| Thor Edquist (H)|
| Ostfold University College, Ostfold University College, Halden|
Halden , between 1665 and 1928 known as Frederikshald, is both a town and a municipality in Ostfold county, Norway. The municipality borders Sarpsborg to the northwest, Rakkestad to the north and Aremark to the east, as well as the Swedish municipalities Stromstad, Tanum and Dals-Ed respectively to the southwest, south and southeast.
The seat of the municipality, Halden is a border town located at the mouth of Tista River on the Iddefjord, the southernmost border crossing between Norway and Sweden.
Evidence of early human settlements in this region of Norway have been found, particularly in the Svinesund area of the municipality where evidence of early settlements from the Nordic Bronze Age have been found. Named after a small farm Hallen (English: "rise" or "slope") first mentioned in 1629, "Halden", became the city of Fredrikshald in 1665, named after Frederick III of Denmark. The Gud med oss (God be with us) coat-of-arms created in 1665 shows a knight standing on a mountain, yellow on a blue background, and was inspired by the bravery of the citizens of the city in the Dano-Swedish War (1658–1660).
As a reference to the towns citizens burning their own houses to prevent them being taken on 4 July 1716 by the forces of King Charles XII of Sweden, Halden is one of only two cities in Norways national anthem. In 1718, the Great Northern War ended when Karl XII was shot and killed at the Fredriksten fortress. The fortress had been erected in the 17th century as a replacement for the Bohus Fortress lost at the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658 when Bohuslan was ceded to Sweden.
Never captured by force by any invading army (although occupied by Nazi forces in WWII), the Swedes unsuccessfully attempted to invade Halden six times between 1658 and 1814.
The slogan, Halden, IT- og Miljobyen (Halden, IT and Environment City), is a reference to Haldens large number of IT companies. In the late 1960s, the most powerful mainframe computer in Norway at the time was located at the Institute for Energy Technologys facilities in Halden. From the 1960s-1980s, Halden was infamous for high levels of industrial pollution, largely originating from the Norske Skog Saugbrugs paper mill (part of Norske Skog since 1989). As a result of projects initiated by both Norske Skog-Saugbrugs and the city authorities, the polluted fjords and rivers of Halden have been cleaned up and the city was dubbed Norways Environment City in 1996.
Halden sights include the canal system, Hoiasmasten partially guyed TV tower, and Svinesund bridges. The fortress of Fredriksten has historical museums, and the Ostfold University College (Hogskolen i Ostfold) is in Halden.
Outdoor concerts are frequently held at the fortress while the local churches, pubs, and student union are regular venues for indoor concerts. Musicians recorded by the Hitsville and Athletic Sound studios in the Halden region include Motorpsycho, Madrugada, Morten Harket, and Kurt Nilsen. The citys intimate theatre hosts frequent plays by national and local theatre groups, and occasionally serves as a concert hall.
Halden festivals include a food and wooden boat festival (Halden Day) in July, a croquet festival (August), the Bom-Kraesj-Bang cultural festival (April), and the Down on the Farm country/roots festival. The famous pub "Siste Reis" neighbouring the train station has been voted among the ten best pubs in Europe!
Artists born in Halden that are represented in the Norwegian National Gallery in Oslo include Thomas Fearnley (1802–1842) and Jacob Mathias Calmeyer (1802–1883). Fearnley is locally exhibited at the manor house Rod Herregard. Other significant artists that lived in Halden, but were not born there, include Johannes Fintoe (1786–1870) and Heinrich August Grosch (1763–1843). Groschs son, Christian Heinrich Grosch (1801–1865), who moved with his parents to Halden at the age of ten, became an influential architect, whose works include seventy-eight churches (including Immanuels Kirke in Halden), the Bank of Norway, the Oslo Stock Exchange, and the original university buildings in Oslo.