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Horten in Norway Horten municipality coat of arms


70,2 km2

Horten Local Directory

Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Horten

Horten muncipality has approximately 26.500 inhabitants and covers a area of 70,2 km2. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Horten. The municipality also includes the villages of Borre, Åsgårdstrand, Skoppum, and Nykirke. The Bastø Ferry (ferry line) across the Oslofjord runs between Horten and Moss. The town of Horten was created for military purpose, as a command centre. First came the navy, and the town was founded. You will undoubtedly enjoy the streets of Horten. The main street, Storgaten, is the longest shopping street in Norway. Illuminated with old-fashioned style street lamps and landscaped with small and large trees, the street invites visitors to stroll its length, enjoying the sights and sounds of this friendly town.

The street contains a wide variety of shops, cafes and restaurants, and the many sidewalk cafes accentuate its easygoing seaside resort town ambiance. Here, and around Torget, the town square, you will find shops and fruit and vegetable sellers committed to serving their customers well. Our small shops are often run by families who give you the personal, friendly service you deserve. As you wander about our lovely town you will discover many beautiful details in houses and gardens. You will see many well maintained and preserved houses with their original 19th century or even earlier architecture intact. Stop to chat; you may make new friends for life.

In Horten you will also find Norway´s only coachman. With his horse and carriage Harry Bjerke carts everything from newly marned couples and small children to small boats, wood and you name it. In Horten, "The Sailor´s" by Per Ung occupies a central position in front of Horten Library. In the library you can read newspapers from the country and in many languages. Wherever you look, there are sculptures and satues to see and enjoy. "The girl from Horten" by Arne Durban welcomes you as you arrive from the north.

If you take a trip up to the fort on "Horten´s roof", you will quickly see that in Horten itself there are only two tall church spires. One is the Gothic style Garrison church at Karljohansvern naval base. Built in 1855, the Norwegian artist Harald Kihle painted the church interior in 1925. The other is the Methodist church in the middle of town, just above the square. Constructed in 1875, the church has beautiful architecture, and is extremely well maintained.

Many other religious communities and churches are also present here. The independent evangelical denomination Smiths Venner was started in Horten by a naval officer and has around 7,000 members in 25 countries. Another internationally known name from Horten is the missionary Annie Skau Berntsen.

Like other cities on the go Horten prides itself on its progressive business community, which is made up of a large number of small and medium-sized companies. The expression "Electronic Coast" is well known and refers to the large cluster of electronics firms within the city limits. Traditional industries are also well established here, as are maritime-related firms. A national centre for pollution control and maritime safety was recently opened at Fyllingafyret.


The canal is a channel from the inner harbor pool in Horten in Vestfold to the Oslofjord. It separates Karljohansvern from the mainland and is around 800 meters. At the end of the canal there is a small marina, Fyllinga. The width of the channel is just under 20 meters. During the excavation and maintenance of the canal, the masses were deposited on Fyllinga, and as such, the name was given.


Karljohansvern was the main base for the Royal Norwegian Navy from 1819 to 1963. It was first called Hortens verft, and later Marinens Hovedværft until King Oscar I named it Carljohansværn værft in 1854 (after his father Karl Johan). It was the site of the Navy Main Yard, Navy Air Plane Factory, Navy Museum, Navy Schools and the forts Norske Løve and Citadellet.

Naval District East based there was disbanded in 2002. The Museum, the Royal Norwegian Navy Band, a department of the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and some of the Navy´s school administration is still present. As of 2006 the entire base including 73 buildings has been given protected heritage status by the Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway. Karljohansvern is open to the public. Only Vealøs is still owned by the Department of Defence.


Horten has become a town noted for its special museums. The town is home to four exciting museums, offering something for all age groups. Three of them came about thanks to visionary individuals who enjoyed collecting things and wanted to share them with the public.

THE NAVY MUSEUM was, however, established by Royal Decree in 1853. A common characteristic is that all four facilities are without equal and are known throughout the world. The museums lie along the coastal strip, with Northern Europe's oldest and most beautiful maritime museum - the Navy Museum - located at Horten´s historic naval base. The museum shows the development of navy vessels and weapons dating back to the Vikings, and is filled with vessels, models and other items. The Navy Museum is a paradise for the entire family.

Horten is also the site of the NORWEGIAN SOCIETY for SEA RESCUE MUSEUM, which shows the history of the rescue service along Norway´s sometimes harsh and dangerous coast. Here we see how the Norwegian Society of Sea Rescue has been the friend and helper of seafarers for many years.

HORTEN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM presents the colourful history of the automobile through a phenomenal collection of vintage cars, engines, motorcycles and related exhibits. The museum is viewed as the finest in its class in Northern Europe.


Preus Photo Museum has a unique collection of photography equipment and exhibits on the history of photography. Queen Maud and King Haakon´s cameras are included in the collection. The museum also has a valuable collection of old photographs, and regular exhibitions of contemporary photographic art.


Nature lovers will find many opportunities for enjoying the grcat outdoors in Horten muncipality. The coastal strip stretching from Horten to Åsgårdstrand offers unique experiences for bird and animal watchers. Don´t be surprised to see seals, deer and elk along the way.

Hortensskogen and Sembskogen forests are located close to town, but forests, lakes and hiking trails are found almost everywhere in the municipality. Many flock to Løvøya island to experience nature, but for others there´s nothing that compares with Ådalstjern pond, located just behind Vestfold College.

