Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tønsberg - through 1136 years of history

Tønsberg is a city by the south eastern coast of Norway. It claims to be the oldest city in Norway, with more than 1100 years of history. Today it is a charming mix of old and new, and in its centre you find the Castle Hill. On the tower erected on its 11ooth Jubilee celebration in 1871 you will find this inscription:

MAA BYEN SOM PAA TUNET STAAR FAA BLOMSTRE NYE TUSIND AAR (May the city located by the "square" bloom another thousand years)

I will write one article on the castle hill later here on Enjoy Food & Travel. I will here concentrate on this city itself.

A charming city centre

Tønsberg is located by the sea, and border the two islands of Nøtterøy and Tjøme. It is located in an area particularly popular during the summer season. If you want to explore the surrounding area you are well adviced to rent a car and visit some of the charming places along the coast. Here you can find great places to swim and enjoy other activities by the sea.

Tønsberg has a charming port area, Brygga, with old wooden storage houses. Here you can wander along the seafront on a boardwalk, and stop to enjoy a cold beer, or a glass of wine one one of the charming restaurant along the water.

We visited the pub Esmeralda to have a drink. This place has a charming dark interior, and on warm days you can sit outside. Along Brygga, you´ll find other charming pubs or restaurants and there are a large numbers of restaurants throughout the Tønsberg city centre.

Kockegården - an architectural gem

Further up in the city centre you have a charming mix of old and new houses. One of the most beautiful houses is the late 18th century Kockegården.

Through the Middle Ages and up to the 18th Century, the areas around the Castle Hill was wasteland. During the expansion of the city in the 18th Century the area of Fjerdingen grew up around Castle Hill.

In 1790 the wealthy merchant Faye built his Louis Seize house in timber. Behind the house there was a large garden and a variety of different houses for different purposes. There was a barn, stables, storage houses and a distillery.

One of the back houses, partly half-timbered, today house a restaurant Kocke Gården. It is so strange to see this old building, as it reminds you of an Elizabethan Inn.

Sights of Tønsberg

There are several other remarkable sights to see in Tønsberg. You have Haugar Vestfold Art Huseum and Vestfold County Museum. The wonderful Oseberg Viking Ship was discovered close to Tønsberg.


Tønsberg is also a great place to shop. You can start at the County largest shopping mall - Farmannsstredet, close to the Tønsberg Railway station. Close to the charming square you find a large varieties of shops selling womens- and menswear, shoes, cosmetics shops and much more.

Tønsberg - how to get there

- By train: 1 1/2 hours on a regional train from Oslo Central Station.
- By airplane: Tønsberg is situated close to Torp Airport with a large number of flights to different European destinations.

See more on budget flights to Torp Airport here

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