The Fredriksvern Shipyard in Stavern is an oasis for visitors, in summer as well as in winter. With its coastal nature, gulls cries and myriad of activities, Fredriksvern is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Several galleries and museums have taken up permanent residence on the site of the Fredriksvern shipyard.
BUILT BY THE DANISH KING
Commissioned by King Fredrik V of Denmark / Norway, building of the Fredriksvern Shipyard in Stavern started in 1750. Most of the buildings and fortifications were completed as early as 1758. The shipyard is heavily influenced by Danish architecture.
Today, the original buildings consist of the commander’s residence, two gardens, a guard room, a forge, the blacksmith’s residence, a main storage unit, two provision storage units, a barge shed, 5 galley sheds and a powder house. Outside the ramparts were built a garrison church (Fredriksvern church), barracks, a bakery and more.
HEADQUARTERS FOR THE NORWEGIAN FLEET
In 1814 the yard became the headquarter of the Norwegian fleet. The Naval Cadet Institute was moved to Karljohansvern in 1864 and the Fredriksvern Shipyard was closed down in 1896 as a result of the Storting’s decision to turn it into a training ground for the War School. The shipyard later housed the Air Defense Regiment (later the Stavern Air Defense School Center).
POPULAR PLACE OF EDUCATION FOR THE POLICE SCHOOL
As a result of the restructuring of the Armed Forces described in Storting Bill no. 45, all military activity at Fredriksvern Verft ceased during 2002. The “Forsvarsbygg Nasjonale Festningsverk” took over ownership responsibility and in April 2002 signed a lease with the Directorate of Justice and the Police for use of the lion’s share of the former military establishment for the justice sector.
ART AND CULTURE
Today, the shipyard also houses several artists and other cultural institutions. It offers exhibitions, cabarets, concerts and activities in general. In recent years, 200.000 people have visited the shipyard annually, which ranks the site as one of the most visited in the county and as the No. 25 nationwide. The summer months of July and August are the most popular.