Thursday, December 11, 2008

Irony of history

Since it is winter, and since it was extremely cold! the other day, I decided that there was nothing better than spending a day walking outside in a coastal city with the frigid wind blowing in from the sea.....brrrr......

It was wicked cold! Here is the first irony. I was visiting an old fortified town down east in Norway, close to the Swedish border. There is a moat around the fort. The water was frozen solid. What is the point with a moat that freezes solid every winter? Just asking...

Norway has a long, long border with Sweden. Since we were a colony under Denmark for about 400 years, there was a necessity of defending ourselves against the Swedes. This fortified city was established around 1567 after the city itself was burnt down. They petition the king to move the city closer to the river and the coast and fortify it, to prevent the Swedes coming in and pillage. And there has been a military presence there until 2003!

The second irony. It has only seen fights once - against the Swedes - and they lost after only a few hours fight. That was in 1814.

Today it is a living city - people live and work here. So they live with cobbled streets like this.

Nice to look at,  but horrors on high heels, not to mention trying to drive down there.

These houses looks like dream houses in the summer. However, visiting in the winter I can't help but think that they might not be so warm in the winter. I grew up in an old house, and before dad redid the whole thing I remember scratching my name in the ice on the inside of the windows. No double glazing at that time!

The entrance to the fort, which today is just for walking through. No room for cars, though they are allowed into the city.

The bridge over the aforementioned moat. Not sure if you can see it, but it has a hoisting mechanism that allows for the middle to be lifted up, to let boats in. Well, today it is just for show, but it is quite an impressive mechanism.

I got more:) Keep you in suspense for a little while.

1 comment:

kahti said...

I am in suspense! :-) I want more. Frozen moats? I suppose they thought no one would bother attacking in the winter. Too cold.