The National Park with its famous Borrehaugene grave-mounds is both a nature and historical experience. It is often used as a venue for outdoor community events, family picnics, etc. You don´t need to go far outside Horten before Borre reveals its agricultural side, with rolling fields of grain, Hereford cattle, forests and truck farms dotting the landscape.


Åsgårdstrand is situated 10 km south of Horten, 10 km north of Tønsberg and 100 km south of Oslo by the west coast of the Oslofjord. In this small, southern idyllic town you will find art gallerys, hotel, a couple of bakeries, a café, grocery stores, bank and a pub. There are also several summer open bars and restaurants around the older part of the town. In addition, Åsgårdstrand has an elementary school, an old folks home and several kindergartens. In June every year, Åsgårdstrand celebrates Midsommer - the longest day of the year - with a large fire on the shorefront.

Åsgårdstrand was increasingly known as an important center for artists and painters and since the 1880s a vast number of internationally famous painters has either visited or lived in the town. Painters like Edvard Munch, Christian Krogh and Hans Heyerdahl. Åsgårdstrand is best known as the place where Edvard Munch painted "The Girls on the Bridge". The reason for this is the very special light which the best artists either went to Åsgårdstrand in Vestfold or Skagen in Denmark to experience.

From 2007, the town has had the classification of a Tourist Town, which gives the shop owners in the oldest part, closest to the sea, the right to keep open all days of the week. In order to become a Tourist Town the number of visitors needs to greatly exceed the number of residents throughout the year.


Edvard Munch bought a 18th century mariners house at Åsgårdstrand in 1897. Munch used the house as a summer home and studio up until his death in 1944. Today the house and studio have been turned into a museum. Edvard Munch´s House, with he himself dubbed "The Happy House", is Åsgårdstrand´s biggest attraction. It was here that Edvard Munch lived and found the inspiration for so many of his famous paintings. Galleries with art exhibitions and the Oriental rug gallery are other places you should visit in Åsgårdstrand.


Lefdal´s Riding School lies in a lovely area about five minutes´ drive from Åsgårdstand. The riding school has around 30 horses including Norwegian Fjord horses, Danish, German and Russian half-blood and thoroughbred horses and 10 ponies. The riding school has indoor and outdoor riding during the winter and riding camps for children, youth and adults in the summer.

The hosts of the riding school are Annemor and Anders Lefdal. Both have long and broad experience with horses and riding, from Norway and abroad. They have also trained horses used in movies such as Kristin Lavransdatter and other Norwegian films. Anders has broad experience with horse-shows and competitions. Tourists are welcome.


Munch´s wine is produced on Hallingstad farm in Horten. This is an artist wine in the truest sense of the word, featuring a special motif on the label of each vintage. All of the motifs are taken from Munch´s paintings.


Borrehaugene is Norway´s first National Park and has the largest Viking graveyard of Scandinavia with significant discoveries from ancient times. The Midgard Center has all available information on the seven big barrows as well as 30 smaller barrows and graves. Legend tells that in the early mornings, while morning dew still rests over the meadow, you can hear the elves play on "The fiddler´s mound" (Spelemannshaugen) on the vicarage field.

Just below Borrehaugene is the Borre beach and the coast path, leading all the way to Åsgårdstrand. The Borre lake is a popular resort area for walks and outdoor acitivites. Try your fishing luck and catch a pike, meet a deer, moose or beaver, if you are lucky. The Adal tower and the Adal castle are reckoned to be among the most significant castle remains of the Vestfold. Løvøya, situated on the way out of Horten northbound, is a scenic, very popular leasure time resort for the local population as well as tourists, offering a huge camping site and several small beaches. The Løvøya chapel and the St. Olav´s well are worth exploring.


Borrehaugene was the first national park to be founded in Norway. Borre National Park is situated between Horten and Åsgårdstrand. The site provides important historical knowledge and can be seen as evidence that there was a center of power here in the Viking Age. The excavations also uncovered an unusually good selection of craft work, much of which is on display in Oslo at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. This style has become known as "Borre style" and is, today, known for its beautiful animal and knot ornaments, which were often used for decorating harnesses. The finds also confirm that there was a Viking ship buried at Borrehaugene.

The Borre mound cemetery at Borre National Park contains graves of kings dating back to the Migration Period. The park covers 180,000 m2 and has the largest collection of kings' graves in Scandinavia. These burial mounds may represent North Europe´s most extensive collection of graves of the old Scandinavian Yngling dynasty. From 1989 to 1991, new excavations were undertaken both in and around the national park.


Fishing possibilities are good in Drammesfjorden and Oslofjorden. Try salmon and trout fishing. Numedalslågen, considered to be one of the four best salmon fishing rivers in Norway, is also just a short distance away.


Borre Golfclub is an international championship golf course and is considered the best golf facility in Norway. It lies in an extraordinarily beautiful area facing Borrevannet lake, and is home to a wide variety of birds and animals. A nature and cultural history path has been constructed around the course, giving walkers and hikers detailed information about nature and local history and culture on boards set up along the trail.

The golf course belongs to Semb Farm (Hovedgård), an old an prominent large farm. Sam Eyde, founder one of Norway´s largest company, Norsk Hydro, lived here and his descendants own and operate the farm and golf course. Many activities, including horseback riding, are available in the vicinity.