Not far from the border with Sweden and only 50 mi/80 km southeast of Oslo, Fredrikstad, Norway, was founded in 1567 by King Fredrik II by the river Glomma to serve as a fortress town against the Swedes. Although the new town is nothing remarkable, the original town still stands intact across the river, complete with 16th-century buildings and fortified walls. Amazingly enough, this small city of about 70,000, when seen from the air, forms the shape of a star. The museum there offers guided group tours around the old town. In the spring, an antiques market is held every Saturday in the old square. http://www.opplevfredrikstad.com.
The surrounding Hvaler National Park offers a beautiful and varied coastal landscape that includes many islands to explore. http://www.visitoslofjord.no/fredrikstad-og-hvaler.
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