Norway’s severe and poetic beauty made famous by Scandinavian sagas was reflected in the laconic and majestic architecture of old Norwegian castles and strongholds which became a real symbol of the bravery and fierce spirit of this northern nation. Akershus Fortress is the best known fortification in Norway. It had protected both Oslofjorden Bay and the roads running to the capital against enemies for many centuries. Although this vast fortress complex is now a popular tourist facility with a number of museum displays, it has not lost its important defensive function, the headquarters of the Ministry of Defence and Norway’s Defence Staff are located behind its walls. However, not only Akershus Fortress reminds of Norway’s heroic past, but also Kristiansten Fortress which saved the city of Trondheim many times during a war with Sweden. The elegant Oscarshall Castle (Oscarshall Slott), erected in the 19th century on a steep slope of Bygdøy, became not only a real gem of the peninsula, but also proof that even in severe Norway one can find splendid examples of neo-Gothic buildings.