Akershus Fortress (Norway)
Akershus fortress was built at the end of 1290 by the King Håkon V to ward off attacks by the Norwegian nobleman, Earl Alv Erlingsson of Sarpsborg. The value of the fort came from its strategic location near the sea, and has survived several sieges, never be captured in active battle. However, during the Second World War, the German occupying forces captured the fortress (without a fight) and used as a prison and execution center.
However Akershus Castle was used as a prison before the Second World War also. It housed many famous prisoners, including first Norwegian socialists.
The fortress is home to a castle, the church, the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum, a model Christiania (old name of Oslo), and a prison museum. In addition, many members of the Norwegian royal family are buried in the Mausoleum of the castle.
Akershus fortress has the status of a national symbol because of its role as the seat of kings and of the government and of many important historical events and drama that took place here. The national importance is underlined by the fact that the castle now used as premier entertainment venues of government and home to the Royal Mausoleum.