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Kongsvinger fortress

Today Kongsvinger is a merger of Kongsvinger city, Vinger municipality and Brandval municipality.

Kongsvinger is the regional center in South Hedmark with approx. 17,400 inhabitants and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2004.

Here are some historical facts from before 1814 to the present day:

The place Vinger alongside the Glomma river knee has been an important place since the Viking period. The road through Eidskog to Sweden, already mentioned in the Viking sagas, crossed Glomma right here where the river turns abruptly to the west.

State Structure

State structure was established in 1837. Captain Bierkebakk was the municipality’s first mayor. Vinger  and Eidskog was one municipality until 1859 when Eidskog got its own municipality status. First of January 1964, municipalities Kongsvinger, Vinger and Brandval merged into the municipality Kongsvinger. The large municipality’s first mayor was Norvald Strand.


In 1838, the first application for township was sent to the government authorities, and the 15th of April 1854 the old buildings in the fortress got status as a market town. The new town took the fort’s name – Kongsvinger. The city’s first mayor was Jacob N. Hygen. Historical documents show that the 21th of December 1855 there were 472 inhabitants in the town. The settlement consisted of 46 properties with approx. 70 buildings.

The city limits were expanded in 1876 when some of the area around Kongsvinger railroad station became part of the city.

Over Glomma

The first bridge over Glomma was completed in 1856. This was blown up during the Second World War, but only partially destroyed, so it stood until 1949, when a new bridge was built. But this was not large enough to take away all the traffic that came later, so after 22 years of struggle for where and when it was in 1984 finally decided that the new bridge would be built.

Trains, telephone, water and electricity

14. May 1862 the first locomotive arrived Kongsvinger railroad station, just eight years after the railroad between Christiania and Eidsvoll was ready.

Kongsvinger was connected to the telephone in 1887, only 11 years after the telephone was invented. In 1892, the city’s got its first waterworks, one on each side of town.  On the 23rd of April 1901, the city got electric power. The first light points, eight lamps were installed at the school in the room for handicraft.

Town hall

Kongsvinger town hall was completed in 1924. Unfortunately this burned down the night to the 4th of June 1946. It was then decided that they should use the part of the building that could be restored and rebuild the parts that were completely destroyed. Offices in the new town hall were opened in November 1949.

Population from 1800 to the present day

Year Population
1801 214 + 123(military)
1855 472
1900 1 524
1950 2 160
2008 17 361

Source: Kongsvinger municipality’s website: www.kongsvinger.kommune.no

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