviting and beautiful park. The whole site is floodlit by Norway’s most impressive floodlighting. Rød Manor house is beautifully situated as you sail into the town. Here you may moor in one of Norway’s best harbours if you choose to come by boat. The clean Idde fjord gives you a fjord experience equal to those of the West of Norway whether you choose to sail or drive its length. In the town centre itself you will find architecture from varying periods. Halden is an Empire town and offers many pearls for those interested in this period. Fredrikshald theatre was built in 1838 and is a unique building full of life when the town’s different theatre groups put on their works.
The I.T. and environmental town of Halden is today home to a number of technology based companies. Co-operation between the council, business community, Østfold University College and the Institute for Energy Technology has contributed to a splendid development and led to Halden being an interesting and important site for the establishment of high technology business and research/learning based facilities. Halden’s background is in the field of timber production, information technology, electronics, mechanical, chemical and production industries.
In terms of area Halden is the largest municipality in Østfold with 63 000 dekar (1dekar = 1000 m sq.) of cultivated ground and 400000 dekar of working forest. Cottage tourism has in recent years become an important element of the tourist industry. The tourist office may be contacted by telephone 69190980 – www.visithalden.com